Spike Lee Responds to Donald Trump’s Critique of His Political Oscars Speech

Director claims the president is trying to reframe the conversation

By Zachary Leeman | February 26, 2019

The most political moment at Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony was courtesy of “BlackKklansman” director Spike Lee.

Accepting the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “BlackKklansman,” Lee rambled on about slavery as he read from handwritten notes — and then told the audience to “mobilize” for the 2020 presidential election.

Though he never said Trump’s name, it was clear the outspoken liberal was talking about the president when he told the audience to not support “hate” in the next election.

“The 2020 presidential election is around the corner,” said the director. “Let’s all mobilize. Let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right thing.”

Related: The ‘Politics of Me’ Is Arrogant and Divisive, as Spike Lee, Ocasio-Cortez and Others Demonstrate

Trump took to Twitter the following morning to respond to Lee.

He criticized Lee for stumbling a few times while reading his speech and also called Lee’s criticisms of him “racist.”

“Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your president, who has done more for African-Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts, etc.) than almost any other pres!” Trump tweeted.

Asked about Trump’s criticisms by Entertainment Weekly, Lee said he was unfazed and that he sees Trump’s response as an attempt to reframe the conversation.

“Well, it’s okee-doke, you know,” said Lee. “They change the narrative.”

He continued, “They did the same thing with the African-American players who were kneeling, trying to make it into an anti-American thing, an anti-patriotic thing, and an anti-military thing, but no one’s going for that.”

What Lee did not respond to were the practical matters the president talked about in his tweet — such as positive steps forward in both criminal justice reform and black unemployment. Trump has accomplished those positive steps while in the White House and some, like Lee, pointedly fail to mention those or acknowledge those.

Check out Lee’s political Oscars acceptance speech below:

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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