It's amazing that Spike Lee has gone this many years into his career without earning an Oscar. With such a wide array of films, such as his seminal work Do the Right Thing to Malcolm X, 25th Hour, and documentaries like When the Levees Broke and 4 Little Girls, he's managed a couple of nominations but never an actual victory. So when he finally earned an honorary Academy Award over the weekend, Lee took the opportunity to get everything he's wanted to say off his chest, and he let Hollywood have it.
Lee took it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the lack of diversity in Hollywood, not just in the kinds of movies they make but for the power structure behind those movies...
“We can talk, you know, yabba, yabba, yabba, but we need to have some serious discussion about diversity, and get some flave up in this!" He continued, “This industry is so far behind sports, it’s ridiculous. It’s easier to be president of the United States as a black person than be head of a studio. Honest.”
But it wasn't all an admonishment towards Hollywood, Lee also talked about his love of film and how it changed his life....
"I don't say I found film. Film found me."
Check out Lee's acceptance speech below, including the introduction by Wesley Snipes, Denzel Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson, three of his greatest collaborators.