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Netflix defends its place in the Oscars after Steven Spielberg calls for its ban from the Academy Awards

Steven Spielberg has called for streaming service Netflix to be banned from the Oscars after it won three awards and ten nominations. Credit: AP

Netflix has defended its place in the Oscars after Steven Spielberg called for the streaming service to be excluded from the awards.

In a tweet, Netflix said the service existed to give people "who can't always afford, or live in town without, theatres" access.

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Netflix irked Mr Spielberg's ire after its film Roma won three Oscars and ten nominations this year.

A spokesperson for Mr Spielberg's production company, Amblin, explained why the director felt so strongly about the streaming service.

The spokesperson told IndieWire: “Steven feels strongly about the difference between the streaming and theatrical situation.

“He’ll be happy if the others will join [his campaign] when that comes up [at the Academy Board of Governors meeting].

"He will see what happens.”

Ben Affleck said despite the 'controversy' it was 'fun' to be a part of what Netflix is doing. Credit: AP

However, not everyone in Hollywood has been quick to take Mr Spielberg's side.

Actor and director Ben Affleck said it was "fun" to be part of what Netflix is doing.

He said: "Already, people are watching movies on more and more platforms than they ever had, and you get a sense that your part of sort of the emerging transition.

"I'm not exactly sure how it's gonna 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."

Film director and screenwriter Ava DuVernay also pointed out on Twitter how the streaming service promotes diversity within the industry.

She tweeted: "One of the things I value about Netflix is that it distributes black work far/wide."

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One of the main criticisms aimed at films such as Roma is that it only had a short run at the cinemas.

Mr Spielberg's argument is Netflix's TV films should have a place at the Emmys but not at the Oscars.

According to IndieWire the studios' main complaints against Netflix include the service's lack of box office numbers and its limited theatrical exclusivity.