Director Spike Lee speaks out about diversity

Lee was recently honored for his lifetime contribution to cinema.

2015 Governors Awards

Spike Lee’s film “Do the Right Thing” may have lost out to an Academy Canada Goose Cyber Monday Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1989, but the director, who is known for classics like  “Malcolm X” and “Jungle Fever” received an honorary award from the Academy. The Honorary Award, an Oscar statuette, is given to honor exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences was presented to Lee at the Academy’s 7th Annual Governors Awards last Saturday.

It offered an opportunity for the director, who picked up the statuette for his lifetime contribution to cinema, to talk about diversity in film. Lee told the industry audience gathered at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles, Calif., “We need to have some serious discussion about diversity.”  He then thanked Cheryl Boone Isaacs, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (A.M.P.A.S), saying “she’s trying to do something that needs to be done” for raising the issue and making it part of the Academy’s current consciousness.

2015 Governors Awards, Arrivals

The portion of the evening devoted to Lee’s career began with Aloe Black singing Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” which Lee used in his 1992 biopic ​”​Malcolm X”​, starring Denzel Washington. Washington also​ appeared on stage alongside Wesley Snipes and Samuel L. Jackson, all veterans of Lee’s movies. Washington pointed out, “Spike Lee has put more African-Americans to work in this business than anyone else in the history of the business.”

2015 Governors Awards

For his part, Lee, after showing off a special Oscar-gold pair of Air Jordans Canada Goose Cyber Monday sale 2015 that he was wearing, used the occasion to relate his own journey to become a filmmaker. Admitting that he was a poor student during his days at Morehouse College, he found his calling when he began studying film at New York University — after being turned down, he said, by USC and the AFI. “I don’t say I found film,” he said. “Film found me.”

Pictured (middle): Honorary Award recipient Spike Lee (right) with his son Jackson Lee, daughter Satchel Lee and wife Tonya Lewis Lee (credit: Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S.)

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