×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jordan Peele Becomes First African-American to Win Best Original Screenplay

Jordan Peele’s horror film “Get Out” has won the Academy Award for best original screenplay, making Peele the first African-American to win the award.

“Get Out” topped Greta Gerwig for “Lady Bird,” Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor for “The Shape of Water,” Emily Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani for “The Big Sick,” and Martin McDonagh for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

“I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible,” Peele said in his acceptance speech. “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.”

Peele thanked Universal, Jason Blum, the cast and crew, and his wife and mother.

“To everybody who went and saw this movie, everybody who bought a ticket, who told somebody to buy a ticket — thank you!” Peele said.

Backstage, Peele was jubilant as he shared his journey to his first Oscar. “I almost never became a director,” he said. “There was such a shortage of role models.”

He added, “I’m so proud to be a part of a time at the beginning of a movement where I feel like the best films in every genre are being brought to me by my fellow black directors.”

As Peele approached the microphone to take questions, he joked about the sea of numbered placards held up by journalists who waited to be called on. “Am I being auctioned off right now?” he said. “Creepy.”

The moment hearkened to a scene in “Get Out” where the lead character is auctioned off shortly before an attempt to steal his body.

Peele’s script centers on a young black man, portrayed by Daniel Kaluuya, who has to deal with an array of strange behavior and supernatural horror at the family home of his white girlfriend. The screenplay has been widely praised for providing a nuanced view of racism in contemporary America.

“Get Out” won the Writers Guild of America’s award on Feb. 11. The film also received Oscar nominations for best picture, best director for Peele, and best actor for Kaluuya.

“Get Out” was by far the most successful box office performer in the category for Universal, with more than $250 million in worldwide grosses.

See the full list Academy Award winners here.

POPULAR VIDEO:

More Film

  • Jon M. ChuUnforgettable Gala, Inside, Los

    'Crazy Rich Asians' Honored at Unforgettable Awards: 'One Movie Every 25 Years is Just Not F—ing Enough'

    Fresh on the heels of its Golden Globe nomination, “Crazy Rich Asians” was the talk of the evening at Kore Asian Media’s 17th annual Unforgettable Awards. Saturday’s event, which celebrates Asian-American trailblazers and their achievements in the entertainment industry, honored a host of Asian actors, directors and influencers, including “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. [...]

  • (L to R) Marco Graf as

    2018 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Winners

    Members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. are meeting today to vote on the year’s best cinema accomplishments. Recent winners of the group’s top prize include “Call Me by Your Name,” “Moonlight,” “Spotlight,” “Boyhood,” “Her”/”Gravity” and “Amour.” List of winners below. Check back throughout the morning for updates. Best Film: Best Director: Best Actor: Best [...]

  • Ralph Breaks the Internet

    Box Office: 'Ralph Breaks the Internet' Narrowly Defeats 'Grinch' in Sleepy Pre-Holiday Weekend

    Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” topped a quiet weekend at the domestic box office, marking the third straight win for the animated sequel. It earned $16.2 million in its third week of release, generating $140 million since it opened over Thanksgiving. Another cartooned adventure almost gave “Ralph” a run for its money. Illumination and Universal’s [...]

  • John KrasinskiVariety Actors on Actors, Day

    John Krasinski on 'A Quiet Place': Casting A Deaf Actress Was 'Non-Negotiable'

    John Krasinski’s debut feature “A Quiet Place” tells the story of a family with a deaf child, and the “Jack Ryan” star wanted to make sure he included a deaf actor in the film. “It was a non-negotiable thing for me,” Krasinski told Rosamund Pike of the casting during their conversation for Variety‘s “Actors on [...]

  • Rosamund Pike John Krasinski

    John Krasinski and Rosamond Pike on Vulnerability and Decompressing After Tense Scenes

    John Krasinski and Rosamund Pike sat down for a conversation for Variety’s Actors on Actors. For more, click here.  In “Gone Girl,” Rosamund Pike proved she could put herself through anything. The British actress, a well-loved supporting player in “Pride & Prejudice” and “An Education,” took the lead and scored her first Oscar nomination. Four years later, [...]

  • Aquaman

    'Aquaman' Rules Overseas Box Office With $94 Million in China

    “Aquaman” launched with a massive $93.6 million in China, marking the best start for a Warner Bros. title in that territory. The superhero adventure — directed by James Wan and starring Jason Momoa as the king of the seven seas — isn’t opening in North America for another two weeks, but the studio wanted to [...]

  • (L to R) MAHERSHALA ALI and

    Scores from 'Green Book,' 'Solo,' Others Disqualified from Oscar Race (EXCLUSIVE)

    First-round voting is underway for Oscar’s Original Song and Original Score categories, but Academy music-branch voters are discovering that four talked-about scores are missing from the eligibility list. Music for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” “Green Book,” “Mandy” and “The Other Side of the Wind” has been disqualified for various reasons, Variety has learned. More [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content