Actor Ben Affleck on Saturday sidestepped a question on veteran filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s push for a rule change by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to exclude streaming services for Oscars eligibility.
There have been reports that Spielberg will be speaking with the AMPAS’s Board of Governors to insist for a rule change that will make films made by streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon ineligible for Oscars.
The legendary filmmaker represents the Directors branch of the Academy on the Board.
Asked for a comment on Spielberg’s move, Affleck told reporters, “That’s really a question for interested outside groups and how they define the popular art that they are interested in giving awards to or not or how you are kind of qualified for that.”
“I’m not on the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) or any other group,” he added.
The 46-year-old actor is promoting his upcoming action thriller Triple Frontier here along with co-stars Garrett Hedlund and Charlie Hunnam.
Affleck had previously told AP that it is “fun” partnering with Netflix as they are committed to telling new stories.
“I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to look. There’s some controversy, people have different opinions but it’s definitely also fun to be part of what Netflix is doing because they’re heavily invested in telling stories, they want a lot of stuff out there, and there’s a thrill and a rush and excitement to that,” he said.
Netflix, in its response to Spielberg’s move, had said that the traditional cinema and the digital platforms can coexist in harmony.
“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 streaming giant had said in a statement shared on official Twitter account of Netflix Films on Monday.
At the 91st Academy Awards, Netflix-produced Roma claimed three major honours — Best Foreign Language, Best Director and Best Cinematography — but stopped short of claiming the top prize of Best Picture which was claimed by Green Book.
The Peter Farrelly-directed racial drama, starring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali, had Spielberg’s backing.