– by Joseph Jammer Medina

The tension between old Hollywood and new Hollywood is palpable. In the age of streaming, there are some outspoken voices who aren’t fans of services like Netflix, and when it comes to awards, there has been some debate as to whether or not a streaming film should be eligible. One such voice was the titan of the industry himself, Steven Spielberg, who essentially held the opinion that if a movie is on a streaming service, it’s basically a TV movie.

Of course, there are plenty of people out there who disagree with Spielberg’s assessment, myself included. However, when making comments like that, people are bound to make assumptions about certain thoughts — as if he respects streaming films less than theatrical ones. However, according to a new report from the New York Times, Spielberg’s main problem is with exhibitors, not Netflix, as the exhibitors are refusing to compromise on shortening their exclusive period on films, meaning that movies like Roma aren’t allowed to show in some of them.

RELATED – Spielberg Vs. Netflix: Opinion From A Fan In The Middle

Spielberg himself even reportedly implored AMC and Regal to allow Netflix’s Roma to play even if it was available online, and they refused.

“I want people to find their entertainment in any form or fashion that suits them,” Mr. Spielberg told The New York Times. “Big screen, small screen — what really matters to me is a great story and everyone should have access to great stories.”

That being said, there is no denying that he still thinks theaters are an important aspect of movie-watching culture.

“However, I feel people need to have the opportunity to leave the safe and familiar of their lives and go to a place where they can sit in the company of others and have a shared experience — cry together, laugh together, be afraid together — so that when it’s over they might feel a little less like strangers. I want to see the survival of movie theaters. I want the theatrical experience to remain relevant in our culture.”

What do you think of Spielberg’s comments? Do you feel like he’s a bit less out of touch than it may have originally seemed? Is the solution really for theaters to just shorten their exclusive window? Is that really all that needs to happen for a so-called “TV movie” to quality as a theatrical film? Let us know your thoughts down below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.