Helen Mirren took a swipe at streaming service Netflix as she took to the stage at Cinemacon on Tuesday (02Apr19).
The veteran British actress appeared at the annual event to promote her upcoming movie The Good Liar with her director Bill Condon and won a big cheer from the crowd of cinema owners and Hollywood studios for praising the cinema experience and dissing their competitor Netflix.
“I love Netflix, but f**k Netflix,” she said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s nothing like sitting in the cinema and the lights go down… I would like to thank you guys for making that environment possible.”
The Queen star’s remarks prompted plenty of laughter from the crowd, who she entertained with a story about how she won the best up-and-coming actress award at ShoWest, CinemaCon’s predecessor, at the very start of her film career.
The Good Liar segment was part of the Warner Bros. presentation, which also included director Todd Phillips showing footage of Joker, starring Joaquin Phoenix, and Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader and James McAvoy showing footage from horror It: Chapter Two. Other films featured in the presentation included The Kitchen, The Goldfinch, Motherless Brooklyn, and Godzilla: King of Monsters.
Mirren’s Netflix comments come at a time of high tension between filmmakers and streaming companies, something which gained momentum after Netflix won three Oscars this year for Roma. Following the ceremony, it was revealed that director Steven Spielberg was trying to lobby the Academy to change its eligibility rules in a bid to shut streamers out.
On Tuesday Variety reported that officials at the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) had sent a letter to Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) chief executive Dawn Hudson expressing concerns that the proposed rule changes could “suppress competition” and warning her that limiting the eligibility of Netflix and other streaming services for the Oscars could raise antitrust concerns and violate competition law.