Oscars: Steven Spielberg Reportedly Proposing Rule Change That Would Make Netflix Films Ineligible

After Roma nearly won Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards ceremony, Steven Spielberg is looking to shake things up. Reportedly, the legendary filmmaker is going to potentially introduce a rule change to the Academy's Board of Governors that would make films from Netflix — and other streaming platforms, for that matter — ineligible for awards at the annual gala.

First reported by IndieWire, Spielberg has gone on record saying he thinks Netflix properties should be able to compete for Emmy Awards and not Oscars.

“Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation,” a spokesperson for Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment said. “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.”

Roma locked down an astonishing 10 Oscar nominations this year. The production ended up walking away with three awards including Best Director (Alfonso Cuaron), Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Cinematography.

Spielberg isn't alone in this fight, with reports saying other Academy members are arguing that Netflix spent too much marketing Roma ($50 million) ahead of the Oscars and that the streaming giant failed to adhere to proper theatrical release rules already in place. Spielberg represents the Directors branch of the Academy on their Board of Governors.

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

The latest update piggybacks off what Spielberg said last summer, being sure to point out that Netflix is part of "peak TV."

"Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie," said Spielberg. "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."

"Hollywood is used to that, we are accustomed to being highly competitive with television," Spielberg said. "The difference today is that a lot of studios would rather just make branded, tentpole, guaranteed box office hits from their inventory of branded, successful movies than take chances on smaller films. And those smaller films that studios used to make routinely are now going to Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix."

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