Netflix Versus Theatrical Distribution Debate Heats Up Amid Spielberg Rule Change
The fight over streaming versus theatrical distribution with regard to award eligibility is heating up.
Steven Spielberg, as the Academy Governor of the directors branch, will reportedly be supporting changes to the awards rules at the annual post-Oscars meeting that would make it harder for a streaming service such as Netflix to be eligible for an Academy Award.
“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 been vocal 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 propose.
“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.”