By Chris Morris
March 4, 2019

Netflix is bristling at Steven Spielberg’s proposal to keep streaming movies from Academy Award contention.

While not mentioning Spielberg by name, Netflix’s film division late Sunday rebuked his plan, which critics have called elitist.

“We love cinema. Here are some things we also love: Access for people who can’t always afford, or live in towns without, theaters. Letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time. Giving filmmakers more ways to share art. These things are not mutually exclusive,” the company said.

Netflix won four Oscars at this year’s Academy Awards for Roma, including Best Director. Under the rules Spielberg plants to propose, the film would have been eligible for a television Emmy award instead.

Spielberg wants to bar films from being considered for Academy awards that debut on streaming services or only have a limited theatrical run.

Spielberg has long been an opponent of streaming service films being part of the Oscar race. Last March, he told ITV News “I don’t believe that films that are given token qualifications, in a couple of theaters for less than a week, should qualify for Academy Award nominations. Once you commit to a television format, you’re a TV movie. If it’s a good show, you deserve an Emmy. But not an Oscar.”

As a member of the Academy’s board of governors, he has the pull to put the idea into formal consideration. Other filmmakers have been less enthusiastic about the idea, though.

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