Spielberg, Netflix Clash on Streaming's Eligibility for Oscars

(Bloomberg) -- Steven Spielberg is taking on Netflix Inc.

At this year’s annual post-Oscars meeting, the filmmaker, who’s representing directors as an Academy governor, will speak out against considering streamed films for awards, IndieWire reported. He feels that the streaming service should only compete for Emmy awards, the entertainment industry news site said.

Spielberg, Netflix Clash on Streaming's Eligibility for Oscars

“Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation,” a spokesperson from Amblin, Spielberg’s production company, told IndieWire, adding that the Hollywood director hopes others will join his campaign at the meeting next month. “He will see what happens.”

Netflix fired back late Sunday, without naming Spielberg, in a tweet that proclaimed the service’s love of cinema and said it also loves providing wider access to movies and “giving filmmakers more ways to share art.”

“These things are not mutually exclusive,” Netflix said in the tweet.

Netflix made “Roma” available to stream with a limited release in theaters to qualify for an Oscar this year.

Spielberg, who has won a best-picture award with “Schindler’s List,” is one of the three Academy governors of the directors branch, one of 17 that make up the film body. The Board of Governors sets the Academy’s strategic vision, preserves the organization’s financial health and assures the fulfillment of its mission, according to the Oscars website.

“Roma” was the favorite to win the Academy Award for best picture before “Green Book” took the prize at the awards Feb. 24. Before the event, “Roma” had a 33 percent chance of winning, according to the Hollywood Reporter, while the Gold Derby gave it a 4-1 shot.

“Roma” was the first nominee for best picture that was essentially a digital release and if it had won, Netflix would have been the first technology company to clinch Hollywood’s top prize.

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