Steven Spielberg Slammed By Hollywood Filmmakers After Urging the Academy to Block Netflix from Oscars

US director Steven Spielberg attends on May 14, 2016 a press conference for the film 'The BFG' at the 69th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France. / AFP / Laurent EMMANUEL (Photo credit should read LAURENT EMMANUEL/AFP/Getty Images)

Director Steven Spielberg is facing a backlash from fellow Hollywood filmmakers after suggesting that the Oscars should no longer allow Netflix-produced films into consideration for its top awards.

The 72-year-old filmmaker, who has won multiple Academy Awards throughout his iconic career, has long been critical of Netflix’s approach to producing films as online streams, which he argues will detract from the theatrical industry.

“Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation,” said a representative from Amblin Entertainment. “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.”

At last weekend’s ceremony, the Netflix film Roma became the streaming giant’s first ever film to be nominated for Best Picture but lost out on the award to the drama Green Book. 

“Awards rules discussions are ongoing with the branches,” the Academy said in a statement. “And the Board will likely consider the topic at the April meeting.”

However, many of Steven Spielberg’s Hollywood peers vehemently disagree with his idea, including director Ava DuVernay, who earned her first Oscar nomination in 2017 for her Netflix documentary 13th about racial inequality in the United States.

“This is a Board of Governors meeting. And regular branch members can’t be there. But I hope if this is true, that you’ll have filmmakers in the room or read statements from directors like me who feel differently,” DuVernay wrote on Twitter.

Other figures in the movie industry also expressed their disapproval with Steven Spielberg, with writer Scott Weinberg describing him as a “crybaby.”

Spielberg outlined his position last year in an interview with Britain’s ITV News, where he explained that films produced in a television format are not the same as those released in theaters.

“Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” he said. “You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar. I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theaters for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”

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