Spike Lee (78419)

It has been announced that the critically acclaimed film director Spike Lee has been nominated for an honorary Academy Award. The director of the groundbreaking film “Do the Right Thing,” which was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Danny Aiello, was snubbed in 1990, losing to Oliver Stone. “Do the Right Thing” has gone down in history as being one of the most blatant Oscar snubs in the Academy’s history. The National Film Registry deemed the film  a “culturally significant” example of 20th century filmmaking.” 

The Hollywood Reporter painted the frustration over the film’s loss when it reported, “But when Oscar nominations were announced a few months later, Lee again was left disappointed: The only acknowledgement of ‘Do the Right Thing’ came in the categories of Best Supporting Actor (Danny Aiello) and Best Original Screenplay (for Lee). Adding insult to injury, the film that landed the most nominations—and ultimately won Best Picture—was ‘Driving Miss Daisy,’ a film directed by a white man about a servile Black man catering to a bigoted white woman.”

Lee’s only other acknowledgement from the Academy was a nod for Denzel Washington’s portrayal of “Malcolm X.” 

Now, 25 years later, Lee is being recognized with an honorary Academy Award for his contributions to the American film industry. The 58-year-old filmmaker will be recognized along with actress Gena Rowlands and actress, dancer and film historian Debbie Reynolds. 

The Guardian reported, “The board is proud to recognize our honorees’ remarkable contributions,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs in a statement. “We’ll be celebrating their achievements with the knowledge that the work they have accomplished—with passion, dedication and a desire to make a positive difference—will also enrich future generations.” 

The legendary and arguably the most important Black filmmaker in contemporary filmmaking is finally having his day, receiving acknowledgement that is long overdue.