Netflix scored a big victory at the Oscars.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will keep its current eligibility rules for the Oscars, despite calls to crack down on streaming services over their theatrical release windows.
The Academy's board of governors voted to maintain the rule that a feature-length film must run for one week in an Los Angeles County theater to qualify for Best Picture.
Netflix has seen major success at the Oscars recently, landing its first Best Picture nomination with Alfonso Cuarón's "Roma." But some influential Hollywood insiders began to grumble that Netflix and other streamers were taking away from the cinematic experience.
Steven Spielberg, who sits on the board of governors, was one of those critics. He has previously said, "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."
Other filmmakers who have worked with Netflix, including Cuarón and Ava DuVernay, came out in support of streamers' broad distribution power.
In a statement, Academy President John Bailey said, "We support the theatrical experience as integral to the art of motion pictures, and this weighed heavily in our discussions,”
“Our rules currently require theatrical exhibition, and also allow for a broad selection of films to be submitted for Oscars consideration. We plan to further study the profound changes occurring in our industry and continue discussions with our members about these issues.”