During Sunday night’s Academy Awards, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) introduced one of the films nominated for Best Picture, and he was welcomed with a rousing standing ovation.
Lewis walked out on stage with “The Hate U Give” actor Amandla Stenberg in order to present the film Green Book, which went on to win the award.
"I can bear witness that the portrait of that time and place in our history is very real. It is seared in my memory,” the activist said during the presentation.
"Our nation bears the scars of that time, as do I,” Lewis added as the audience applauded.
While many people were visibly thrilled to see Lewis at the ceremony, people on Twitter were disappointed that he was tasked with presenting the controversial film about Black jazz pianist Don Shirley and his white driver.
After the film was released, critics spoke out about how the storyline depicted Viggo Mortensen’s character as a “white savior.”
The family of Dr. Don Shirley, played by Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, also called the film “a symphony of lies,” for making the white character, Tony Vallelonga, the central protagonist instead of Shirley.
The irony of having a civil rights icon present a movie that many found reduced the civil rights movement was not lost on Twitter.
(Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images)