Jordan Peele is First Black Screenwriter to Win Best Original Screenplay
Jordan Peele is first black screenwriter to win best original screenplay
05 MAR 18 10:28 ET
By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
(CNN) — Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” has placed him in the Oscar history books.
Peele was crowned the winner in the the best original screenplay race at Sunday’s Academy Awards, making him the first black screenwriter to receive the honor.
In his speech, Peele thanked the people “who raised my voice and let me make this movie.”
Heading into Sunday, Peele and his film were nominated for a total of four awards, including best picture.
Only four black film writers have been nominated in the best original screenplay category in Oscars’ 90-year history: Suzanne de Passe (“Lady Sings the Blues,” 1972), Spike Lee (“Do the Right Thing,” 1989) John Singleton (“Boyz n the Hood,” 1991) and Peele.
In the adapted screenplay category, three films with black writers have won in the past — “Precious,” “Twelve Years a Slave,” and “Moonlight.”
This year, Peele made history, becoming the first black director to receive nominations in the writing, directing, and best picture categories for his directorial debut.
Only two other people have accomplished that feat, according to the Academy. Warren Beatty with “Heaven Can Wait” (1978) and James L. Brooks with “Terms of Endearment” (1983).
Beatty walked away empty handed in his nominated categories and Brooks won all of his.
“Get Out,” a social thriller that received praise for its thought-provoking take on race in America, grossed $176 million domestically.
Speaking to CNN recently, Peele explained that part of “Get Out’s” success came from its ability to put viewers in the shoes of Daniel Kaluuya’s character Chris.
In the film, Kaluuya, who earned a best actor nomination, plays an African-American man whose weekend getaway to meet his white girlfriend’s parents takes a disturbing turn.
“I think the biggest thing ‘Get Out’ taught me about the power of story is that one of the few ways we can promote empathy is by seeing the world through somebody else’s eyes, and that’s what that’s what great story does,” he said. “That’s what a strong protagonist does.”
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