Academy Awards History: Jordan Peele is First Black Original Screenplay Oscar Winner, 'Let It Go' Songwriter Achieves Double EGOT

Plenty of history was made at the 90th Academy Awards Sunday night.

Get Out writer-director Jordan Peele became the first black writer to win best original screenplay at the Oscars for the mind-bending horror hit. The script for Get Out, which was also nominated for best picture, beat out Lady Bird, The Big Sick, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape of Water.

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

Peele also tweeted:

 

Peele was in good company on a night where diversity and women empowerment were top of the agenda.

Coco’s Robert Lopez became the first person to become a double EGOT winner, according to Entertainment Weekly. Lopez and wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez won their second Oscar for best original song, “Remember Me” from the Disney animated hit. Their previous victory was for a little song called “Let It Go” from Frozen.

Lopez’s second Oscar completes his double EGOT. He already has two Daytime Emmy Awards for children’s series The Wonder Pets, three Grammy Awards—including one for “Let It Go”—and three Tony Awards for his work in musical theater, which includes writing the music for The Book of Mormon.

In the era of #MeToo and Time’s Up—and Frances McDormand’s rousing speech celebrating all of the women nominated—it seems fitting that the best picture winner also added to the night’s female empowerment narrative.

The Shape of Water is notable for being the first movie featuring a female lead character to win the night’s top prize in 13 years. Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy drama is led by Sally Hawkins. The last best picture winner to center on a female character was Million Dollar Baby, which starred Hilary Swank.

 

Not all history involved taking home a golden statue, however. Daniela Vega, the Chilean star of the best foreign language film, A Fantastic Woman, became the first openly transgender person to present at the Oscars.

Vega introduced Sufjan Stevens’s performance of “Mystery of Love,” the Oscar-nominated song from Call Me by Your Name.