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Jordan Peele Is the First African American to Win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay

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Comedian turned writer-director Jordan Peele made history Sunday at the 90th annual Academy Awards for his work on Best Picture nominee Get Out.

Peele, 39, became the first-ever African American to win the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, beating out strong competition from Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.

Accepting the award on stage, Peele said: “This means so much to me. I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible. I thought it wasn’t going to work.

“I want to dedicate this to all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie,” he added.

Other black writers have taken home an award in the sister category, Best Adapted Screenplay, including Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney last year for Moonlight and John Ridley in 2013 for 12 Years a Slave. But Peele’s Get Out is the first script by a black writer to win for original writing—meaning its subject matter was not adapted from a previously published work, such as a novel or stageplay.

In addition to Best Picture, Peele is also up for an Academy Award for Best Director. He would also become the first African American to win that category should he triumph later this evening.

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