The Trump administration has set its sights on Hollywood as the Justice Department rushes to the aid of popular streaming service Netflix.
The company is in danger of new rules that if enforced, could limit its eligibility for Academy Award contention in the future. Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – including Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg – have been pushing for new regulations that would bar films that premiere on streaming sites like Netflix from awards consideration.
The Justice Department expressed in a letter that the new rules would potentially “suppress competition.” The document states:
“In the event that the Academy – an association that includes multiple competitions in its membership – establishes certain eligibility requirements for the Oscars that eliminate competition without justification, such conduct may raise antitrust concerns.”
Netflix caused quite a stir at the Oscars last February when “Roma” – a film that debuted on the streaming site – won three awards, including best director and best foreign language film.
What’s the irony, here? A Republican administration is now working to assist a platform that has been supporting far-left and anti-Trump material for several years. Among the programs that either are or were featured on Netflix include “The Break,” a talk show hosted by the always unfunny Michelle Wolf. The “comedienne” has never hesitated in her attacks on President Trump, even referring to him as a “racist, fake gynecologist” during a “Daily Show” segment following his 2016 election.
Wolf’s childish attempts at humor – which included stirring the pot of the culture war in an episode called “God Bless Abortions” and spewing vulgarities during a political routine at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner last year – didn’t fly with viewers, and her talk show was ultimately canceled after just three months.
Netflix also offers viewers “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” a program with former “Late Show” host David Letterman. The comedian has been very vocal in his opposition towards President Trump, recently saying he was “disappointed in his administration” and calling the President a “putz” on an episode of “Ellen.”
Perhaps Netflix’s biggest stab at Trump comes in the form of its deal with former president Barrack Obama. The 44th president and his wife Michelle have been in cahoots with the streaming service since mid-2018 to produce a whole new line of shows.
Academy members say they have responded to the Justice Department’s letter. They are currently scheduled to meet on April 23 for their annual awards rules meeting.
Netflix shares rose 0.7% to $370.38 on the day.
Last modified: July 2, 2020 8:23 PM UTC