Spike Lee Is Awarded Honorary Oscar, Calls For More Diversity In Hollywood

Above: Spike Lee called for diversity on Saturday night as he accepted a lifetime achievement Oscar during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 7th annual Governors Awards

Filmmaker Spike Lee told an audience of entertainment heavyweights that it’s easier for a black person to become President of the United States than to become head of a Hollywood studio or network.

Lee made the remarks on Saturday night when he, along with actress and philanthropist Debbie Reynolds, and Gena Rowlands received Honorary Oscars for their contribution to cinema at the Academy’s annual Governors Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California.

The always provocative Lee, who relayed U.S. census data to the audience to make his point.

“By the year 2043, white Americans are going to be a minority in this country. And all you people out there in the position of hiring, you better get smart. Because your work force should reflect what this country looks like,” he said.

He added, “Everybody in here probably voted for Obama, but when I go to offices, I see no black folks except for the brother man at the security [gate] who checks my name off the list as I go into the studio.”

Lee closed out his speech noting: “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.” He made it clear actions speak louder than words. “So we can talk ‘yabba yabba yabba’ but we need to have a serious conversation about diversity and get some flavor up in this!”

“We have a long way to go,” he said.

Portions of the untelevised ceremony may be included in the 2016 Academy Awards telecast.


Tags: Academy Awards, Debbie Reynolds, Oscars, Spike Lee

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