Spike Lee to be Awarded Honorary Oscar for “Do the Right Thing”

Photo: Andy/Flickr Creative Commons

Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee’s drama about the racial tensions that rose to a head in Bed-Stuy during a stifling summer day in 1989, deserved to win an Oscar. The movie was famously snubbed an Academy Award for best original screenplay in 1989, which was clearly a failure on behalf of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize its widespread and polarizing effect on American race relations. Now however, as per an announcement made by the Academy, Lee is set to receive an “Honorary Oscar,” for the film, just over 25 years after it was first released. 

Lee will receive the belated nod alongside actresses Gena Rowlands and Debbie Reynolds, both famous for their performances in the films “Gloria,” and “Singin’ in the Rain,” respectively. The Academy was nice enough to praise Lee’s career in their announcement, in a sort of hamfisted attempt compensate for denying Lee an award two decades ago. The Academy called his mark on the film industry “auspicious,” and noted that he’s “an inspiration to young filmmakers.”

It seems like Do the Right Thing, is finally getting its due, as a street in Bed-Stuy was just formally named after the movie. Do the Right Thing Way is located on Stuyvesant Avenue between Lexington Avenue and Quincy Street, and was formally granted its new namesake by Mayor de Blasio earlier this month.

Follow Sam Blum on Twitter @Blumnessmonster

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