When Lee accepted the award — along with Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott — for Best Adapted Screenplay, he touched on black history — and, without saying Trump’s name, urged people to get involved with the 2020 election and “be on the right side of history.”
“The 2020 presidential election is around the corner,” he said, while wrapping up. “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.”
The president took to Twitter on Monday to blast the BlacKkKlansman director’s acceptance speech, which he called a “racist hit.”
Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, 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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2019
Trump wrote that it would “be nice” if Lee “could read his notes” onstage — “or better yet not have to use notes at all” — when doing “his racist hit on your President.” He also claimed he has “done more for African Americans” than “almost any other Pres” and listed some of the things he says he’s done — like “criminal justice reform.”
The reactions to Trump’s tweet were pretty much as expected. More than one pointed out that he often uses a teleprompter.
Every speech you give, you read from a teleprompter, you hypocrite!
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) February 25, 2019
Many called out Trump for implying that Lee is illiterate.
Nothing in Spike Lee's speech was racist in the least. But it does seem like you know that you're the hate he was speaking about voting against in 2020. You of all people try to hit on an award-winning writer and imply that he's illiterate? My irony meter just exploded.
— J.R.K. (@JamesRKingery) February 25, 2019
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly on Monday, Lee was asked about the tweet and replied, “Well, it’s okee-doke, you know. They change the narrative.”
He went on to add, “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.”
While Lee’s speech was a memorable moment of the night, the director was “visibly upset” when Green Book was named Best Picture over BlacKkKlansman. He tried to leave the theater while the Green Book team was onstage but was turned away by ushers at the back door and reluctantly returned to his seat. It apparently stems back to when his film Do the Right Thing was snubbed the year that Driving Miss Daisy won Best Picture. “I’m snakebit,” he said backstage. “Every time someone’s driving somebody, I lose. … I thought I was courtside at [Madison Square] Garden and the refs made a bad call.”
Watch: Oscar attendees say politics “definitely” have a place at the Academy Awards:
Read more on Yahoo Entertainment: