Jordan Peele becomes first black screenwriter to win Best Original Screenplay Oscar
It’s been more than a year since Get Out was released in theaters, but the film’s remarkable run isn’t over just yet: Writer-director Jordan Peele has just won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, becoming the first black screenwriter to receive the accolade.
“This means so much to me,” Peele said as he accepted the award. “I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible, I thought it wasn’t gonna work, I thought no one would ever make this movie — but I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone let me make this movie people would hear it and people would see it.”
He also thanked “all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie,” the film’s cast and crew, wife Chelsea Peretti, and his mother, “who taught me to love even in the face of hate.”
He then expressed gratitude for everyone who saw the film. “To everybody who went and saw this movie, to everybody who bought a ticket, who told somebody to buy a ticket, thank you — I love you for shouting out at the theater, shouting out at the screen, let’s keep going. I love you all, thank you so much.”
After his on-stage acceptance speech, he posted another, more succinct reaction on Twitter:
“I just won an Oscar. WTF?!?”
Peele was considered to be in the thick of a very tight race: He won the equivalent WGA award over fellow Oscar nominees Lady Bird and The Shape of Water, but Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was notably ineligible with the guild and wound up winning the corresponding BAFTA. Still, Peele’s highly original effort seemed to best fit the spirit of the category, and it’s been rewarded accordingly.
This was one of three Oscar nominations Peele earned for Get Out; he’s also a Best Director nominee and shares in the film’s Best Picture nod as a producer. The former Key & Peele star drew raves for his innovative and timely horror-satire, which traces what happens to a black man (played by Daniel Kaluuya) when he’s invited up to stay with his wealthy, liberal white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend.
“I wrote Get Out not necessarily as something to get made,” Peele recently told EW. “I wrote it more as something that would be fun to write and something that would help me get better as an artist. So there was no deadline that I was giving myself. Now that I know that this kind of movie works, I can give it more purpose. Like, I know that I can get it made, so let’s move forward with that goal in mind, instead of it being this ongoing project that who knows if anyone will ever see it.”
In addition to Lady Bird, The Shape of Water, and Three Billboards, Peele’s film beat out the acclaimed rom-com The Big Sick.