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After More Than 3 Decades, Spike Lee Has His First Oscar

Lee wins best adapted screenplay for 'BlackKkKlansman'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2019 10:10 PM CST

(Newser) – After more than 30 years in the business (his first feature film was She's Gotta Have It, in 1986), Spike Lee took home his first Oscar Sunday night, and the New York Post notes he got "emotional." Lee leaped into presenter Samuel L. Jackson's arms when he got to the stage to accept his award for best adapted screenplay for BlackKkKlansman, then got to work giving his thanks for the honor. Lee mentioned his grandmother—a Spelman College grad, "even though her mother was a slave"—who saved up "50 years' of Social Security checks" to put him through both undergrad college and film school. He also revealed: "She called me 'Spikey-Pooh.'"

"Before the world tonight, I give praise to our ancestors, who helped build this country," he continued, per Vulture. He then addressed more current times. "The 2020 presidential election is around the corner," he noted. "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 then added, "You knew I had to get that in there!" Lee was also nominated for best director for BlackKkKlansman, but he lost out to Alfonso Cuaron, who won for Roma. Watch the rest of Lee's speech here. (Read more Oscars stories.)

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