Netflix CEO Hastings said he's happy to fight the film industry on streaming

Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix.
Asa Mathat for Vox Media
Reed Hastings, co-founder and CEO of Netflix.

Netflix is happy to defend its straight-to-streaming movies against the global film industry when necessary, CEO Reed Hastings said Wednesday.

"We don't really want a fight with anyone," Hastings said in an interview at the Code Conference on Wednesday. "What we're trying to do is have great movies and have them be shown everywhere. But where someone picks a fight with us, that gets a lot of attention … it's been fantastic for us."

"Sometimes the establishment is clumsy, and they try to shut out the insurgent, and then the insurgent role is to try to play that up," he said.

The comment came after Netflix clashed with the Federation of French Cinemas earlier this month about premiering two of its movies at the Cannes Film Festival.

Netflix's monster movie "Okja" and Noah Baumbach's "The Meyerowitz Stories" were allowed to enter the festival despite protests from French distributors, who said it violated a French law that requires distributors to wait for 36 months after a theatrical release before making them available on streaming platforms.

In response, Hastings posted on Facebook: "The establishment closing ranks against us. See Okja on Netflix June 28th. Amazing film that theatre chains want to block us from entering into Cannes film festival competition."

Still, the festival issued a rule that prevents straight-to-streaming films in 2018.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report.