“When @WhoopiGoldberg won her Oscar for ‘Ghost’ she practically reached through my TV screen and told young me to follow my dreams,” Peele wrote alongside a GIF of his reaction to hearing his name called at Sunday’s awards ceremony. “I did, and it worked. Thanks Whoopi.”
The sweet shout-out came after Peele shared with reporters backstage what a profound impact Goldberg’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress had on him.
He went on to express his hopes that his win would, in turn, inspire others to “use their voices.”
“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’s 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 to.”
Peele’s powerful tweet was a follow-up to Sunday night’s social media post, where he simply wrote in disbelief, “I just won an Oscar. WTF?!?”
Peele became the first black writer to win the Best Original Screenplay statuette. Afterwards, he admitted a lack of people to look up to almost put him off pursuing the profession.
“I almost never became a director because there’s such a shortage of role models,” he told reporters. “This is about paying it forward to the young people. You’re not a failure if you don’t get this, but I almost didn’t do it because I didn’t believe there was a place for me.”