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.
Dear @TheAcademy, 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. Thanks, Ava DuVernay. https://t.co/DFBLVWhiJj
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 1, 2019
Other figures in the movie industry also expressed their disapproval with Steven Spielberg, with writer Scott Weinberg describing him as a “crybaby.”
Ugh. When your heroes become the crybabies.
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) March 1, 2019
My question is why is Spielberg ~taking on~ Netflix as opposed to….literally anything else???? This is your big Hollywood fight in 2019 sir?!
— alanna bennett (@AlannaBennett) March 2, 2019
Mr. Spielberg, you have your Oscars. Let some PoC get some too. https://t.co/5bSGFry9ZI
— Candice Frederick (@ReelTalker) March 2, 2019
FACT: @Netflix is providing opportunities for a diverse group of filmmakers, far more than the traditional studios. They have disrupted the old system, and for Black folks, that’s a good thing. “Steven… https://t.co/iuqAW5DxQn
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) March 2, 2019
“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.”