Spike Lee Slams Hollywood, Talks Paris Attacks at Governor's Awards
By Desiree Murphy
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Spike Lee had a lot to say on Saturday.
The 58-year-old director received an honorary Oscar at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' seventh annual Governor's Awards at the Ray Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles, where he slammed Hollywood for their lack of diversity during his acceptance speech.
"Everybody in here probably voted for Obama, but when I go to offices, I see no black folks except for the brother man at the security who checks my name off the list as I go into the studio," he said on stage. "So we can talk 'yabba yabba yabba,' but we need to have some serious discussion about diversity and get some flavor up in this. This industry is so behind sports it's ridiculous."
"It's easier to be the president of the United States as a black person than be the head of a studio," he continued. "Honestly, it's easier to be president of the United States than the head of a studio or head of network."
Lee then brought attention to the latest census numbers in the United States and suggested that Hollywood executives should look more closely at the absence of black studio heads.
"I don't know if you noticed, but the United States census bureau says by the year 2043, white Americans are going to be the minority in this country," he explained. "And all you people out there in the position of hiring, you better get smart, because you'll work for us. Reflect what this country looks like."
The provocative statements echoed the new A2020 initiative, a five-year plan to increase diversity in Hollywood -- that Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs discussed earlier in the evening.
The She's Gotta Have It director also talked about issues outside of our country, referencing the deadly city-wide attacks on Paris, France, that left more than 100 people dead on Friday. He wished "peace and love to the people of France" during his speech, which you can watch below.
ET caught up with Lee at the event, where he echoed his message of support for the people of France, sharing, "I just send my heartfelt blessing and prayers out to the people who lost loved ones in Paris, France. This world is crazy now! It's out of control. It's out of control."
Lee -- who shared the spotlight with the night’s other award recipients, Gena Rowlands and Debbie Reynolds -- later took to Instagram to post highlights from the star-studded celebration.
"Big Love To One And All, In Front Of And Behind The Cameras From SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT (1986)-G CHI-RAG (2015) For Your Art, Craft, Talent, Support And Love," he captioned a photo of his award. "Yo, We Ain't Stoppin' No Time Soon. And Dat's Da Truth Ruth."