BY DAVID BOROFF
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/TNS
President Donald Trump accused Spike Lee of doing a “racist hit” on him after the director said during the Oscars that viewers should “be on the right side of history” when they vote during the 2020 election.
Lee did not mention Trump by name, but urged Americans to “do the right thing” during his acceptance speech on Feb. 24 for best adapted screenplay of “BlacKkKlansman.”
“Do the Right Thing” also happens to be the title of his iconic 1989 film.
Lee, who spent most of his childhood in Brooklyn, won his first Oscar on Sunday. However, Trump was not in a congratulatory mood.
“Be nice if Spike Lee could read his notes, or better yet not have to use notes at all, when doing his racist hit on your President, who has done more for African Americans (Criminal Justice Reform, Lowest Unemployment numbers in History, Tax Cuts, etc.) than almost any other Pres!” Trump tweeted Monday morning.
The president has repeatedly boasted of helping African Americans during his tenure in the White House.
‘Love versus hate’
Trump’s comments came hours after Lee spoke of his family’s history and how “our ancestors were stolen from Africa and enslaved.” He said his grandmother, who lived to be 100, was a college graduate even though her mother was a slave. He emphasized that people should “make the moral choice between love versus hate.”
“Let’s do the right thing!” he said. “You know I had to get that in there.”
‘Green Book’ response
The evening included some disappointment for the acclaimed director. Lee and “BlacKkKlansman” failed to win best picture, and he stormed out when it was “Green Book” that took the top prize. Lee eventually was to return to his seat.
“I thought I was courtside at the Garden and the refs made a bad call,” Lee would later say.
The controversial “Green Book” portrayed the relationship between African-American pianist Don Shirley and a White security guard as they toured the Deep South in the 1960s. Shirley’s family has been heavily critical of the film.