The acclaimed director finally got his long-overdue Oscar on Sunday night, accepting Best Adapted Screenplay for his 2018 film, BlacKkKlansman. However, when asked by an ET reporter backstage about his reaction toGreen Book taking home the ceremony's biggest award, Best Picture, Lee expressed his displeasure.
"Let me take another sip -- next question," the 61-year-old filmmaker quipped, continuing on to pull an analogy from his many times sitting courtside for New York Knicks games. "The ref made a bad call."
According to multiple reports, Lee was visibly upset when Green Book was announced as the winner. After appearing to storm to the back of the theater, Deadline's Pete Hammond says Lee paced the aisle, refusing to face the stage for Green Book's acceptance speech upon returning to his seat.
"Every time somebody is driving, I lose," Lee was also quoted as saying backstage by The Hollywood Reporter's Mia Galupa. This would, of course, be a reference to Lee's most heralded film, Do the Right Thing, which was snubbed for a Best Picture nom at that year's ceremony, when Driving Miss Daisy -- a film with some notable parallels to Green Book -- took home the top honor.
Meanwhile, it should be noted that Lee is not alone in his discontent over Green Book's Best Picture win. In a category that was beginning to feel like it was Roma's to lose, the upset is made all the more shocking by the mountain of controversy the film has found itself in during its awards season run.
Already dogged by criticisms of having a whitewashed point of view on issues of race, as well as the misgivings of some of the living family members of classical Jazz pianist Don Shirley (portrayed by Mahershala Ali, who won for Best Supporting Actor in the movie), Green Book came under even more fire after its win at the Golden Globes for the past behavior of two of the filmmakers, director Peter Farrelly, who admitted to and apologized for past inappropriate behavior on set and screenwriter Nick Vallelonga, who apologized for past anti-Muslim tweets.
Both Farrelly and Vallelonga took the stage to accept Best Picture on Sunday night.
Here are how some on the internet and in the media reacted to Green Book's Oscar night upset:
Wonder how we'll feel about #GreenBook's Best Picture win in 5 years... 10 years... #Oscars