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Spike Lee wins first non-honorary Oscar for 'BlacKkKlansman', calls out Best Picture snub

Terry Carter

 // Feb 25, 2019

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Spike Lee won his first non-honorary Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 24) night. The iconic filmmaker took home the coveted award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on 2018's biographical crime film "BlacKkKlansman."

The movie, which earned rave reviews, scored six Oscar nominations this year and earned Lee his fifth nomination, including one for Best Director and Best Picture. Lee was previously nominated for Best Original Screenplay for his work on 1989's "Do the Right Thing," and for Best Documentary Feature in 1998 for his film "4 Little Girls."

The proud Brooklyn native, dressed in a purple suit with a gold symbol necklace as a tribute to the late singer Prince, walked onto the stage and leaped into Samuel L. Jackson's arms when his name was called as the winner.

In his heartfelt acceptance speech, Lee gave a special shout out to his grandmother who affectionately nicknamed him "Spikey Poo." The 61-year-old revealed it was because of her 50 years worth of savings that he was able to attend Morehouse College and NYU Graduate School to study film. Lee also gave praise to his ancestors who "built this country" alongside Native Americans.

"If we all connect with our ancestors, we will have love, wisdom, [and] we will regain our humanity," he told the audience. "It will be a powerful moment."

Lee concluded his speech with a call to action. "The [2020] presidential election is around the corner. 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!" he said, a nod to his 1989 film of the same name. "You know I had to get that in there," he joked to a standing ovation from the crowd.

Lee's celebratory moment was followed up by controversy when it was reported that the legendary director grew "visibly angry" over his Best Picture sub later that evening. The award went to "Green Book" instead.

While speaking with reporters, Lee compared to moment to sitting courtside at a basketball game. "The ref made a bad call," he said. "I'm snake bit," he added. "I mean, every time somebody is driving somebody, I lose. But they changed the seating arrangement!"

Lee previously lost out on his first Oscar nomination in 1990 to "Driving Miss Daisy" which many felt should have gone to "Do the Right Thing."

On Monday (Feb. 25) morning, President Trump issued to response to Lee's acceptance speech, calling it "racist," without any evidence of such claims. Lee has yet to respond at press time. Check out the tweet ahead.

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