According to numerous reports, Spike Lee — who won his first Oscar this year for co-writing the screenplay to BlacKkKlansman — was so angry when Green Book won the Academy Award for Best Picture, he tried “to storm out of the Dolby Theatre.”

The film is by Paramus native Nick Vallelonga, son of bouncer Tony “Lip” Vallelonga (played by Viggo Mortensen in the film). It tells the real-life story of the elder Vallelonga and black concert pianist Don Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali), and has been criticized for playing into "white savior" tropes.

Via the Associated Press:

Deadline filed a similar report, along with some crucial context for while Lee was particularly frustrated, despite winning an award:

On a recent appearance he made on CBS Sunday Morning to promote his Best Picture candidate, Lee recalled the time that Do The Right Thing didn’t get a Best Picture nomination in 1989, the year that Driving Miss Daisy won. At that time, he said he wasn’t commenting on Green Book, but might have something to say if that film won.

Lee might have something more to say down the line, but at the awards themselves, he was relatively muted in his criticism. He did say “the ref made a bad call,” in reference to Green Book topping BlacKkKlansman and seven other films to take home the top prize.

You can watch him drinking champagne, and trying to choose his words carefully at the press conference backstage:

He also compared Green Book to Driving Miss Daisy:

Sometimes winning the Best Picture winner actually hurts a movie’s legacy. Just ask Crash or Shakespeare in Love.

— Matt Singer

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