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Spike Lee Accepts Honorary Oscar But Won’t Give Hollywood a Pass for Lack of Diversity

Spike Lee finally got his Oscar. The director accepted the honorary statue at this weekend’s Governors Awards, but it’s his acceptance speech that has people talking.

The celebrated director never shied away from taking Hollywood to task over its politics and this time was no different. Lee pulled no punches when calling out the industry on its lack of racial diversity.

“This industry is so behind sports, it’s ridiculous,” said Lee. “It’s easier to be the president of the United States as a Black person than to be the head of a studio. Honest. Or the head of a network.”

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Lee continued, saying, “I’m getting real here. Everybody here probably voted for Obama. But when I go to offices, I see no Black folks, except for the brother man who is the security guard who checks my name as I go into the studio.”

This experience can definitely be applied to other industries as well.

During his speech, Lee did thank Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for her five-year plan to get Hollywood executives to hire a more racially diverse workforce.

“President, keep it going,” he said. “I know it’s tough. We have a long way to go.”

Lee’s honorary Oscar was presented to him by Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes, all actors he’s worked with.

Jackson compared Lee’s politics to “an American anarchist.”

“I like that about him,” said Jackson.

Washington said, “Spike Lee has put more African-Americans to work in this business than anyone else.”

We’re expected to be getting another ‘Spike Lee joint” next month when Lee’s Chi-raq, which is already causing controversy, opens in theaters December 4.

Watch Spike’s hilarious speech now!


“Everybody in here probably voted for Obama, but when I go into your offices I don’t see no black folks!” Spike Lee just gave the realest Oscar (honorary) acceptance speech in recent memory.

Posted by The Peak on Sunday, November 15, 2015

Brittney Fennell

Brittney Fennell

Brittney is the Associate Editor of Jawbreaker and a writer who has goals to disrupt culture in ways unseen.