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Last night's Oscars was a big night for a lot of different people. However, at the end of the, night, the big award went to Green Book as it took home the coveted Best Picture prize. The film is a somewhat controversial choice, and nowhere was that better exemplified than Spike Lee's reaction after the ceremony was over. The first time Oscar winner was asked what he thought of the win and he tried to not so politely dodge the question, before comparing it to a bad a call at a Knicks game. Check it out.
Spike decides to take another sip of champagne rather than answer the question about his thoughts on the Green Book win, though he makes it perfectly clear that's what he's doing. His opinion on the win is transparent. He's not a fan.
Having said that, Spike Lee is so clearly over the moon regarding his own Oscar win that he's just not going to get angry about the whole thing, at least not right now. In the clip from ET, he answers a follow-up question where he gives the credit to his win to the #OscarsSoWhite social media campaign and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' response to the outcry, which was enacted by former Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
While Spike starts to avoid the question, he does eventually state out right that he thinks it was the wrong decision. Though, he then tries to laugh off his own comment. It's unknown just how much champagne Spike had been drinking at this point. Clearly, he wasn't going to let the Best Picture decision interrupt his own celebration, nor should he.
Spike Lee's reaction to Green Book winning Best Picture mirrors the response of many others on social media last night and this morning. There's a feeling among many that in a year where several major films dealt with the subject of race in compelling and difficult ways, such as Spike Lee's own BlackKlansman, that Green Book simply focuses on the "feel good" story, one that happens to make the white character the hero. Comparisons to Driving Miss Daisy have been made, a film which happened to win Best Picture the same year that Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing was released.
It's difficult to call the Green Book win a shock, but that's mostly because there wasn't really a clear front runner going into the awards last night. Much of the buzz surrounding A Star is Born had died down by the time we got to the show. Roma seemed strong but the fact that the film was a Netflix release was likely to count against it by the still very traditional Academy. Bohemian Rhapsody looked like it was going to have a shot, especially as the night progressed, but that didn't happen.
Oscar controversies are nothing new and we can just add Green Book to the list. Time will let us know how well this one ages.