Jordan Peele took home the Oscar for his film, Get Out, making him the first black writer to win the award.
He told the reporters in a press conference backstage that Whoopi Goldberg’s winning speech back in 1991 gave him the inspiration to do his best to achieve his filmmaking dreams.
“I almost didn’t do it,” he shared, “because I didn’t believe that there was a place for me. Whoopi Goldberg and her acceptance speech for best-supporting actress award for Ghost was a huge inspiration.”
“When I got nominated,” he continued, “one of the first things I did was reach out and call her, and thank her for telling young people who maybe doubted themselves if they can do it.”
Peele also took to Twitter on Monday morning to explain how Goldberg encouraged him to pursue his dreams.
“When @WhoopiGoldberg won her Oscar for ‘Ghost’ she practically reached through my TV screen and told young me to follow my dreams,” the 39-year old writer tweeted alongside a clip showing his reaction when he won at Sunday’s ceremony. “I did, and it worked. Thanks Whoopi.”
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) March 5, 2018
The Key & Peele star previously shared the effect of Goldberg’s speech during an interview in Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast released on Feb. 27.
“She got on stage and said something to the effect of, ‘For everybody out there who thinks you can’t do it or doubts yourself, or I don’t know if she said it or if this is what I got from it; looks like me, but feels like there are walls and ceilings, you can do it,’” Peele told Winfrey. “I internalized that and when the news came that I was nominated, I immediately thought of Whoopi and that this is now about all the people out there who this is sending that same message too.”
His movie Get Out have picked up several awards throughout the season including Best Picture and Best Director at Independent Spirit Awards last week.
“I’m so proud to be a part of a time, 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. It’s very special,” Peele said.
“I hope that this does the same and inspires more people to use their voices,” he added.