Spike Lee Slams Hollywood Diversity While Accepting Oscar at 2015 Governors Awards (VIDEO)
The Academy Awards are still months away, but the 2015 Governors Awards were held last night, with honorary Oscars awarded to three stars who’ve never won Hollywood’s biggest honor.
Debbie Reynolds, Spike Lee and Gena Rowlands were the honorees at the 2015 Governors Awards, with some of the biggest stars in Hollywood presenting the awards. Unfortunately, Reynolds could not attend in person to accept her award due to her recovery from a recent surgery. But Jane Fonda and Meryl Streep were on-hand to present the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Reynolds and accept it on her behalf. Reynolds is an icon of such films as Singin’ In the Rain, How The West Was Won, and The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and she has spent a lot of her career committed to humanitarian efforts as well as various philanthropic endeavors. So this award was well-earned, and not just from her considerable contributions to the film industry through her film resume.
Meanwhile, Laura Linney, Cate Blanchett and son Nick Cassavetes presented the award to Gena Rowlands, a legend who’s made her mark in such films as Gloria, A Woman Under the Influence, and The Notebook.
But the real story of the night centered on Spike Lee. Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington and Wesley Snipes presented an Oscar to Lee, the Oscar-nominated director behind such modern classics as Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, School Daze and Mo’ Better Blues. However, upon accepting the award, he spoke out against the Hollywood diversity problem.
“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. “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.”
Lee would go on to congratulate Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs for adding diversity to the Academy, telling her to “keep it going”, while also noting that it’s easier for a black man to become president of this country than become president of a major studio in Hollywood. “We have a long way to go,” he ended.
It was an emotional night, and you can watch it all by checking out the videos below:
Congratulations to all the award recipients!
And for more movie news, watch an even NEWER trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens with even more new footage!