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Netflix Hits Back After Steven Spielberg Oscars Backlash

Spielberg And Netflix Feud Escalates Netflix has hit back at an apparent backlash to its eligibility for the Oscars from filmmaker Steven Spielberg. The streaming service – which saw...

Spielberg And Netflix Feud Escalates

Netflix has hit back at an apparent backlash to its eligibility for the Oscars from filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

The streaming service – which saw its critically acclaimed film “Roma” win three of the 10 Academy Awards it was nominated for this year – posted a tweet listing the benefits of being able to watch films online.

Netflix tweeted: “We love cinema. 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.”

It comes after reports that Spielberg, the legendary director behind films including “Jurassic Park”, “ET” and “Saving Private Ryan”, has criticized Netflix’s inclusion at the Oscars. Spielberg, who is a member of the Academy, is said to be in support of rule changes to be discussed at an upcoming meeting of the organization’s board of governors, which could disqualify Netflix from the Oscars.

He has previously said that TV films should compete for Emmys, but not Academy Awards. Spielberg’s production company Amblin Entertainment told IndieWire last week: “Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation.”

The criticism of Netflix has created much online debate over the past few days, with many arguing that the streaming service has been an important supporter of minority filmmakers and stories. In the UK, Vue cinemas founder and chief executive Tim Richards has written to BAFTA to say that the win for “Roma” for the best film should be disqualified.

But many have spoken out in support of Netflix.

Franklin Leonard, who founded The BlackList, which surveys the best-unproduced scripts in Hollywood, pointed out that Netflix’s first four major Oscar campaigns – “Beasts of No Nation”, “The 13th”, “Mudbound”, and “Roma” – were all by and about people of color.

“It’s possible that Steven Spielberg doesn’t know how difficult it is to get movies made in the legacy system as a woman or a person of color,” he said. “In his extraordinary career, he hasn’t exactly produced or executive produced many films directed by them.”

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