The Peter Farrelly-directed film, which stars Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, has fielded controversy throughout awards season. It tells the story of an unlikely friendship that blossoms between pianist Dr. Don Shirley and his driver Tony “Lip” Vallelonga as they make their way together across the American south.
Lee, whose film “BlacKkKlansman” was also in the running for best picture, took home the Oscar for best adapted screenplay. After Julia Roberts announced “Green Book” as the winner, Lee was seen waving his arms in anger before attempting to exit the theater, but was stopped at the doors and made to return to his seat for the remainder of the ceremony.
Backstage, Lee told reporters he thought the Academy had made a “bad call,” and later commented while drinking champagne, “This is my sixth glass and you know why.”
In the aftermath, Twitter has been alight with reactions to the controversial win.
A gif of “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman’s face as the results came in speaks volumes:
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 25, 2019
Journalist Jemele Hill, currently a writer for the Atlantic and formerly an ESPN commentator, jumped in on a running joke that imagines misguided “compliments” from white people coming from “Green Book.”
Green Book thinks you’re so articulate https://t.co/Z3L3ytCF20
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 25, 2019
See more reactions below.
Green Book thinks you’re not like those other black people, you know which ones. https://t.co/ODQAq5xXQq
— roxane gay (@rgay) February 25, 2019
Some of Green Book’s best friends are black movies.
— Alex Seitz-Wald (@aseitzwald) February 25, 2019
For anyone who may be interested in what the Green Book actually was, here is a link to more information about this act of resistance and source of love and survival for many African-Americans. It started with Victor Hugo Green. #OSCARS https://t.co/gdFp1mekub pic.twitter.com/9WkeInv2fd
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 25, 2019
green book sequel gotta be viggo mortensen & mahershala ali driving thru the south to collect all the other colored books to complete the infinity gauntlet
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) February 25, 2019
The ouroboros that is white folks telling me that “real black people” loved Green Book – as some have done in the last few days – is something I’ll never quite get over.
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) February 25, 2019
No disrespect to Green Book at the #Oscars, but many of us in the black community would like to see greater recognition for movies about the black experience and not just for movies that make the black experience comfortable for white audiences.pic.twitter.com/vOdNEmx53X
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 25, 2019
WANTED: Old racist white man to drive me around to my comedy gigs. In return I will teach you about racism and cornbread. After you learn everything, we will sell our story to Hollywood. Please DM Your resume and fav racial slur. Thank you. I’m repped by WME.
— Roy Wood Jr- Ex Jedi (@roywoodjr) February 26, 2019
Green Book was not for Black people.
It was to make white people feel good about doing little to stop racism beyond the interpersonal.
Also, the other movies were better.
ALSO, Regina, Ruth, Spike & more amazing Black folks won last night so I’m done talmbout Green a Book.
— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) February 25, 2019
I wish folks would stop jumping in Black people’s mentions Whitesplaining how we should feel about Green Book. Y’all are annoying af. Go be productive and instead educate yourselves on Victor Hugo Green and the REAL history of Green Book travel book.
— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) February 25, 2019
In what universe Green Book better than Blackklansman, Roma, Black Panther, Favourite and a Star is Born? America 2019. #Oscars
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) February 25, 2019
— W. Kamau Bell (@wkamaubell) February 25, 2019
Soooo, let's just be absolutely clear: "Green Book" was definitely not the Best Picture of the year, but it was certainly the most comforting movie for fragile white people who need that sort of thing in our Era of Trump.#Oscars
— Charlotte Clymer
(@cmclymer) February 25, 2019
"Green Book is an inspirational tale of how we can end racism if everyone, regardless of background, just works together. So please welcome the stage the producers of Green Book: 1000 white guys who were all born in 1961" pic.twitter.com/XW6nzqJc9q
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) February 25, 2019
Green Book is so bland and milquetoast without a single remarkable filmmaking choice or scene in it
— Zach Kornfeld (@korndiddy) February 25, 2019
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