Spike Lee Calls For Diversity in Hollywood

Other | Monday 16th November 2015 | Sam

It's no secret that seasoned director Spike Lee is a supporter of diversity in Hollywood. Speaking at the Governer's Awards after receiving an honorary Oscar for his achievements in directing, presented by Samuel L. Jackson, Wesley Snipes and Denzel Washington, Lee claimed that nowadays "It's easier to be President of the United States as a black person than to be than head of a studio."

Convincing studios to take on more black actors has been a goal of the 58-year-old for many years now, many of his films are based on black historic figures, such as Malcolm X and prominently feature black actors. His on-going dispute with Quentin Tarantino over the use of black people and the 'n-word' in his films is testament to his absolute commitment to the advancement of African-American involvement in Hollywood.

After being given a stage to share his views after receiving the award, he told the audience: "By the year 2043, white Americans are going to be a minority in this country, and all you people out there in the position of hiring, you better get smart. Because your workforce should reflect what this country looks like"

His words echoed the earlier announcement of the President of Academy of the Moving Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who revealed an initiative to promote greater diversity in age, race, gender and nationality in Hollywood, named A2020; "When it comes to fair and equal representation on our industry, words are not enough. We also have a responsibility to take action and we have a unique opportunity to do so now."

Isaac's plans are to involve more minorities in the hugely-influencial Academy which has over 7000 members, 93% of which are white, and 76% of which are male. Lee, being honoured with an honorary Oscar could be seen as a great publicity stunt by the Academy, who want people to realise that they are willing to promote and reward the involvement of minorities in the film world.