Spike Lee had a Kanye West moment during Saturday evenings Governors Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gave the veteran director an honorary Academy Award for his amazing career work, and during the ceremony he gave an epic 17 minute long acceptance speech that included putting Hollywood on blast for it’s lack of diversity.
“I don’t know if you noticed but the United States census bureau says by the year 2043, white Americans are going to be the minority in this country,” said Lee. “And all you people out there in the position of hiring, you better get smart because you’ll work for us. Reflect what this country looks like. Honestly, it’s easier to be president of the United States than the head of a studio or head of network.”
HipHollywood caught up with Lee Monday morning while he was promoting his new film Chi-Raq and asked if he felt the recognition was long over due. “You already know the answer to that. I don’t even have to say it,” he laughed. “I’m glad my wife Tonya didn’t have to wheel me out there with drool coming down my mouth … I’m happy it wasn’t like that.”
Lee was nominated for an Oscar, but didn’t win, for Do The Right Thing and his documentary Four Little Girls. On Saturday evening, Wesley Snipes, Denzel Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson were on hand to present him with the award, and also talked about working with him on films like Malcolm X, Jungle Fever and Mo’ Better Blues.
Check out the video above from highlights from the show, and click here if you want to hear Lee’s entire speech.
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