As part of Friday night’s 46th NAACP Image Awards, Spike Lee was presented with the President’s Award, which recognizes both career success and public service. Lee blasted Hollywood during his acceptance speech, saying, ‘This stuff is rigged. It’s not set up for us to win. It’s always been like that.’ The acclaimed director and filmmaker was gracious to the NAACP leading up to Friday’s presentation.
‘[It’s] great honor,’ Lee told The Hollywood Reporter. Just look at the people who’ve won.’
Lee’s latest work, Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus is set for a February 13 theatrical release. He came under criticism for crowd-funding the movie via Kickstarter, but Lee brushed off those barbs by pointing out She’s Gotta Have It was both crowdsourced and shot over a 12-day span. Lee also rejected the notion of black movies not being universal.
‘It’s not like if there are blacks, only black people are going to go see it,’ Lee added. ‘That’s not the case in rap or rock ‘n’ roll. The founders of rock ‘n’ roll were Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Louis Jordan, not Elvis — you know? What we do in art is universal; it’s the other people who characterize it as ‘race music’ or ‘black films.’
The full Q&A, which also features Lee’s observation that ‘people protesting about stuff that really matters’ such as the Eric Garner and Michael Brown jury decisions instead of Selma’s perceived Oscar snub, can be read at HollywoodReporter.com.