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Watch: Spike Lee Talks Oscar Controversy, Says “It’s A Misdirection Play”

Watch: Spike Lee Talks Oscar Controversy, Says "It's A Misdirection Play"

Sometimes, cold hard facts can get right to the heart of the issue, and the numbers detailing the demographic breakdown of this year’s Oscar nominees say it all: 95.3% white. That the industry has a diversity issue is no longer in question, but how to fix the problem is up for debate. However, for Spike Lee, he believes Hollywood should follow the NFL’s lead in establishing something similar to the Rooney Rule when it comes to hiring, where minority candidates must be interviewed for open positions.

“That has increased the number of minority coaches and executives in the NFL and that should be used because we can’t go to that old tired realm, ‘Well we can’t find any qualified candidates,’ That is BS,” Lee said on “Good Morning America” today. 

READ MORE: Watch: Ryan Coogler’s Passionate Speech About The Importance Of Film Criticism, Calls For More Diversity

The director’s name quickly raced to the top of headlines when he announced he was not attending the Oscars. However, he wants to make it clear, he’s not calling for a boycott, and the decision to go the show or not, is up to each individual. “Here’s the thing. I have never used the word boycott,” he said. “All I said was my beautiful wife Tonya [and I], we’re not coming. That’s it, then I gave the reasons, so I never used the word boycott. We’re not coming. I’m not going. My wife’s not going. Everyone else can do what they want to do.”

And taking a broader view of the Oscar issue, Lee believes that people need to be thinking beyond the show next month, calling the current noise a “misdirection play.”

“It goes further than the Academy Awards. It has to go back to the gatekeepers. The people who have the green-light vote,” Lee said. “We’re not in the room. The executives, when they have these green-light meetings quarterly where they look at the scripts, they look who’s in it and they decide what we’re making and what we’re not making.”

Potent points, and sure to spark more talk. Share you thoughts below. The Oscars are on February 28th.

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