Spielberg thinks Netflix films should not be eligible for Oscars

Spielberg thinks Netflix films should not be eligible for Oscars

Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One is only a week away, and the hype is pretty high. It has received positive reviews internationally already, and the Spielberg tag never hurts. During one media interaction for the promotion of the film, Spielberg has said that Netflix films should not be eligible for the Academy Awards. Netflix, by far the largest streaming service in the world, is only now making inroads into the Academy. This time around, Netflix’s Mudbound was nominated in four categories. Rachel Morrison was nominated for her cinematography and became the first ever woman to be nominated in that category.
Spielberg said during an ITV interview, “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.”
This is an interesting statement. One thing is clear – we will not see a Netflix movie by Steven Spielberg anytime soon. Platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video have become the sanctuary for many small, independent films that do not get accepted by big studios. But films that are predominantly smalls-screen be considered by the Academy that specifically rewards theatrical cinema? The statement may be deemed self-serving, but Spielberg may have a point.
Spielberg also talked about how television is posing a threat to the big-screen cinema. But he also pointed out television did the same in 1950s as well, since the people preferred to consume programmes from the comfort of their homes than go to theatres. “[TV] is a challenge to cinema the same way television in the early 1950s pulled people away from movie theaters and everybody stayed home, because it was more fun to stay home and watch a comedy on television in the 1950s than it was to go out and see a movie,” he said.
“So Hollywood’s used to that, we’re accustomed to being highly competitive with television. The difference today is that a lot of studios would rather just make branded, tentpole, guaranteed box office hits from their inventory of branded successful movies than take chances on smaller films. And those smaller films the studios used to make routinely are now going to Amazon and Hulu and Netflix,” Spielberg added.