Spike Lee, it seems, has little regard for Hollywood. Not film, mind you — as one of America’s most celebrated auteurs, he clearly has a grasp for the form that few can match. But when it comes to the business side of things, he’s got a few bones to pick.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter recently, Lee sounded off on the way the industry’s awards process works, as well as the way actors and actresses are treated. It’s no wonder so many have personal problems, whether it’s with marriage, drugs, depression or otherwise.
“You’re out there buck-naked and that is hard,” Lee said. “The reason why actors are f*cked up; can you imagine having a job where someone is, ‘No, no, no. Your butt’s too big. Your heads to big. You’re too skinny. Your nose is too big?’”
Having famously not gotten a Best Picture nomination for “Do The Right Thing,” perhaps his most famous film, in 1989, Lee explained that it was just one example of the flawed Oscar process.
“In 1989, ‘Do the Right Thing’ was not even nominated,” he said. “What film won best picture in 1989? ‘Driving Miss Mother F*cking Daisy!’ That’s why [Oscars] don’t matter. Because 20 years later, who’s watching ‘Driving Miss Daisy’?… There are many times in history where the best work does not get awarded. And I’m not even talking about my own work. So that’s why [the Oscars] don’t matter.”
Lee hasn’t made a traditional motion picture feature film since 2008’s World War II film, “Miracle at St. Anna,” but he’s been busy in other fields; the second part of his HBO New Orleans post-Katrina documentary, “If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise,” won a Peabody Award earlier in the year, and he’s working on a TV series loosely based on Mike Tyson for HBO, titled, “Da Brick.”