This past weekend Spike Lee received an honorary Oscar, and in his acceptance speech he took the time to address Hollywood’s diversity deficit. Lee and two other special recipients were honored at the Academy’s annual Governors Awards in Hollywood.
Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, and Wesley Snipes presented the director with the award, after which time he proceeded with a lengthly speech where he talked about his humble beginnings, and how he became a filmmaker. Here’s what what most probably the most notable part of his speech:
“Everybody here probably voted for Obama! But in [Hollywood] offices, I see no black folks except for the man who’s the security guard who checks my name off the list as I got into the studio.”
Although it seems like this year we saw significant progress with diversity in film and television, Lee‘s speech reminds us of how much work is still left to do. He closed his speech with this:
We need to have a serious conversation about diversity and get some flavor up in this! It’s easier to be president of the United States as a black person than be the head of the studio or head of a network.