Lee Receives Long-Overdue Oscar


Pioneering writer/producer/director Spike Lee will be feted with an Honorary Academy Award tonight for a significant Lifetime of Cinematic Achievement.

Lee will be honored at the seventh annual Governors Awards, which take place tonight, November 14, at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland. The Father of the Third Renaissance of African-American film, Lee has been a cinematic force for 30 years. The influential director was overjoyed with the news from Academy President, Cheryl Boone Issacs.

“Mookie Gets His OSCAR. This Saturday, (tonight) The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Will Give Me The Honorary Oscar For My Body Of Work. Thank You, President Cheryl Boone Isaacs And The Board Of Governors. Big Love Shout Out To All Da Folks In Front Of And Behind The Cameras [from] She’s Gotta Have It (1986) To The New Joint, Chi-Raq (2015). Yup, Been In Dis For A Minute. YA-DIG? SHO-NUFF. Onward And Upward. Not Stopping No Time Soon. By Any Means Necessary. 40 Acres And A Mule Filmworks.”

Lee, who has received two Oscar nominations — an original screenplay nomination for 1989’s Do the Right Thing and a documentary feature nom for 1997’s 4 Little Girls — began his career as one of the original voices that ushered in the independent film wave of the ’80s. His directing credits range from She’s Gotta Have It, School Daze and Do the Right Thing to such features as He Got Game, 25th Hour, Inside Man and Miracle at St. Anna. He currently serves as artistic director of the graduate film program at New York University.


Lee was “really jazzed and very honored,” Boone Isaacs said, “I wanted to make it clear to him that his impact on the indie world has been remarkable and it has been steadfast over all these decades. That kept him alive and vibrant for all that time, and the impact he’s had on young filmmakers can’t be denied. He’s had a great career and made some iconic films at full volume.”