The Do the Right Thing moviemaker posted a lengthy essay on Instagram.com on Monday (18Dec15) announcing his decision to not attend the Los Angeles ceremony on 28 February (16) because he "cannot support it" due to the exclusion of black stars in the major acting categories.

However, Lee insists he is not trying to start a mass protest and simply made the decision to go to a basketball game instead of the Oscars.

During an appearance on U.S. TV show Good Morning America, he explains "I'm going to the Knicks (New York Knicks) game. I sold my tickets but after I put my essay out my wife and I decided we're not going (to the Oscars) I bought my tickets back. February 28th we'll be at the world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden to see my beloved orange and blue hopefully beat the Miami Heat...

"Here's the thing, I have never used the word boycott. All I said was we're not coming (to the Oscars), and that's it, and then I gave the reasons. So I never used the word boycott... I'm not going. My wife's not going. Everyone else can do what they want to do."

He also insisted the boss behind the awards ceremony, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, has been trying to make changes to the voting system long before the #OscarsSoWhite campaign was launched following the nominations announcement earlier this month (Jan16).

Lee recalls receiving his honorary Oscar at the Governor's Ball in November (15) and adds, "She began that night saying this is her plan... (But) we can't say hocus pocus presto chango and the membership's going to change overnight... This whole Academy thing is a misdirection play... It goes back further than the Academy Awards, it has to go back to the gatekeepers (studio executives)."

The director also declared he will support comedian Chris Rock "either way" if he drops out or remains as ceremony host.

Actor/singer Tyrese Gibson believes Chris should step down to make a statement, telling People.com, "There is no joke that he can crack, there is no way for him to seize the moment and come into this thing and say 'I'm going to say this, or say that, I'm gonna address the issue and keep my gig as a host.' The statement that you make is you step down. That's what you do."

Actress Jada Pinkett Smith also vowed to not attend or watch the ceremony, along with rapper Snoop Dogg.