At least four trips, which included stays in luxury hotels and private meetings with filmmakers and actors, have paid Netflix during 2019 to multiple film critics and members of the juries of the most important awards in the industry.
This was revealed by The Washington Post based on testimonies from a dozen interviews with members of the field, many of whom spoke on condition of anonymity regarding the process, considered as the prelude to the Academy Awards.
According to the publication, travel has become a point of conflict for an industry recently beset by the deep pockets of the Silicon Valley giants.
The controversy took flight after meeting the nominees for the Critics ’Choice Movie Awards, prizes in which Netflix films and series monopolized 61 nominations, almost double that of their closest competitor.
The streaming giant also boasts the feature film with the most nominations, thanks to 14 of Martin Scorsese's The Irish, and three of the seven nominations for Best Actor, with Robert de Niro (The Irish), Adam Driver (Story of a Marriage) and Eddie Murphy (My name is Dolemite).
Netflix has sent journalists from the voting body, which includes about 400 media critics from across the United States, to Los Angeles and New York on expensive trips. His critics say that marks a potential violation of both the protocol of the awards and the ethics of journalism, the media said.
Press representatives, added the version, were housed in hotels such as W, Four Seasons and Beverly Hilton, Los Angeles, as well as JW Marriott Essex House in New York.
An executive of a rival company that asked for the reservation of his identity assured that there was no reason for the journalists to be there, there were no (significant) stories coming out of there. It was simply (a way of) spending money on them to vote for their movies.
Without delving into the critics, a Netflix spokeswoman replies to The Washington Post: We are incredibly proud of our films and we are focusing on that. Hosting members of the media in congresses, press conferences and events is a long-standing industry practice, and one that all studies use.