Hollywood’s Stake in Spielberg v. Netflix


Streaming service films like “Roma” should not be held back from the Oscar, regardless of Spielberg’s opinions. (Courtesy of Flickr)

By Chris DiMieri

A well-known titan of the film industry recently made controversial comments during this past Oscar season. Steven Spielberg, one of the biggest names in cinema, brought up a point that made some on the internet, and fans of Netflix, fire into a defensive uproar.

An individual on Spielberg’s team has come out and said that “Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation,” which opened up a dialogue on the future of the filmmaking award process.

Netflix caught wind of Spielberg’s comments and posted a tweet that stated: “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.”

Condemning a film because of its outlet is inexcusable for anyone within the industry. To understand what it takes to produce a film and be knowledgeable about the effort that goes into the craft and still criticize a work because of the platform it is produced on.

Steven Spielberg is a legend and one of my personal idols when it comes to art.

Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” is my favorite film to date and is a film I have rewatched countless times throughout my life. He has five Oscars and is held to the highest prestige about any of his comments regarding the industry.

This controversy came after the film “Roma” by Alfonso Cuarón took home three Oscars at the 91st Academy Awards, being a huge name at the distinguished award show.

It appears that Spielberg believes Netflix movies should be nominated for Emmys instead of Oscars, which just doesn’t hold ground. Many Twitter users clapped back at Spielberg and Netflix set the tone with their passive-aggressive tweet.

To me, it seems that this situation highlights a deeper issue regarding the industry. It demonstrates how industrial heads are scared. With modern technology and services like the streaming industry, it appears more and more that the classic movie experience of theaters is becoming obsolete, or at least is feared to be.

I believe that that streaming a film and going to the moves are different experiences and that movie theaters still have a huge place in viewing cinema, and will never go away.

But I do not believe streaming services products should be discredited from awards, and especially not the Oscars. Netflix does nothing but give art a platform, and to consider that art different from that in a theater is wrong.

If one were to take the movie “Roma” and put it on the big screen, it would still be the same movie as the one on a living room television.

Any artistic work should not be discredited because it is more accessible and accessibility should not be condemned.

As the price of movies increases many people find themselves staying in, putting on their favorite streaming service and enjoying their night without the trip to the cinema. If that streaming service contains content that is substantially better than what is on the big screen, I do not see a reason why it should not be victorious over its rivaling motion pictures.


Chris DiMieri, FCRH ’20, is an English and psychology major from Manhassset, New York.