The kudo recognizes writers who have made significant contributions to film and TV through a body work that takes on timely issues and social concerns. Past recipients include Robert Benton, Tom Fontana, Geoffrey Ward, Andrew Bergman, John Sayles, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, John Waters, Richard LaGravenese, Nora Ephron and Walter Bernstein.
“For nearly forty 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. Spike Lee is a moviemaker and storyteller greatly deserving to be honored with the WGA East’s Hunter Award for Career Achievement.”
The WGA East honor was established in 1992 in honor of the screenwriter behind “Roman Holiday” and the pioneering TV series “Beulah.” Lee emerged as one of the most influential directors of his generation with his 1986 feature debut “She’s Gotta Have It.” He earned his first Oscar nomination for the screenplay of 1989’s “Do the Right Thing.” He won the Oscar for adapted screenplay for 2018’s “BlacKkKlansman.”
Lee has branched out into TV series and documentary films in recent years. He adapted “She’s Gotta Have It” as a Netflix series in 2017. His documentaries include “4 Little Girls” and “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts.”
The Writers Guild Awards will be presented March 5 at simultaneous ceremonies in New York, at Manhattan’s Edison Ballroom, and in Los Angeles at the Fairmont Century Plaza.