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Video: Spike Lee Calls Out Hollywood Racism In Honorary Oscar Speech
Iconic director Spike Lee received an Honorary Academy Award at the Governors Awards ceremony Saturday night at the Dolby Theater at Hollywood and Highland. And, in a not-unsurprising turn of events for the outspoken director, he had some things to say about racism and Hollywood.
Flanked by Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Wesley Snipes waiting off to the side of the stage, Lee began the speech by pointing out his flashy gold "Oscar edition Air Jordans" which you can see glistening in all their glory on his Instagram here:
At about 18 minutes long, there's a lot of really good stuff in there, and the whole speech is worth a watch; Lee describes bits of his family history, his path to filmmaking, growing up in Brooklyn, and gives props to his wife, whom he credits with helping him flesh out his female characters. But here are some of the gems from the speech:
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. So we can talk, ‘yada yada yada,’ but we need to have some serious discussion about diversity and get some flavor up in this.
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 ended the speech by saying, "It's easier to be President of the United States as a black person, than be the head of a studio or head of network."
Here's Spike with Denzel, Samuel L. Jackson and Wesley Snipes, who co-presented the award to Lee.