Following Samuel L. Jackson’s unexcited reaction to Green Book winning a screenwriting Oscar, Spike Lee followed up with obvious displeasure when the controversial movie won Best Picture. Lee, who is shown posing above with Mahershala Ali, who won the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in the same movie, clearly didn’t approve of the film as a whole. According to Associated Press reporter Andrew Dalton, Lee (whose BlacKkKlansman was also nominated for Best Picture) grew “visibly angry” when the winner was announced. He then started “waving his arms in disgust and appearing to try to storm out of the Dolby Theatre.” Dalton stated that Lee was halted at the doors but only “returned to his seat when the speeches were over.”
Deadline arrives with more details about how Lee angrily conversed with the Oscar-winning Jordan Peele after Best Picture was announced:
Our Pete Hammond, reporting from the Dolby 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. Lee paced the aisle and stormed to the back of the auditorium. When he came back, he turned his back to the stage during the speech.
Lee’s disgust likely had less to do with the fact that his movie lost Best Picture than with the polarizing subject matter of Green Book (which was written in part by Nick Vallelonga of the infamous false tweet about Muslims cheering on 9/11) itself. Still, Indiewire followed up with Lee’s backstage reaction to the Best Picture category. “Every time somebody’s driving somebody, I lose!” he joked before summoning his New York Knicks-loving reputation. “I thought I was courtside at the Garden, and the ref made a bad call.”
Of course, the “every time somebody’s driving somebody” quote refers to how Lee’s Do the Right Thing was passed over for Best Picture in 1989, and Driving Miss Daisy won. This lands with even further irony after how, earlier on Sunday night, Lee told his audience to “do the right thing” while accepting his screenwriting Oscar. Well, between this twisty mess and Bohemian Rhapsody taking home several awards, this awards show broadcast was very eventful.