Spielberg past year said that Netflix films are simply TV movies, meaning they should contend for Emmy awards rather than Oscars. Perhaps the most vocal critic leading this charge is none other than Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg.
"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", he said at the time. They have resisted director Martin Scorsese's plans to give his forthcoming Netflix film The Irishman the widest-ever theatrical release for a streaming movie, demanding that Netflix and Scorsese allow the film to play in theaters for at least a few months before landing on streaming.
"Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation", a spokesperson for Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment said. He will see what happens. There are several voices in this matter that go well beyond Spielberg and the Academy. You really can't argue with that.
But his Academy Award-nominated film, he thinks, would have gotten lost on Netflix and possibly, "Relegated to film esoterica".
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The director was echoing similar statements that he made in the previous year, when the Cannes Film Festival issued a ban on Netflix movies from premiering at the festival.
"Dear Academy, this is a Board of Governors meeting".
For instance, Ava DuVernay, who received an Oscar nomination for the Netflix documentary "13th", expressed her concerns on Twitter. "In his extraordinary career, he hasn't exactly produced or executive produced many films directed by them", Leonard tweeted Saturday. It is unclear if the Academy will choose to read the comments of some of those regular members who oppose Spielberg's push. Others have said they believe the amount of money Netflix spent lobbying for Roma (estimates range from $25 to 50 million-much more than is common, IndieWire reports) is unfair. Regardless, this decision will be a monumental one in the future of movies and continued relevance of the Oscars.