Filmmaker Spike Lee poses for a portrait to promote the series, “Off the Wall”, at the Toyota Mirai Music Lodge during the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Spike Lee applauds the Academy for making changes to increase diversity in its ranks, but he is still skipping the Oscars.
“We have principles,” Lee said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I commend the Academy for what they’ve done. But that does not change our mind. The Knicks will be victorious — I hope. I’ll be at the Garden.”
After last week’s Oscar nominations revealed an all-white slate of acting nominees for the second consecutive year, Lee said he would skip the Feb. 28 Academy Awards and go to the Knicks game instead.
“My wife and I will be in my courtside seats,” he said.
Still, he praised Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs and the organization’s board of governors for “trying to do the right thing.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Friday that it would double the number of its female and minority members by 2020 and implemented other changes aimed at increasing diversity among the largely white and male organization.
Lee thinks the changes could help: “It’s a start.”
The filmmaker is at the Sundance Film Festival this week to premiere his new documentary, “Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to ‘Off the Wall.’”
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen at www.twitter.com/APSandy