LOS ANGELES—Arguing that the streaming service has severely hamstrung the ability of directors to create saccharine, artistically meritless garbage, Steven Spielberg criticized Netflix Tuesday for ruining the golden age of pandering big-budget films produced by media conglomerates. “We were living in a wonderful era of insipid franchise-driven blockbusters when, suddenly, Netflix comes along and screws everything up by giving a platform to underrepresented directors and helping connect audiences across the globe to risk-taking, idiosyncratic films that would never be made by a major studio,” said the director of Ready Player One and Jurassic Park, blasting the streaming service for sabotaging the halcyon days of lowest-common-denominator cinema that gave viewers absolutely no credit and merely indulged their basest instincts. “They should be ashamed. They’ve single-handedly put an end to dull, inoffensive films that privilege melodrama and spectacle over substance, not to mention the fact that they’ve eroded the influence of executives who only care about producing movies that make as much money as possible. There were so many great artists, myself included, who sold out decades ago and, as a result, no longer have the ability to make a movie as resonant as, say, Roma. What will happen to us?” At press time, Steven Spielberg quickly retracted all of his comments and began praising Netflix after the company offered him a multimillion-dollar, two-picture deal.