Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg deny claims that they’ve been trying to block #Netflix movies from competing for Academy Awards.
According to recent reports, DreamWorks founders, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg, have been planning to have Netflix films banned from the annual Post-Oscars meeting. However, according to Katzenberg, himself, the rumors are false.
“I talked to Steven about this yesterday. I asked him very specifically — I don’t have any skin in this game anymore — he said, ‘I absolutely did not say that,'” Katzenberg said, per The Hollywood Reporter. “He actually said nothing.”
“What happened is a journalist was onto a story about this and had heard a rumor about Steven,” Katzenberg added. “They called a spokesperson to get a comment and honestly, just twisted it around. One, Steven didn’t say that, and two, he is not going to the academy in April with some sort of plan. But he has not opined at all, nor has he aligned with some specific thing.”
The hearsay all started when Spielberg said he felt streaming-only movies don’t “play by the same rules” as traditional studio films, and therefore do not deserve to be submitted for Oscar consideration. Additionally, Spielberg was not happy about Netflix’s “Roma” – which was nominated for 10 Oscars – not following the 90-day theatrical window to apply to be considered for an Oscar. The film instead sought a three-week exclusivity release before its debut on Netflix.
Apparently, the rumor that Spielberg was for a Netflix ban was further pushed by a spokesperson from Amblin Entertainment, the film and television production company co-founded by Spielberg, who 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 spokesperson added.
However, during an interview with ITV News in 2018, Spielberg did mention that Netflix films are better suited for the Emmys. “Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. You certainly, if it’s a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar,” he said. “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.”