Netflix CEO Disses Cannes Film Fest After Streamer Pulls Out: There Are ‘a Lot of Other Festivals’

“Why would we wanna do that as a second-rate situation?” Reed Hastings says

Reed Hastings, CEO and co-founder of Netflix, has no second thoughts about pulling out of next week’s Cannes Film Festival, telling Business Insider, “there’s a lot of other festivals: Venice, Toronto, Berlin.”

Earlier this month, Netflix decided to not submit its original films to this year’s Cannes Film Festival, following a 2017 mandate that all eligible titles must get a theatrical release in France to be included in the festival’s main competition.

“If you’re in the theatres in France, you can’t be on Netflix for three years,” Hastings continued. “Our members pay for the films, so we’re not going to delay it for them. We have to be member-first.”

When asked why didn’t Netflix just show the movies outside of the competition, Hastings responded: “Why would we wanna do that as a second-rate situation? Maybe they’ll change [their attitude] over time. It’s not a big deal.”

The prestigious festival made its rule change following protests from European theater owners, who hit the ceiling last year when Netflix strutted titles like Tilda Swinton’s “Okja” in the main competition despite the company’s plans to only stream the film on its digital service and bypass a traditional theatrical release.

Read Hasting’s full interview with Business Insider here.