As she was presenting an award, Kim Basinger called out the Academy at the 1990 Oscars for not nominating Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing"



At the 1990 Academy Awards ceremony, actress Kim Basinger caused a stir when she used her brief moment on camera to criticize the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its failure to nominate what she believed to be the best film of the year for the “Best Picture” prize. 

Before fulfilling her original role of introducing "Dead Poets Society" as one of the nominees for the top prize, she declared to the audience: 

“We’ve got five great films here, and they’re great for one reason: because they tell the truth. But there is one film missing from this list that deserves to be on it because, ironically, it might tell the biggest truth of all. And that’s "Do the Right Thing.” 

Basinger was not alone in her conviction that the Academy’s failure to recognize the greatness of Spike Lee’s third feature film constituted an injustice. Do the Right Thing was featured on 81 film critics’ “top ten films of 1989” lists and has become Lee’s most fondly remembered work, yet it only received two Oscar nominations: best original screenplay and best actor in a supporting role, both of which it lost. To this day, Spike Lee argues that the Academy snubbed his film because of racial bias. He claims that the predominantly white Academy members were unwilling to seriously consider a film that told its story from a non-white perspective and focused on uncomfortable themes regarding race.

This led to an overcompensation with the Oscars showering "Boyz in the Hood" and "Malcolm X" (both great movies) with more love than they would normally have gotten, but the Oscars in general until recently have had a hard time with black movies. The fact that "Hoop Dreams "wasn't nominated for best documentary has still gotta be one of the biggest snubs in ooscar history

"Do The Right" Thing should have won best picture, and Spike should have won Best director and Public Enemy should have won best original song for "Fight the Power." History frowns upon Hollywood for not getting it right that year and rewarding "Driving Miss Daisy," a film which adhered to Uncle Tom moralities when it came to racial divide, the Best Picture Oscar.