Spike Lee Encourages Voters to "Do the Right Thing" After First Oscars Win

Writer and director took the stage after winning Best Adapted Screenplay

By Jess Cohen Feb 25, 2019 3:46 AMTags
Spike Lee, 2019 Oscars, 2019 Academy Awards, Best AccessoriesRick Rowell/ABC

Spike Lee is officially an Oscar winner!

The writer and director won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay alongside Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott at the 2019 Oscars for their work on BlacKkKlansman.

"I want to thank Tonya, Jackson, Satchel," Lee began, thanking his family. "The word today is irony. The date, the 24th. The month, February, which also happens to be the shortest month of the year. Which also happens to be black history month. The year, 2019. The year, 1619. History, her story. 1619, 2019. 400 years, our ancestors were stolen from Mother Africa and brought to Jamestown, Virginia, enslaved. Our ancestors worked the land from can't see in the morning to can't see at night. My grandmothers, who lived to be 100 years young, who was a Spelman College graduate even though her mother was a slave."

Oscars 2019 Winners

"My grandmother, who saved 50 years of social security checks to put her first grandchild, she called me 'Spiky Poo,' she put me through Morehouse College and NYU Grad Film. NYU!" Lee continued. "Before the world tonight I give praise to our ancestors who built our country where it is today, along with the genocide of its native people. We all connect with ancestors, we will have love, wisdom, and regain our humanity. It will be a powerful moment. The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let's all mobilize, let's all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let's do the right thing! You know I had to get that in there!"

Watch: Spike Lee Tells What "BlackKklansman" Oscar Noms Mean to Him

The line was a tribute to his 1989 film of the same name, Do the Right Thing.

As Lee ended his speech, the audience gave him a standing ovation, cheering as he exited the stage.

For a recap of the 2019 Oscars, watch E! News tonight at 7 p.m.!