Steven Spielberg Reportedly Trying to Cut Netflix out of Future Oscar Races

It's no secret Steven Spielberg isn't a fan of Netflix films being nominated, let alone awarded, for an Oscar. Now, he's taking it a step further in hopes that it never happens again in its current form.

The famous director does credit the internet streaming giant to some degree mentioning their films are worthy of an Emmy, just not an Oscar.

"Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation," a 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."

A few complaints that Speilberg is willing to stand behind range from Netflix spending too much money on Oscars marketing for Roma — 50 million which is five times what Universal spent on Green Book topping out at five million. Roma only spent three weeks in theaters and crushed the foreign language distributors. The internet giant also doesn't report the box office or respect the 90 day theatrical window, plus Netflix movies are available to 190 different countries.

According to the Academy, "Awards rules discussions are ongoing with the branches. And the Board will likely consider the topic at the April meeting."

"There's a growing sense that if [Netflix] is going to behave like a studio, there should be some sort of standard," said on governor of the Academy. "The rules were put into effect when no one could conceive of this present or this future. We need a little clarity."

It's a bit unclear as to whether people are outraged just because Netflix is setting a new platform or if they're upset because they're breaking rules. Ironically, box office numbers don't impact Oscar qualifications, some theaters kept Roma for up to 13 weeks, and after rules were passed in 2012, the Academy doesn't require an exclusive theatrical window.

Either way, Spielberg is a current governor of the Academy's director branch and plans to impact changes to the eligibility rules.


Netflix recently took to Twitter with a potential clap-back at the director saying, "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."

Netflix Tweet

Spielberg has opened up about his feelings towards Netflix films being nominated prior to the 2019 Academy Awards, but what put the cherry on top of the already slippery slope, was Alfonso Cuaron's, Roma, winning three Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film, Best Achievement in Directing, and Best Achievement in Cinematography.