Steven Spielberg, who has been a familiar voice in the outcry against Netflix films receiving equal treatment at the Oscars as theatrical releases, will speak about the issue at the next Academy meeting.
Spielberg, as the Academy Governor of the directors branch, will be supporting changes to the awards rules at the annual post-Oscars meeting.
“Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation,” an Amblin spokesperson told Indiewire. “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.”
The legendary director has spoken out in the past about his belief that Netflix films should only be eligible for Emmys rather than Oscars. However, it’s unclear what specific rule changes he would advocate for.
“Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie,” he told ITV News in March 2018. “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.”
Particular rules changes could have effects on films outside Netflix, however. Some independent releases don’t spend much more time in the theater than the “token qualifications” Spielberg referred to.
The news has sparked debate online among industry members, with several coming out in favor of Netflix.
Director Ava DuVernay pointed out that Netflix “distributed black work far/wide.” She wrote that only one of her films has received international distribution, and that was her documentary “13th,” which airs on Netflix.
One of the things I value about Netflix is that it distributes black work far/wide. 190 countries will get WHEN THEY SEE US. Here’s a promo for South Africa. I’ve had just one film distributed wide internationally. Not SELMA. Not WRINKLE. It was 13TH. By Netflix. That matters. https://t.co/lpn1FFSfgG
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 3, 2019