Spike Lee To Receive WGA East’s Ian McLellan Hunter Award For Career Achievement

Spike Lee To Receive WGA East’s Ian McLellan Hunter Award For Career Achievement

January 12, 2023

Spike Lee will be this year’s recipient of the WGA East’s Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement.

The award, which will be presented March 5 at the 75th anniversary WGA Awards in New York City, is named after the famed writer who fronted for Dalton Trumbo and Ring Lardner Jr. during the Hollywood Blacklist before being blacklisted himself. In announcing Lee’s selection, the guild described him as “one of the greatest writer/directors in film history.”

“For nearly 40 years, Spike Lee has written and directed some of the most meaningful and creative films in cinema,” said WGA East President Michael Winship. “With a unique ability to challenge, entertain and inform, his narratives spotlight the racism and bigotry that too often have defined the Black experience in America.”

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Lee began his storied career in the 1980s as a writer-director of such films as She’s Gotta Have It, School Daze and Do the Right Thing, for which he was Oscar-nominated for Best Original Screenplay. Many more celebrated films would follow, including Malcolm X, Mo’ Better Blues, Jungle Fever, Crooklyn, Clockers, He Got Game, Summer of Sam, Bamboozled, She Hate Me, Red Hook Summer, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, Chi-Raq and most recently Da 5 Bloods.

In 2015, Lee became the youngest recipient of an Honorary Academy Award for his contributions to filmmaking. And in 2018, he co-wrote and directed BlacKkKlansman, which earned him his first Oscar – for Best Adapted Screenplay – and his first Writers Guild Award nomination.

Past recipients of the Ian McLellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement include Nora Ephron, Walter Bernstein, John Sayles, John Waters, Robert Benton, Tom Fontana, Geoffrey Ward, Andrew Bergman, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Richard LaGravenese, Claire Labine and Richard Price.

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