Spike Lee finally scores first Oscar nomination as director for ‘BlacKkKlansman’

Spike Lee nabbed his first Oscar nomination for best director for “BlacKkKlansman.”
(Michael Nagle / For The Times)

Spike Lee is officially an Oscar-nominated director.

The “BlacKkKlansman” mastermind was included in the directing category alongside Paweł Pawlikowski (“Cold War”), Adam McKay (“Vice”), Alfonso Cuarón (“Roma”) and Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite”) when the 2019 Oscar nominations were announced Tuesday morning.

Lee’s Academy Award nomination for the timely drama, starring John David Washington and Adam Driver, is his third overall. He was first nominated in 1990 for the screenplay of “Do the Right Thing,” and in 1998 his “4 Little Girls” was nominated for documentary feature. Lee, who has been making films for three decades, was also the recipient of an honorary Oscar in 2015.


FULL COVERAGE: Oscar nominations 2019 »

Lee has been outspoken about his criticism of the Academy, as well as its snubs of his movies throughout his career. He was notably absent at the Oscars amid the #OscarsSoWhite controversy in 2016, when the ceremony lauded only white nominees in the acting categories.

“BlacKkKlansman” — based on the story of Ron Stallworth, a black detective who infiltrated a local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s — also nabbed Oscar nominations for original score, editing, adapted screenplay, supporting actor (Driver) and best picture.

The winners of the 91st Academy Awards will be revealed on Feb. 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and air live on ABC.

2019 Oscar nominations: See the full list »

Twitter: @cashleelee