Following his triumphant win for Best Adapted Screenplay, Spike Lee used his place on the Academy’s national podium to call for Americans to ‘mobilize’ in the 2020 election. While the BlacKkKlansman director did not mention Trump by name, Lee’s use of ‘love versus hate’ served as a clear allegory for progressive politics. The President took no time to respond on his preferred medium. In his flurry of attacks, President Trump tweeted, “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…”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2019
Lee’s speech was one of the most politically driven moments of the ceremony. Other than a handful of Trump zingers early on, most of the presenters stayed away from controversial topics. Coupled with a call to action for the next presidential election, Lee’s victory speech highlighted African and Native American history and focused on their sacrifices. He said, “Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors who have built this country into what it is today along with the genocide of its native people. We all connect with our ancestors. We will have love and wisdom regained; we will regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment.” Lee continued, “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!”
Trump has previously targeted some of the biggest names in Hollywood. Lee is now in the company of legends Meryl Streep, Jon Stewart, and Robert De Niro in eliciting a direct reaction from the President for their statements.