The drama didn’t end with the announcement of the last award at the 2019 Oscars, apparently. Word from inside the Dolby Theatre states that after Green Book was confirmed as this year’s Best Picture winner, director (and now Academy Award-winner) Spike Lee attempted to storm out of the theatre in disgust.
The issues with Green Book are well documented, chiefly revolving around the film’s storybook, whitewashed treatment of race relations in the 1960s, coupled with the film’s writers’ various personal indiscretions.
Following the announcement, reports at the Oscars assert Lee was “visibly angry,” and attempted to leave the theatre, only to be blocked by ushers. He subsequently returned to his seat, but only after the speeches concluded.
Spike Lee was visibly angry when “Green Book” was announced as the winner of best picture at the Oscars, waving his arms in disgust and appearing to try to storm out of the Dolby Theatre before he was stopped at the doors. He returned to his seat when the speeches were over.
— Andrew Dalton (@andyjamesdalton) February 25, 2019
Other attendees in the front rows of the theatre also reportedly refused to applaud Green Book‘s win, including Get Out writer/director Jordan Peele.
In a post-ceremony press conference, Lee made his feelings on the matter immediately known, albeit in *something* of a roundabout way.
— Variety (@Variety) February 25, 2019
Lee subsequently dropped an all-time off-the-cuff burn, referencing the fact that Driving Miss Daisy won Best Picture in 1990 in a year where Do The Right Thing wasn’t even nominated in the category even though it probably should’ve been.
Spike Lee: “Every time somebody’s driving somebody, I lose.”
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) February 25, 2019
He also stated quite tersely that “I thought I was court side at [Madison Square Garden] and the refs made a bad call.”
— Complex (@Complex) February 25, 2019
Lee picked up the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for BlacKkKlansman, marking the enduring filmmaker’s first career Oscars win.
Meanwhile Green Book took out the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, in addition to the Best Picture gong.
The difference in on-stage reaction between the two writing Oscars is ah… really something else.
For what it’s worth, Lee tempered his quite obvious annoyance later on, asserting sternly that “even if we didn’t win Best Picture, this film will stand the test of time as being on the right side of history.”
You can’t help but think he’s gonna be right on that one.