Netflix and the idea of what is a “real movie” has been at the forefront of the cinematic conversation from Cannes to this past year’s Oscars. The answer is not that complicated. Of course a Netflix original should be deemed a movie, it’s an unequivocal non-dilemma. The reason why this question is even being asked to begin with is because a monetary loss is involved for Hollywood bigwigs, they are too scared Netflix will take over and empty their bank accounts.
I was told by more than a few Academy voters that they down-voted Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” in their preferential ballot for this year’s Oscars, which could be why “Green Book” ended up snatching the Best Picture prize last Sunday. To further promote that agenda, Anti-Netflix advocate Steven Spielberg campaigned for “Green Book” at-the-last-minute, even being quoted as saying that it was “the best buddy-comedy since “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” and that “a vote for “Green Book” is a vote for cinema.” Yikes.
Spielberg is set to meet the Academy to re-evaluate it’s stance on the streaming service thanks, in part, to his insistence that Netflix films should “not compete for the Oscars and only Emmys.” According to IndieWire, Spielberg is very much at the forefront of the discussions and will be very vocal at the Academy Board of Governors meeting scheduled for April.
A spokesperson for Amblin Entertainment said, “Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation. 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 Academy backed up that information by saying, “Awards rules discussions are ongoing with the branches. And the Board will likely consider the topic at the April meeting.”
Will new qualifying rules be brought forth from these meetings? Who knows, but Netflix releasing a film exclusively in theaters for three weeks, to qualify for Oscar contention, before having it debut in its streaming service has irked plenty.
This is Spielberg and the Academy trying to limit streaming services from dominating the Oscars, simple as that. Spielberg is not just a director, he’s also a multi-million dollar producer and he is worried that his bank account will be shrinking with Netflix all-but-dominating the industry in the coming years.