Los Angeles, CA (Variety) — “We love cinema.” That’s how Netflix began a statement it issued on Twitter in response to Steven Spielberg’s reported effort to push for new guidelines regarding the eligibility of movies to compete in the Academy Awards. (Though the connection was obvious, the Netflix statement never mentioned Spielberg by name.)
Spielberg, a member of the Academy’s board of governors, has yet to publicly articulate any proposal. But based on statements he has made (“Once you commit to a television format you’re a TV movie”), and based on the fact that Netflix has already proved its willingness to exhibit an Oscar contender in more than a few movie theaters, it seems likely that Spielberg would push for the Academy to require something like a three-month window between a film’s theatrical release and its availability on streaming services. Any movie that streamed before that wouldn’t be eligible for Oscars. The potential guidelines would be aimed directly at Netflix, with its short-to-nonexistent window. But would that be fair to a company that loves cinema?
We no longer have to watch a movie, even a great one, in a movie theater; that hasn’t been necessary for close to 70 years. Before streaming we … — Owen Gleiberman/@Variety