This year, one of the most diverse lineups of talented filmmakers and artists ever have scored Academy Award nominations for their hard work. Women find themselves included in categories they rarely do—or never have, in at least one case—and people of many different backgrounds are represented as they have never been before. While there is still room to improve in the coming years, the 2018 nominations are a sign that things are at least getting better when it comes to recognizing the best art coming out of Hollywood.
While there are plenty of reasons to celebrate the many actors, writers, directors, and others connected to some of the best films of the year, of all the nominees Jordan Peele enjoyed the best morning of all when the Academy unveiled this year's contenders. The multifaceted talent heard his name called not once, not twice, but three times, which is an extremely rare feat for any artist, with his work on Get Out up for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Picture as a producer on the film.
Seemingly everything about Peele’s land grab already makes it stand out as one of the biggest moments of this year's Oscars, but he’s also made history before the ceremony has even taken place. The moviemaker is now one of only five African Americans to be nominated for Best Director.
That type of love from the organization behind the Oscars only comes once every few years. The honor hasn't been limited to only white men (Alfonso Cuarón and Alejandro Iñárritu are among the only people of color who have accomplished the feat), a quick look shows that no African Americans have done so in the past decade.
Peele’s multiple nominations are truly inspirational for people of all colors, but especially for African Americans. The film, which can be difficult to define, but which many have taken to calling "horror," has a 99 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, certifying it as one of the best ever made. Horror films almost never reach those heights, and they’re rarely nominated for Oscars. The fact that the project also tackles racism, appropriation and features a black protagonist makes it all the more important to recognize what it has already accomplished.
The man who wrote, produced and directed the box office smash has shown that anyone can do anything and make any form of art, as few could have predicted back when he was writing for MadTV that he’d one day be a three-time Oscar nominee. The fact that he earned that status by telling such a captivating story so wonderfully, and by doing so with a lead actor who doesn’t adhere to outdated norms so many studios are clinging to about what horror movies should be about nor for what a director or leading man should look like shows important progress.
Whether Peele wins or not with his chance at becoming the first Black director to own that category and just the second to win Best Picture, he’s already made history, and people will be talking about his work—along with what he did—for years to come.
Watch Ty Dolla $ign talk about how he's pushing his legacy to make Future Black History in our interview below: