The famous director is in the mindset, they should not.
In an interview with ITV News, Spielberg stated that, "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. 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."
Steven Spielberg, currently doing press tours for his new film, Ready Player One, is no stranger to TV movies. He directed a few in his early career. His film Duel, about a driver being endlessly followed by an eighteen-wheeler, got a Golden Globe nomination for Best TV Movie.
The debate started in 2015 when Cary Joji Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation became the first movie released on Netflix. Idris Elba's incredible turn as a tormented war general was critically praised. he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture but was overlooked by the Academy.
Now, Netflix is looking to unveil 80 original movies this year.
Netflix released Mudbound last year, directed by Dee Rees. The movie garnered 4 Oscar nominations including Best Adapted Screenplay and a nomination for Best Cinematography for Rachel Morrison, the first woman nominated in the category. Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th, also released by Netflix, gained a nomination for Best Documentary in 2016.
Many directors and studios are weighing in on the debate which is very divided at the moment. Christopher Nolan, director of Interstellar and Dunkirk, called out Netflix and their chief strategist, Ted Sarandos, for their "bizarre."
At the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, audiences booed the Netflix logo as it preceded the Jake Gyllenhaal film Okja. The festival president, Thierry Fremaux, weighed in saying, "in order for a film to become part of history, it must go through theaters, box office, the critics, the passion of cinephiles, awards campaigns, books, directories, filmographies. All this is part of a tradition on which the history of film is based."
Netflix is becoming more powerful and more involved in the movie industry now, so the debate will surely continue, probably with more auteurs in Hollywood weighing in.
Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One hits theaters this week.