During a panel at SXSW for his new mobile video company Quibi, Jeffrey Katzenberg addressed the recent controversy surrounding Steven Spielberg and his perceived attempt to block Netflix movies from becoming Oscar-eligible.
“I talked to Steven about this yesterday. I asked him very specifically,” Katzenberg said during the panel. He said, ‘I absolutely did not say that.’ “
Katzenberg said Friday that Spielberg didn’t say anything about Netflix. In fact, he said it was a journalist that took a story and misinterpreted his words.
“What happened is a journalist was onto a story about this and had heard a rumor about Steven,” said Katzenberg. “They called a spokesperson to get a comment and honestly, just twisted it around.”
Katzenberg said Spielberg is not going to the Academy in April with some grand plan to block Netflix. “He has not opined at all, nor has he aligned with some specific thing,” he said.
He added, “[Spielberg] knows there is a realignment coming and he wants everyone to win and prosper.”
Katzenberg, who with Spielberg and David Geffen founded DreamWorks 25 years ago, also said that Spielberg has been giving his own input on Quibi, the short-form mobile platform created by Katzenberg and Meg Whitman. It is now set to launch April 2020.