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Netflix hits back at Steven Spielberg for wanting to make films by streaming platforms ineligible for Oscars

Steven Spielberg. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 04, 2019, 07.56 PM (IST)

Veteran filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s fight against streaming platforms is real. 

Taking it a step further, Spielberg will now speak with the Board of Governors at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to insist for a rule change that will make films made by the streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon ineligible for Oscars.

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.”

This comes in response to ‘Roma’ winning big awards this Oscars even though it is a Netflix film directed by Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron. The film got three big awards -- Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Foreign Language Film. It was just short of Best Picture as ‘Green Book’ took the award home. 

Netflix has responded to this by making an indirect response to Spielberg’s crusade to block Netflix as a future contender during the Oscars. They tweeted: “We love cinema," and added, "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," they concluded.

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Meanwhile, the 72-year-old award-winning director is not alone in his fight against films by streaming platforms as many other Academy members also argue that Netflix spent too in its marketing campaign for ‘Roma’, something around $50 million ahead of the Oscars and that the streaming giant failed to adhere to proper theatrical release rules already in place.

Last month, Spielberg took a dig at the streaming services by urging directors to make movies for the “big dark theatres”.

He had previously said that films which debut on streaming services should compete for the Emmys instead of the Oscars.

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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.”