The Green Book Best Picture Academy Award win caused a backlash on social media. The movie has been plagued with controversy over the past several months and many are not happy that the movie was given the big award of the night. However, the chemistry between Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen in the movie was enough to have Academy voters believe that it deserved the Best Picture award in addition to Ali's Best Supporting Actor award and the Best Original Screenplay.
When Green Book was announced as the winner of Best Picture, BlacKkKlansman director Spike Lee tried to leave the Dolby Theater. The director walked towards the back of the auditorium and later returned to his seat and reportedly got into a heated exchange with Jordan Peele, who was sitting behind him. Lee was definitely not happy about the situation and he did not hide his emotions when asked about his loss backstage. When asked about the loss, Lee brought up the fact that his 1990 movie Do the Right Thing was snubbed by the Academy in favor of Driving Miss Daisy. He explains.
"I'm snake bit. Every time somebody is driving somebody, I lose - but they changed the seating arrangement!"
When Green Book initially hit theaters, some critics accused it of advancing the "white savior" conceit, which director Peter Farrelly disagreed with. In an interview around the time of the release, he said that Mahershala Ali and Vigo Mortensen's characters help each other, as opposed to one helping more than the other. However, that was just the start of the controversy that surrounded the movie. After a screening late last year, Mortensen came under fire for using the N word when trying to make a comparison from modern times to when the movie takes place. Though Mortensen apologized, many believe that his quote was taken out of context.
Then there's the family of Dr. Don Shirley, whom Mahershala Ali plays in the movie, who are angry with the way that the movie allegedly bends the truth in terms of their own portrayal and the real-life friendship between Dr. Shirley and Tony "Lip" Vallelonga, played by Viggo Mortensen. At the time of Green Book's release, the family said that the movie was full of "hurtful" lies and that some of the story is 100% made up. Ali later apologized to the family, declaring that he did not intend to harm or hurt anyone's feelings.
Around the time of the Oscars nominations, old reports of director Peter Farrelly surprising people on the set of movies like Dumb and Dumber and Something About Mary with his genitals resurfaced. Farrelly apologized for his past behavior and claims that it is disgusting, immature, and something that he just really wants to forget about. Luckily for Farrelly, the story didn't get too far and it appears that nobody wasn't coming forward and telling further stories of sexual misconduct by the director.
Finally, one of Green Book writer Nick Vallelonga's, son of Tony "Lip" Vallelonga, old tweets resurfaced, which contained an Islamophobic statement. Vallelonga was tweeting to Donald Trump and claiming that he saw Muslims cheering in the streets of New Jersey when the Twin Towers fell during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Vallelonga quickly apologized before deleting his Twitter account entirely. It is lucky for Peter Farrelly and crew that the overall message of Green Book overshadowed any of its controversy. When the Academy Award nominations were announced, the movie quickly jumped back into the top ten at the box office and stayed there for many weeks. You can check out the rest of this year's Academy Award winners over at the Oscars.