movies

Why Spike Lee tried to walk out of the Oscars when the Best Picture was announced.

As Green Book was announced as the Best Picture at this year’s Oscars, Spike Lee attempted to walk out.

Lee, the director of Best Picture nominated film BlackKklansman, was upset with Green Book‘s win so he tried to leave the Dolby Theatre in protest, before ushers stopped him from leaving.

Following the ceremony, Lee shouted “This is my sixth glass – and you know why,” as he wandered into the backstage interview room.

Video by Mamamia

He sipped from his glass before he compared the Oscars to a basketball game.

“I thought I was courtside at the [Madison Square] Garden and the ref made a bad call.”

Though he took home the award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Lee told reporters he was “snakebit”.

“Every time someone’s driving somebody I lose,” he said, in reference to when his film Do The Right Thing failed to be nominated for Best Picture in 1990, the year that Driving Miss Daisy won.

ADVERTISEMENT

Green Book follows the true story of black concert pianist Dr Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali) and his white driver Tony “Lip” Vallelonga in America’s deep south in 1962.

Black musicians who travelled to the South were often met with racial slurs and violence and not long before Shirley hired Lip, fellow performer Nat King Cole was brutally assaulted on stage in Alabama by the Ku Klux Klan.

As the pair travelled together, Lip becomes increasingly horrified by the racism shown towards Dr Shirley and intervenes in racist incidents throughout their journey.

The film, which was written by Lip’s son Nick Vallelonga, has been criticised for perpetuating the “white saviour” stereotype, and Dr Shirley’s family have criticised the film’s “symphony of lies” that depicted the musician as “embarrassed by his blackness,” which they deny.

Nick Vallelonga told Variety that Dr Shirley himself told him not to speak to his family while writing the screenplay.

“He only allowed me to tell what happened on the trip. Since [the family] were not on the trip – this is right out of his mouth – he said, ‘No one else was there but your father and I. We’ve told you.’ And he approved what I put in and didn’t put in. So obviously, to say I didn’t contact them, that was hard for me because I didn’t want to betray what I promised him,” he said in January.

He said the film is about love and people coming together.

Social media users have also taken aim at Green Book, claiming it won because mainstream audiences are only comfortable with stories about race when they are told from a white perspective.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Spike Lee used his (first-ever) Oscars win for Best Adapted Screenplay to speak about black history and his own family’s history of slavery before speaking about the upcoming 2020 Presidential election.

“Let’s all be on the right side of history,” he said. “Make the moral choice between love versus hate.”

Lee did not name President Donald Trump, but Trump has taken to Twitter to call the speech a “racist hit” on him before claiming he had done more for African Americans than “almost” any other president.

00:00 / ???