Netflix Movies Shouldn't Qualify For The Oscars, Steven Spielberg Says

The acclaimed and veteran director discusses the threat of Netflix and more in a new interview.

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The medium of TV--including Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon--presents a "clear and present danger" to traditional film, veteran and award-winning movie director Steven Spielberg said in a new interview. In the same interview, the director said Netflix movies should not be able to qualify for the Academy Awards. Speaking to ITV News, Spielberg said TV today is better than it's ever been in terms of writing, performance, and directing, and this is a threat to the film business. Competition of course is nothing new, but what's different today according to Spielberg is that companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu are picking up some of the smaller films that might not be guaranteed hits at the box office.

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

Spielberg's Oscar-nominated The Post is an example of a "smaller" film, but the director said he still wanted to make it because it was a passion project of sorts. Not only that, but any project with Spielberg's name attached is sure to get a lot of attention and awareness. "I'll still make The Post, asking [the audience] to please go out and see The Post and not make it directly for Netflix," he said.

Spielberg is of course in a unique position. He is one of the biggest and most respected names in Hollywood and presumably does not need to worry about financing and can release his movies wherever he wants. The same cannot be said for everyone.

Some movies that air on services like Netflix and Amazon have limited theatrical runs so they can qualify for the Academy Awards. Spielberg took a hard line against this, saying that this loophole should be closed.

"Once you commit to a television format, you're a TV movie," he said. "You certainly--if it's a good show, you deserve an Emmy. But not an Oscar. I don't believe that films that just given token qualifications in a couple of theatres for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination."

As Entertainment Weekly reminds us, the official Academy rules state that feature-length movies need to be shown in Los Angeles county for seven straight days to be considered.

Netflix's drama Mudbound earned multiple Oscar nominations this year, while the Russian doping documentary Icarus won the Best Documentary Oscar this year.

Spielberg has been nominated for 17 Oscars, winning three; he is a member of the Academy's board of governors. His next movie, Ready Player One, opens in the US on March 29.

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Lamesy

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Edited By Lamesy

Did he not even hear about Netflix back when they were mail-in DVD? They literally started as a movie rental company, and didn't become famous for original TV programming until like 5 years ago. He should at least be calling their films "direct to video" if he wants to make any sort of argument, not "TV format."

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Rmokeefe76

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Steve thinks that inclusion and “inclusion riders” should only apply to superficial traits, like skin color or gender.

Not to non-millionaire people who make films.

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Rmokeefe76

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Not very inclusive of you, Steve.

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XenomorphAlien

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Why? A lot of Netflix movies are pretty good. I mean, have you seen what crap Hollywood has shat out over the past 2-3 years?

Hell, there's barely been any good movies so far this year, and we're a quarter in.

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so_hai

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Start the Annual Netflix "Flickies" Awards and make it so Hollywood films can't enter.

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datriax

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Edited By datriax

Sounds more to me that "traditional film" is the clear and present danger to itself, for being far too comfortable with no competition and owning the media entertainment industry.

It's a bad thing that these companies you attack, are bringing lesser known projects to light?

According to this idiot, Oscars are only for those who risk bankruptcy by pressing their movie in to theaters. I never realized just how big of a f***in moron Spielberg is.

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bigmikeOK

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@datriax: He has a differing opinion. I happen to understand but disagree with it. He is far from an "idiot".

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Hagan

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guy is completely out of touch. Basically, he just wants less competition. What you just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I've ever heard. At no point in your ramblings did you make any sort of counter argument. You have wasted everyone in this articles time, and we are now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Javelin10

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he's become the old man who yells "Get off my lawn!!.... Bunch of no good netflix films..."

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al89lan

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Sad to read one of my favourite directors be so elitist.

I guess the Oscars are all about elitism; but the simple answer to giving out awards is to hand them out to the person/film who deserves it most. Whether it's a $100 film made in Peru, or a $100,000,000 made in Hollywood. They celebrate the 'BEST' of their field. So they should be rewarding the movie that offers the best product.

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Blibdoolpoolp

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Shut up, Spielberg. If your movie can't win over another film, regardless of where it was shown, it doesn't deserve to win.

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Phazevariance

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Honestly, just sounds like an old man complaining that his prestigious award has more competition. When you think about it, movies back 30 years ago had much smaller budgets and different formats, and by today's standards, would be classified under his 'tv format' view. Yet, back then, with those formats, he was winning Oscars. Honestly too, those awards shows are completely rigged and voted on by a small group of people who can easily be bribed, or swayed by their connections to the directors directly.

Complete BS steve.

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alucardswrath

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This is just his ego talking. He probably sees himself forgotten if netflix keeps pumping out movies that are better that Hollywood garbage.

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Millionsedge

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The times they are a-changin.

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StonerDemon

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If all Hollywood's going to offer is awful remakes that no one asked for and myriads of hero movies, then I say hell yes to Nextflix movies in the Oscars.

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blitxxx1981

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Edited By blitxxx1981

Is Steven also the idiot that boosted Kathleen Kennedy up the chain, the dumb ass who is destroying everything about Star Wars now?

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suprsolider

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@blitxxx1981:

Yep, Steven talked Lucas into putting Kathleen Kennedy in charge of Lucasfilm.

At the time Kathleen was working for Spielberg.

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blitxxx1981

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Edited By blitxxx1981

@suprsolider: errr, SHAME ON HIM! he couldn't see all of the pain, hate, & suffering that Star Wars would become; that she would grow to the Dark Side and be promoted to Emperor and be destined to destroy it all, lols :-(

lols, you said "talked Lucas into putting Kathleen Kennedy in charge of Lucasfilm"; do you think that was Steve's way of promoting (getting rid of) her? lols

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ToadstoolPeach

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Hollywood is slowly dying and will be replaced with Netflix and those like it eventually.

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ballaShotCaller

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I agree, they are tv movies cause you watch them on your tv!

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LiveDreamPlay

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Yes, that's the problem with the oscars, that they're taking netflix movies into account, not that they're constantly pushing a political agenda and people are losing interest...

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xNSHD

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**** off dude just because streaming is eating away at hollywood and you can see a future when you are no longer relevant or needed.

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TechAddikt

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Edited By TechAddikt

Hollywood is it's own worst enemy. Over the years they have become too focused on supplying each other with fresh meat to use and abuse. Their awards show has broken the record for lowest ratings, every consecutive year, because they alienate half the country with their preaching. The awards show usually focuses on movies that nobody saw or cares about. (The ratings aren't down because people are watching their phones or streaming services in their home, as has become the excuse. I'm old enough to remember when the Academy Awards was a big event, and almost everybody watched it. Now it is barely on anyone's radar.

On the other hand, you have Netflix doing what Hollywood used to do, focus on making movies and putting butts in seats.

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KatzClawz

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Edited By KatzClawz

The Academy only votes for movies no one saw. Netflix movies are doing well, getting better after every one. Their limited series are going to be the key to the future of viewing. To me a "Critically Acclaimed" movie means not liked by the public . Funny how everyone I talk to liked Bright and Altered Carbon. But the critics didn't like them. Well I am hyper critical of the critics and I think they are just stuffy old fapping farts...

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deactivated-5b2c8e0382c99

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I completely agree with him. I don’t think Netflix films should be allowed consideration for the Academy Awards. Should straight to DVD films be considered? No. That’s what’s Netflix is, just with bigger budgets. They’re not to be taken as seriously as real tentpole movies. People will argue this with me, but this is how I see it. Netflix just doesn’t have a place in Hollywood with the big players.

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skippert

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Edited By skippert

@frosty988: This is bull - Why when Netflix films could have the potential to be as good as one of Spielberg's flicks should it not be considered? Sounds more like Spielberg is afraid of change. I think that if a film deserves the price then it should win it regardless of platform. Its about the quality of the film not the platform that has released the film.

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smashthestars

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@skippert: its just one of those cases of someone who's already made it, being picky about things most people dont care about. Its a control thing. People in an elite group want to control who else can be part of it. Netflix is shaking up all of hollywood. Its a good thing.

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Redblaze27

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Redblaze27  Online

I think the Oscars should just be abolished.

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Nadsat-77

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Edited By Nadsat-77

FVCK THE OSCARS! -Joseph Fares

A wise man.

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deactivated-5c66a5fc40886

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It's called free market for a reason. If people care for the "smaller" movies then there will be a demand and someone will continue to produce them. And if people don't care then ...

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mpl911

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I have a lot of respect for Steven Spielberg, obviously, but I can't help thinking that if they'd kept the ticket prices down for going out to the cinema to sit and watch a film, then Netflix and Amazon probably wouldn't even be here - certainly not in their current forms.

The fact is that going to a cinema costs at least £15 each, before getting to the cinema and before paying £5 for a drink (!?!?) and another £3 for an enormous pack of minstrels. For a couple, you won't get much change out of £50 - to watch a 2-hour film. The prices are kept so high by the actors and their agents "needing" millions of pounds for each film they make. For that you can get Netflix UHD service (for 4 tv's!!!) for 5 months. I know where my money's going.

Also - frankly - who cares about the oscars anyway? Apart from all the lovies who get to pose and pout on a red carpet for a few minutes and bore us about who they're "wearing" tonight. Does anyone really care about them now? Imo there's always been 2 types of film - the type made to win oscars (The Piano anyone??) and the type made to entertain the masses.

Sorry Steven - times have changed.

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Louis

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@mpl911: I agree with you about the rising price of movies. In my area they avg $12-$14 for a standard (non-3D, IMAX,...) show. That has chased me from the theaters and yes, that's one reason I subscribed to Netflix.

Side note, I currently use MoviePass which for a flat fee a month - $7.50 I can see a film a day. But once they go out of business I'll be staying home again.

To save money, I eat at home before (or after) my show. I just can't afford the snacks they overcharge for.

The studios and theaters are destroying their own industry. Netflix and the others are creating better fare or giving an outlet to those films, after being made and deemed not profitable enough to be booked, a chance to be seen.

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ginxeno

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While i do agree that there's already an award for TV show (Emmy), the statement "I don't believe that films that just given token qualifications in a couple of theatres for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination." is confusing

If a movie goes into theatres, doesn't matter for less than a week or a year, and it has an Oscar quality, how come it shouldn't qualify?

So the Oscar is based on how many theatres and how long it runs on it? i don't think so, even most of the "Oscar winning" nowadays never being that successful unlike the old days (Titanic, Gladiator, LoTR)

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Louis

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@ginxeno: Yes! He doesn't define how he would update the current rules that make a film eligible to be considered for an Oscar.

Plus, no studio would even waste the time and cost for the week run if a film doesn't have a shot. But if it does, it deserves it. With the number of big budget robot films and what not, some of these smaller films just can't get a chance to get in the door. This gives them a chance to compete. Critics complain of the summer-blockbuster-nonsense, but Steven comes along and further supports it.

Easy for him with his name to get anything made or booked. Most other directors don't have that power.

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ginxeno

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@Louis: And also, most of the Movies on the theatres will eventually land on TV, so it's the same

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SOedipus

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Afraid of the competition. Sad!

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bongaconga

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Most of the hollywood actors nowadays became actors due to nepotism. Although Spielberg makes great movies, he shot himself in the foot on that one because he basically chose so many actors himself and will nowhave to accept that there are other industries out there that choose even better actors.

Bob Odenkirk

Jonathan Banks

Bryan Cranston

Just an example of how such 3 actors already 1000000000x better than any otjer current Hollywood actors. Just look at those facial expressions Odenkirk pulls, how a regular too nice of a person gets to a point where he just goes “screw this” and starts doing business with crime.

Such an amazing actor.

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Smosh150

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@bongaconga: Odenkirk is amazing. Have you ever seen the CBS Morning Show segment about him? Watching that made me respect him a hell of a lot more.

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bongaconga

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Edited By bongaconga

@Smosh150: I wish I did. But I have no won in the greencard lottery so far, we do not have CBS over here :( I will try find it on youtube, thanks !!

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mcnichoj

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Streaming services are to Fortnite what Spielberg is to the creator of PUBG. 100% jelly.

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Louis

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So the current rule to be considered for the Oscars is: ...feature-length movies need to be shown in Los Angeles county for seven straight days to be considered.

So what is he suggesting, a longer run? If Netflix/Amazon/Hulu buys a film they can't show it till after the theater run? Is that still a week or longer?

Sorry that not all film makers don't have his clout but I disagree with him. Sounds like he doesn't want the competition. He states, "Once you commit to a television format, you're a TV movie." But the film makers did aim for a theater format! Being shown on TV is just a way to stay in business so they can try again.

Look many films that "they" know won't rate an Oscar will never get that week. But those that are pretty good will, and they deserve the chance. If they win more, maybe Hollywood will create some more decent and original fare. Otherwise, the industry votes on the nominees and winners. If they feel the way Steven does, it will work out their way. They will just vote accordingly. But if they don't, these films will be honored.

Not sure what's going on here, does he feel threatened? "Stay outta my sandbox!" As others have noted, the industry and technology are changing. Maybe we need some new categories?

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sakaiXx

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Hmm interesting. Personally if the movies are good they deserves to be recognized by the oscars or whatever body the give these movie awards but I get why he wants a separation.

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Barighm

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I thought the Oscars was about recognizing the best movies in the industry?

Ah, well. What do I care? I haven't watched the Oscars in years.

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streamline

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@Barighm: if it is open up to any movie in the industry, then the committees will have exponentially more movies to rate, which could get overwhelming and impracticable.

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sakaiXx

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@Barighm: he was just saying movies that dont release in cinema should be called TV movies and its category is in the emmy not the oscars.

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RELeon

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Sooooo if it isn't a big budget AAA box office film and put in theaters for $8-$15 per viewer for months, it cant possibly be good enough to earn a fancy pants Oscar? Basically anything on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc is looked down upon as "lesser" film by people like Spielberg. That is what I am seeing here.

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