Oscars 2019: Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay React to ‘Green Book’ Controversial Best Picture Win

AceShowbiz -The Academy Awards may have just repeated the 2006 Best Picture upset with “Green Book” win at the recently wrapped show. At the Sunday, February 24 ceremony, the Peter Farrelly-directed pic took the coveted prize, beating out clear favorite “Roma“.

Many were shocked by the movie’s win as it had landed in controversies before it made its way to the Oscars, including for its perceived historical inaccuracies. Among those visibly upset by the “Green Book” win was Spike Lee, who earlier nabbed his first Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Lee reportedly turned away from the stage as the “Green Book” cast and crew went up to accept the award. He tried to walk out of the room, but got stopped at the doors. Associated Press’ reporter Andrew Dalton, who attended the awards show, tweeted, “Lee was visibly angry when ‘Green Book’ was announced as the winner of best picture at the Oscars, waving his arms in disgust and appearing to try to storm out of the Dolby Theatre before he was stopped at the doors. He returned to his seat when the speeches were over.”

In the press room, he told reporters while drinking champagne, “This is my sixth glass – and you know why. I thought I was courtside at the Garden and the ref made a bad call.” Lee went on recalling the time his film “Do The Right Thing” didn’t get a best picture nomination in 1989, and “Driving Miss Daisy” ended up taking the prize. “I’m snake-bit. Every time someone is driving somebody I lose. But in ’89 I didn’t get nominated, so,” he added.

Other Twitter users have also stormed the platform to express their disappointment. “Remember when Green Book won Best Picture? Man, that choice did not age well,” Vulture’s journalist Mark Harris wrote.

Writer Ira compared “Green Book” win to “Crash” win and reacted with a meme.

A movie critic who goes by the name @ManohlaDargis on Twitter slammed The Academy for the controversial decision, “remember that this is the same organization that gave its top honor to ‘Crash’ – so not surprising but still, f**k it.”

Others took issue with the fact that director Peter Farrelly stressed multiple times in his speeches that the movie’s feats were mostly thanks to Viggo Mortensen, who plays Shirley’s bigoted driver and bodyguard, instead of Mahershala Ali who plays the jazz pianist.

DuVernay seemingly reacted to it by reminding everyone what the movie is really about. “For anyone who may be interested in what the Green Book actually was, here is a link to more information about this act of resistance and source of love and survival for many African-Americans. It started with Victor Hugo Green,” she wrote along with a link to the late travel writer’s Wikipedia page.

Another commented, “This man said that Green Book started with Viggo Mortensen. Not Mahershala…who played the character the story is actually about.”

Someone else similarly pointed out, “Green Book guy just said Viggo made the movie. Oh yeah and Mahershala. But really Viggo.”

Shirley’s relatives condemned the film because they were not contacted by studio representatives until after development. Addressing this, Vallelonga’s son Nick Vallelonga, who co-wrote the film and served as producer, said that he was simply following Shirley’s wish. “If you’re discussing the Don Shirley family thing, that falls on me. Don Shirley himself told me to not talk to anyone… he was an amazing man,” he explained. “He told me – if you’re going to tell the story, you tell it from your father and me. And also he told me, ‘Don’t tell it until I pass away.’ “

He added, “We invited them to all the screenings and to discussions. I was personally not allowed to speak to his family, per Don Shirley’s wishes… Don Shirley and my father had an amazing story together.”

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