“The ref made a bad call”: Spike Lee “storms out” as ‘Green Book’ wins Oscar for Best Picture

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Legendary director Spike Lee was reportedly seen heading for the exits as Green Book won Best Picture at the Oscars.

The emotional drama, about a white man driving an African-American pianist through the Deep South during the segregation era, was the shock winner of the ceremony’s biggest prize –resulting in widespread backlash from fans.

And it seems that Spike wasn’t too happy either, after his own movie BlackKklansman lost out on the biggest prize.


According to various eyewitnesses at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre, the film-maker was seen heading up the aisles as the Green Book team accepted the award on stage.

“Spike Lee was visibly angry when Green Book was announced as the winner of best picture at the Oscars, waving his arms in disgust and appearing to try to storm out of the Dolby Theatre before he was stopped at the doors. He returned to his seat when the speeches were over,” the Associated Press’ Andrew Dalton wrote on Twitter.

As the Press Association reports, Lee also remarked that “the ref made a bad call” when asked to give his opinion on Green Book‘s victory.

Other eyewitness accounts came from Deadline writer Pete Hammond, who said that “Lee was clearly furious, got up and walked toward the back of the auditorium in a huff. He then turned back and appeared to get into an intense conversation with Jordan Peele, who was behind him. Lee paced the aisle and stormed to the back of the auditorium.

“When he came back, he turned his back to the stage during the speech.”


Lee, who won the Best Adapted Screenplay award last night, also subtly referenced Green Book when he spoke about how Do The Right Thing failed to bag a Best Picture nomination in 1990, an award eventually won by Driving Miss Daisy.

When asked about the parallels between Driving Miss Daisy and Green Book, Lee replied: “Well, I had a talk with my wife, and we’re not speaking about anybody, no other films. Particularly that one!”

The reporter then asked: “If it wins, you’re not going to say a word?”, prompting Lee to reply: “I didn’t say that! Let’s not take it too far.”

Elsewhere, the rest of the Oscars saw significant victories for the likes of Rami Malek, Olivia Colman and Regina King – you can see the whole list of winners here.