Ben Affleck supports Netflix amid Steven Spielberg criticism

Ben Affleck attends the "Triple Frontier" World Premiere at Jazz at Lincoln Center on March 3, 2019 in New York City. –Noam Galai/Getty Images

Ben Affleck is currently on the interview circuit ahead of his upcoming Netflix movie “Triple Frontier,’’ so it was no surprise that he defended the streaming giant in an interview with the Associated Press.

Netflix and other film streaming companies are reportedly the subject of a soon-to-be-proposed rule change for the Academy Awards from director Steven Spielberg, according to IndieWire. The award-winning director recently said that he believes films that debut on a home-viewing platform and have only a short, “token’’ theatrical run should not be eligible to win Oscars.

“Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation,’’ an Amblin spokesperson told IndieWire’s Anne Thompson in an article published Thursday. “He’ll be happy if the others will join [his campaign] when that comes up. He will see what happens.’’


On the red carpet before the Sunday New York premiere of “Triple Frontier,’’ Affleck acknowledged the recent controversy, but told the AP he was “excited’’ to join Netflix’s efforts.

“It’s very exciting, because you get the sense that you’re defining where the future of cinema and distribution is going, you know?’’ Affleck said. “Already people are watching movies on more and more platforms than they ever had, and you get a sense that you’re part of sort of this emerging transition. I’m not exactly 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 investing in telling stories. They want to push a lot of stuff out there, and there’s a thrill and a rush and excitement to that.’’

Netflix weighed in through its official Twitter account on Sunday, stating that the company is a fan of cinema, while also highlighting ways the company believes its streaming service can serve as a complement to theatrical releases.

“We love cinema,’’ the company tweeted. “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.’’

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June 18, 2019 | 8:55 AM