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We Love Cinema: Netflix Responds to Steven Spielberg Criticism of Streaming Services

Spielberg took a potshot at the streaming services by urging directors to make movies for the "big dark theatres".


Updated:March 4, 2019, 5:04 PM IST
We Love Cinema: Netflix Responds to Steven Spielberg Criticism of Streaming Services
Representative Image. (Image: Reuters)

Netflix on Monday said traditional cinema and digital platforms can coexist in harmony in an apparent response to Steven Spielberg's push for a rule change by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to exclude streaming services for Oscars eligibility.

Netflix-produced "Roma" claimed three major honours -- Best Foreign Language, Best Director and Best Cinematography -- at the Academy Awards but stopped short of claiming the top prize of Best Picture which was claimed by "Green Book".

The racial drama, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, had Spielberg's backing.

"We love cinema. Here are some things we also love: Access for people who can't always afford, or live in towns without, theaters. Letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time. Giving filmmakers more ways to share art. These things are not mutually exclusive," the streaming giant said in a statement shared on official Twitter account of Netflix Films.

The response comes days after reports started doing the social media rounds that Spielberg will be speaking with the AMPAS's Board of Governors to insist for a rule change that will make films made by streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon ineligible for Oscars.

The legendary filmmaker represents the Directors branch of the Academy on the Board.

A spokesperson for Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment said, "Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation. He'll be happy if the others will join (his campaign) when that comes up (at the Academy Board of Governors meeting). He will see what happens."

Other Academy members also argued that Netflix went overboard with its marketing campaign for "Roma", which was reportedly around USD 50 million, ahead of the Oscars and that the streaming giant failed to adhere to proper theatrical release rules already in place.

There is also an argument against the company's policy to not release box office numbers.

Last month, Spielberg took a potshot at the streaming services by urging directors to make movies for the "big dark theatres". He previously said films which debut on streaming services should compete for the Emmys, not Oscars.

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