Oscars 2016: Spike Lee praises Academy membership changes but still won't attend awards
Two days ago, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced a major overhaul to its membership practices in an attempt to increase diversity. The move came after a number of high-profile filmmakers and actors criticized the Academy for only nominating white actors and actresses — for the second year in a row. One of the biggest critics was Spike Lee, who declared that he would be skipping this year’s ceremony in protest.
Now, Lee has weighed in on the newly announced changes, and while he applauds the Academy for making steps, he’s sticking to his original plan for Oscars night: attending a Knicks game.
“We have principles,” Lee told the Associated Press at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend. “I commend the Academy for what they’ve done. But that does not change our mind. The Knicks will be victorious — I hope. I’ll be at the Garden.”
Lee also said that he’s glad that Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs is “trying to do the right thing,” adding that the Academy’s new plan is “a start.”
“Cheryl Boone Isaacs is doing a great job,” Lee told EW earlier this week. “I don’t think I would have gotten my [honorary Academy Award] if it wasn’t for her. That was her agenda from the beginning, to diversify the voting members of the Academy. It’s not going to happen overnight, but I commend her for this very hard job that she’s doing. I just felt sorry for her because she’s the face of the Academy now. It didn’t look good, like she was having fun with that apology.”