Movies & TV

Netflix Hits Back At Steven Spielberg's Controversial Battle To Ban Its Films From The Oscars

Spielberg reportedly wants to extend the minimum time a film has to be in cinemas to qualify for the awards
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  • Netflix basically subtweets Spielberg ahead of his address to the Academy where he's expected to renew his opposition to streamed films entering the Oscars
  • Spielberg reportedly wants to extend the minimum acceptable theatrical run to four weeks
  • Netflix: "[We love] access for people who can't always afford, or live in towns without, theaters"

Netflix has hit back at Steven Spielberg's suggestion that its films should be excluded from the Oscars, ahead of the director's upcoming address to the Academy's Board of Governors at which he's expected to renew his opposition.

Netflix tweeted quite pointedly that it liked being able to give access to film for people who couldn't get to the cinema for one reason or another - or didn't have one near them anyway - as well as "giving filmmakers more ways to share art". Netflix original Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuarón, won three Academy Awards at last month's ceremony.

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Spielberg's been one of the most prominent critics of Netflix films being admitted to the Oscars, telling ITV last year: "Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. 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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As others have pointed out, though, shaking up the rules to change the amount of time a film has to be in cinemas to qualify for the Oscars could knock smaller indie films out of the running, as they tend to have theatrical runs of comparable lengths to Netflix's productions. The Hollywood Reporter has suggested that Spielberg would push for a minimum four-week run in the cinemas.

"Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation," Indiewire quoted a spokesperson for Amblin, Spielberg's production company, as saying this week. "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."

This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.

* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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