AP NEWS

Spike Lee calls for rejection of Donald Trump in Oscar speech

February 25, 2019

Spike Lee used his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards on Sunday night to call for the rejection of President Trump, albeit not by name.

Mr. Lee won for best original script his first award after almost 30 years as America’s prominent black director for “Blackkklansman” and immediately began reading a speech praising his African ancestors and how 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of forced black labor in Virginia.

But as his film, otherwise set in the 1970s, ended with real-life footage of the deadly Charlottesville riots, he concluded his speech with a call to current politics.

“The 2020 presidential election is around the corner,” he reminded the liberal-leaning audience.

“Let’s all mobilize, let’s all be on the right side of history, let’s choose love over hate, let’s do the right thing,” he told the audience, which stood in ovation as he recited the title of the incendiary 1989 film that made his name.

He remarked that the audience should know had to get that title in.

One of the presenters was Samuel L. Jackson, who starred in “Do the Right Thing” and other Lee films. When the other names were read in a conventional voice, Mr. Jackson yelled and spread out the name “Spike Lee.”

The film’s other credited screenwriters are David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott.