Spike Lee’s work on “BlacKkKlansman” led to his first Oscar nomination for Best Directing on Tuesday (January 22). The veteran film director and writer told Entertainment Weekly yesterday (January 23) that the nod would not have been possible without the #OscarsSoWhite campaign holding the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences accountable:

Well, let’s be honest. This would have not happened if there was not the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. What that campaign did, it made the Academy understand that they had to diversify their membership. Look at “Moonlight”—the diversity of the voting members makes a difference, so if you want to go back to 1989, that membership was not feeling “Do the Right Thing,” [laughs] they weren’t feeling that. But, look, we’re here today, it’s not 1989, and the world knows where “Do the Right Thing” is in the place of American history, world history, cinema history, so that’s a given. We’re here today, and I’m so happy for everyone who got the blessing to be nominated for a very important film. And I think when historians, many years down the line, look for a piece of art that crystallized the crazy motherfucking time we live in, they’re going to [put] “BlacKkKlansman” at the top of the list, that is my belief. And I’d also like to say [that] this film is on the right side of history.

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