US President Donald Trump on Monday criticized director Spike Lee on Twitter, calling his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards the night before.
Trump wrote, "Be nice if Spike Lee can read his notes or, better yet, not have to use any notes at all when he makes a racist hit at your president, who has done more for African Americans ( criminal justice reform, lowest history, tax cuts, etc.) than almost any other president! "
Lee, who won Best Screenplay for "BlacKkKlansman", jumped into the arms of presenter, longtime collaborator and close friend Samuel L. Jackson, who took the stage to accept his award with Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott. The audience gave him a standing ovation.
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"The 2020 presidential election is near," Lee said in his acceptance speech.
"Let's all mobilize, let's all be on the right side of history, choose love over hatred, do what's right," he concluded with a gesture at Trump, also mentioning his 1989 success.
The veteran filmmaker has long been waiting to be recognized by his peers, beyond the honorary Oscar that he had received in 2016 for his contributions to the cinema, after earning his first Oscar in 1990 for the "Do the Right Thing" scenario.
On stage, Lee was the epitome of excitement. After being discouraged by warning the Oscar winners not to put his speech into a clock (the long speeches are usually cut off when the music passes on), Lee said his award was awarded during the Black History Month. He recited a litany of facts, among which the enslavement of Africans and his transportation to America, 400 years old. He also stated that his grandmother was a graduate of Spelman College, predominantly black, while his mother had been a slave.
"In front of the world, tonight, I praise our ancestors who helped build this country," Lee said. "We are all in touch with our ancestors … when we love our humanity."
Sunday was not the first time Lee had criticized the US president. Last summer, while he was promoting "BlacKkKlansman" on CNN, he made fun of Trump, calling "Agent Orange."
The Associated Press contributed to this report