“Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted this, “ said Whoopi Goldberg during the 1991 Academy Awards Ceremony after winning Best Supporting Actress for her impeccable performance in Ghost. She went on to say, “I come from New York. As a little kid, I lived in the projects and you’re the people I watched. You’re the people who made me want to be an actor.” Reminiscing on her past, she thanks those in the cinema who inspired her to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress and ultimately being the second African-American actress to win Best Supporting Actress since 1939 (Hattie McDaniel, Gone With the Wind).
Who knew that during this time a twelve-year-old boy would watch this and be inspired to pursue his dream? On March 4, 2018, Jordan Peele (39) became the first African-American writer to win Best Original Screenplay for his brilliant film, Get Out. According to The Washington Post, Peele wrote and re-wrote his script about twenty times before he was completely satisfied. In his acceptance speech, Peele says, “I thought it was impossible, I thought it wasn’t going to work, I thought no one was going to make this movie…” Before becoming a box-office hit and an Academy Award nominated film, Peele had has his own doubts, but it was those who inspired him that drove him to completing his screenplay, making his film debut as director, and making Oscar history.
In an interview after winning his Oscar, Peele says, “I didn’t believe there was a place for me. Whoopi Goldberg in her acceptance speech for best supporting actress for Ghost was a huge inspiration for me. And when I got nominated, one of the first things I did was reach out and call her and thank her for telling young people who maybe doubted themselves that they could do it.” With Whoopi Goldberg inspiring a young aspiring filmmaker who is now an Academy Award-Winner, who knows whom Jordan Peele could have possibly inspired with his Oscar win and speech.