Spike Lee on the enduring importance of Do the Right Thing
And how the Academy Awards neglected it
Watch the clip above, and catch the entire exclusive People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) special, Entertainment Weekly Cast Reunions: Do the Right Thing, here or download the free app on your favorite device.
Spike Lee’s incendiary 1989 film, Do the Right Thing, still feels as relevant and important as it did when the movie was released in theaters 28 years ago. For Entertainment Weekly‘s Cast Reunions series, People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN) will re-air the 2013 interview, in which Lee talks about the film’s legacy, for the special.
In the interview, Lee expressed he felt the movie went unrecognized at the 1990 Academy Awards, after it was only nominated for two trophies: best original screenplay, and Danny Aiello’s best supporting actor nod. Do the Right Thing went home empty handed, but Lee admits Denzel Washington deserved his win for Glory over Aiello. “Denzel had that scene where he got whipped, and when that lone tear came out — It’s a wrap!” Lee said.
However, his tone changed when thinking about the best picture winner, Driving Miss Daisy. “Who’s watching that film today? Who’s even thinking about that film?” he asked. “Driving Miss Daisy is not being studied in universities and colleges around the world.” At the time, Lee said the performances in his film are still being discussed today, which is why that Oscar “doesn’t even matter.”
Do The Right Thing