To mark the milestone 25th anniversary of "Do the Right Thing", a reception was held on Friday, June 27 on the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The indie classic's director Spike Lee attended the affair to sign books, participate in a Q&A about the film and hear a message from the President of the United States and the First Lady.
Lee announced to the crowd that there was a surprise for everyone and a video appeared on the screen. Barack Obama said in the video, "Sorry we can't be with you today, but we wanted to congratulate Spike and all of you on the 25th anniversary of 'Do the Right Thing'." Michelle said the movie was "actually the first movie we saw together, on our first official date."
Obama went on detailing the date, "We had eaten lunch at the Art Institute of Chicago, gone for a little walk and then I took her to this new movie everybody was talking about, directed by a guy that not that many people had heard of, but it was supposed to be pretty good." Michelle added, "He was trying to show me his sophisticated side by selecting an independent filmmaker, and it ended up being a pretty good movie - really great!"
The President concluded, "So Spike, thank you for helping me impress Michelle, and thank you for telling a powerful story. Today, I've got a few more grey hairs than I did back in 1989. You don't look like Mookie anymore. But 'Do the Right Thing' still holds up a mirror to our society, and it makes us laugh, and think and challenges all of us to see ourselves in one another."
"Do the Right Thing" was a movie about an interracial neighborhood in Brooklyn and the one day when everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence. The film was a commercial success and received numerous accolades and awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Lee for Best Original Screenplay.