Spike Lee keeps on winning.
In addition to taking home his first Oscar for BlacKkKlansman at last night’s 91st Academy Awards — and voicing our frustrations over Green Book winning — the veteran filmmaker also managed to piss off President Donald Trump with his acceptance speech.
“When we regain our humanity it will be a powerful moment,” Lee told the crowd at the Dolby Theatre. “The 2020 election is around the corner – let’s all mobilize and be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate,” referencing his own film, 1989’s Do the Right Thing.
Shocker: the Commander in Chief has since offered his own two cents.
“Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes,” Trump tweeted early Monday morning, “or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts,etc.) than almost any other Pres!”
Even though this tweet carries about as much truth as Bohemian Rhapsody, it holds a lot of weight for Lee, who’s been wanting Trump to check out BlacKkKlansman since it was first released last August. “I want the guy in the White House to see it too,” Lee told Reuters at the time. “I don’t say his name though.”
Update: Lee has since responded to Trump’s tweets. “Well, it’s okee-doke, you know,” he told EW with a shrug. “They change the narrative.” He added, “They did the same thing with the African-American players who were kneeling, trying to make it into an anti-American thing, an anti-patriotic thing, and an anti-military thing. But no one’s going for that.”
For more of Lee’s thoughts on Trump, revisit our recent interview with the filmmaker in which he discusses everything from the ramifications of unchecked nostalgia to why America is currently in an age of living dangerously.
Below, you can find video of Lee’s Oscar acceptance speech along with with a full transcription.
The word today is “irony.” The date, the 24th. The month, February, which also happens to be the shortest month of the year, which also happens to be Black History Month. The year, 2019. The year, 1619. History. Her story. 1619. 2019. 400 years.
Four hundred years, our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and bought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved. Our ancestors worked the land from can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night.
My grandmother … who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave. My grandmother, who saved 50 years of social security checks to put her first grandchild — she called me Spikie-poo — she put me through Morehouse College and NYU grad film. NYU!
Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who have built this country into what it is today along with the genocide of its native people. We all connect with our ancestors. We will have love and wisdom regained, we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there.