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Spike Lee ‘Visibly Angry’ Over ‘Green Book’ Best Picture Oscar, Turns Back to Stage — Report

"Green Book" triumphed over "Roma" and Lee's own "BlacKkKlansman" for Best Picture.

Spike Lee91st Annual Academy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 24 Feb 2019

Spike Lee

David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock

Spike Lee reportedly did not hide his disdain once Julia Roberts announced “Green Book” had won the Oscar for Best Picture over the likes of “Roma” and his own movie, “BlacKkKlansman.” According to Deadline awards columnist Pete Hammond, who was inside the Kodak Theater for the ceremony, Lee rose from his seat and walked to the back of the theater when “Green Book” was crowned Best Picture. While “Green Book” producers and director Peter Farrelly gave their victory speech, Lee reportedly had his back turned to the stage.

Per Deadline: “Pete Hammond, reporting from the Kodak Theatre, reported that Lee was clearly furious, got up and walked toward the back of the auditorium in a huff. He then turned back and appeared to get into an intense conversation with Jordan Peele, who was behind him. He was pacing the aisle and stormed to the back of the auditorium. When he came back, he turned his back to the stage during the speech.”

“Spike Lee was visibly angry when ‘Green Book’ was announced as the winner of best picture at the Oscars, waving his arms in disgust and appearing to try to storm out of the Dolby Theatre before he was stopped at the doors,” added Associated Press reporter Andrew Dalton. “He returned to his seat when the speeches were over.”

Lee won an Oscar earlier in the ceremony for Best Adapted Screenplay. The win was the first competitive Oscar of Lee’s career. Although “Green Book” won Best Picture, it spent much of awards season under fire for various criticisms. Many critics called “Green Book” outdated in its depiction of race relations and compared it to “Driving Miss Daisy,” a Best Picture Oscar winner from 1990 that Lee himself has long criticized.

At the 1990 Oscars, “Driving Miss Daisy” earned a Best Picture nomination and Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” was shut out of the race. Speaking to press at the Cannes Film Festival last year, Lee remained heated over the win.

“To be honest, after ‘Do the Right Thing,’ I said, ‘That’s it.’ You know?” Lee said about having not won an Oscar. “That’s not to say I wasn’t happy to get the honorary award, but as far as Oscars, my thing has always been my body of work. What film won best film of 1989? ‘Driving Miss Daisy.’ Driving Miss motherfucking Daisy. Who’s watching that film now?”

IndieWire has reached out to Lee’s representatives for further comment.

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