When I saw Get Out, I immediately acknowledge the genius that I saw in front of me. It was hard not to. The movie was an entertaining tale of the intersectionality of white supremacy and liberalism that perfectly reflects the horror of racism. Everything in me wanted Peele to rack up Oscars for putting together this masterpiece. Then, reality hit me. By the end of the night, I just knew Peele would be walking out with no recognition for the history that he made.
My thoughts came from what I’ve seen in the media landscape. Just two years ago the #OscarsSoWhite controversy took over social media, pushing the Academy to address the issue of the lack of nominees of color. It seemed as if it would never be addressed and, even if we were nominated, we still wouldn’t get the proper recognition. Well, Jordan Peele broke the mold this year.
Peele, nominated for three awards this evening at the 90th Academy Awards, took home the first Oscar of his career for “Best Original Screenplay”. The film stood out in the category. Get Out didn’t require huge explosions and special effects that rivals that of Star Wars. All he needed was his creative interpretation of racism in America and he crafted a movie that shifted the conventions of what a black man can do in Hollywood.
“I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible,” says Peele in his acceptance speech. The aforementioned quote should speak to all of us because it details the dedication and resilience that it takes to see our art come alive. Had Peele given up, we wouldn’t have seen him on the Oscars stage tonight. He wouldn’t have made history. He wouldn’t have inspired so many black content creators. If he’d given up that 20th time, he wouldn’t have been able to inspire me. The success of Jordan Peele shows us that to win we must fight against our fears and inner doubts. He did it so why can’t we?