Academy Leaves Door Open To Netflix, Others After Tussle Over Eligibility Rules
Added 04-24-19 12:07:02pm EST - “A controversial proposal would have limited the ability of streaming services to compete for Oscars. But after a dust-up that even included the Justice Department, the academy decided against it.” - Npr.org
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A reproduction of an Oscar statuette stands tall at a 2016 media event in Hollywood, Calif. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images hide caption
After weeks of hand-wringing, vote-wrangling and even some stern finger-wagging from the Department of Justice, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has declined to pursue a controversial proposal to change the Oscars' eligibility rules.
That proposal, reportedly pushed by megadirector Steven Spielberg, would have made it difficult for streaming services to compete for the academy's big prizes, by restricting eligibility to just films that got a significant run in theaters. Films that debuted online and only got a limited theatrical release, such as Netflix's 2019 best picture nominee, Roma, simply would have been out of luck.
But when the academy's board of governors released its rules for next year's prize — a book that runs to 35 pages, all told — the would-be changes were not among them.
"We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions," John Bailey, president of the academy, said in a statement released Tuesday night. "Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration."
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