Preview: Oscar-nominee Spike Lee doesn't need awards to validate his work


The filmmaker talks about being nominated for the Best Director Academy Award for the first time, for "BlacKkKlansman."

CBS News

Academy Award-nominee Spike Lee does not need awards to validate his work, he tells Lesley Stahl in an interview for CBS' "Sunday Morning," to be broadcast Feb. 10.

Lee, whose film "BlacKkKlansman" earned six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, says it was being overlooked for those honors for his earlier work that influenced his thinking. Indeed, Lee said that his 1989 film "Do the Right Thing" not being nominated for Best Picture "hurt like a mother*****r."

"Oh, it hurt," Lee told Stahl. "And the reason why it hurt is, like, had they chose, the Academy chose, a great, great film for Best Picture, I'd have been cool with it. But their choice...!" [The Oscar went to "Driving Miss Daisy."]

"After 'Do the Right Thing,' and it was solidified with 'Malcolm X' [being ignored], I was never going to be put in a position where I needed someone's – whatever it is – to validate my work," Lee said. "I know what I do and the people let me know. People tell me I've changed their life. How they never thought about going to college before they saw 'School Daze'; how they never thought that black people could make movies. So, those are the awards."

In a wide-ranging interview, Lee talks with Stahl about his career, about making "BlacKkKlansman," his parents, racism and more.

Stahl also interview Ron Stallworth, the African-American Colorado Springs detective whose real-life story of infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan is portrayed in Lee's Oscar-nominated film.

To watch a trailer for "BlacKkKlansman," click on the video player below. 

BLACKkKLANSMAN - Official Trailer [HD] - In Theaters August 10 by Focus Features on YouTube

"Sunday Morning," hosted by Jane Pauley, is broadcast on CBS Sundays beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET. Executive producer is Rand Morrison. "Sunday Morning" also streams on CBSN beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET and repeated at 1 p.m. ET, and is available on, CBS All Access, and On Demand. You can also download the free "Sunday Morning" audio podcast at iTunes and at

Be sure to follow us at, and on Twitter (@CBSSunday), Facebook, and Instagram (#CBSSundayMorning). 


For more info: