Spike Lee admonishes the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences during Speech

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Spike Lee

Scribe: N. Tru Bass

Email: ntb@thethinkering.com


Filmmaker Spike Lee received the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honorary Oscar this weekend in a star studded ceremony. Accompanying him on-stage was Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and Wesley Snipes.

During his speech he called for more people of color in the industry. He said during his 18-minute talk, "Everybody here probably voted for Obama," he said at the conclusion of his 18-minute turn at the podium. "But in [Hollywood] offices, I see no black folks except for the man who's the security guard who checks my name off the list as I got into the studio. So we can talk 'Yabba yabba yabba,' but we need to have a serious conversation about diversity and get some flavor up in this. It's easier to be President of the United States as a black person than be the head of the studio or head of a network."

He also issued a warning for whites who refuse to be more fair in their hiring of people of color saying, "Not sure if you now this, but the U.S. Census Bureau says by the year 2043, white Americans are going to be the minority in this country," he continued. "People in positions of hiring, you better get smart. Your workforce should reflect what this country looks like."

Many onlookers acknowledged the lack of brown faces among this years nominees.

32-years ago, Lee was awarded a Student Academy Award for 'Joe's Bed-Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads.” The film served at his 1983 NYU thesis.

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