Spike Lee

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Spike Lee is taking a stand by not attending this year's Academy Awards, but he's not calling for a "boycott."

Lee is among several Hollywood A-listers who have slammed the awards show this year for its lack of diversity, but on Good Morning America Tuesday Lee made it clear he would be attending the New York Knicks game that Sunday instead of watching the telecast.

Initially, he said, he had sold his basketball tickets, but after publishing his essay on Instagram that slammed Hollywood, he decided to buy his tickets back and skip the show.

"Here's the thing, I have never used the word boycott," Lee clarified. "All I said was my beautiful wife, we're not coming. That's it, and I gave the reasons. It's like do you. We're not coming...Everyone else can do what they want to do."

The two-time Academy Award nominee actually took home an honorary Oscar in November at the Governors Awards, but in his lengthy Instagram statement Monday he blamed the 20 white acting nominees on the studios not the Academy. 

"As I see it, the Academy Awards is not where the 'real' battle is," Lee wrote of the controversy. "It's in the executive office of the Hollywood studios and TV and cable networks. This is where the gatekeepers decide what gets made and what gets jettisoned to ‘turnaround' or scrap heap. This is what's important. The gatekeepers. Those with 'the green light' vote. As the great actor Leslie Odom Jr. sings and dances in the game-changing Broadway musical Hamilton, 'I wanna be in the room where it happens.' People, the truth is we ain't in those rooms, and until minorities are, the Oscar nominees will remain Lilly white."

Lee repeated his feelings to George Stephanopoulos. "This whole Academy thing is a misdirection play," he said. "This goes further than the Academy Awards. It has to go back to the [studios]."

When asked how host Chris Rock should handle the situation, Lee said the comedian was a "grown ass man" and should do what he wants to do.

George Clooney, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Whoopi GoldbergLupita Nyong'o and more have all spoken out about the #OscarsSoWhite debate.

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