Every Reason the 2018 Oscars Were So Historic

The 2018 Oscars were truly historic, and this time not because of some sort of fiasco. The top prize this year went to The Shape of Water, one of the strangest winners in history; a movie about a woman falling in love with a fish man beat a Steven Spielberg film starring Meryl Streep

Meanwhile, Get Out, a horror film released by the studio that brought us films like The Purge and Insidious, had a realistic shot at winning Best Picture and ended up taking home Best Original Screenplay.

But this was a night of milestones for many other reasons. This year, several of the Oscar winners made history. Here’s how.

1. Jordan Peele became the first black winner of Best Original Screenplay

Jordan Peele holding his award.

Jordan Peele | Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Jordan Peele winning Best Original Screenplay for Get Out was historic, as it made Peele the first black winner in this category in the history of the Oscars.

There have only been three previous black nominees in Best Original Screenplay: Suzanne de Passe for Lady Sings the Blues, Spike Lee for Do the Right Thing, and John Singleton for Boyz n the Hood. Peele was the first black nominee in the category in 27 years. Meanwhile, Mudbound‘s Dee Rees became the first black woman nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Peele also became the first black director in history to be nominated for directing, producing, and writing for his directorial debut. Only two other people have ever done so before: Warren Beatty for Heaven Can Wait and James L. Brooks for Terms of Endearment.

Finally, Get Out is also the first horror film to win Best Original Screenplay.

Next: The winner of Best Adapted Screenplay also made history.

2. James Ivory became the oldest person to ever win an Oscar

James Ivory holding his award.

James Ivory | Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The 2018 Oscars also gave us our oldest winner in history: James Ivory. Ivory took home the award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Call Me By Your Name. He is 89 years old. The win was a long time coming; Ivory has been nominated several times before going back to 1985.

Ivory is not the oldest person to ever be nominated for an Oscar, though. That title would go to Agnès Varda, who, funnily enough, was also nominated this year; she directed the documentary, Faces Places, and is also 89 years old, but eight days older than Ivory.

Next: How the winner of Best Makeup & Hairstyling made history

3. Kazuhiro Tsuji became the first Asian person to win Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Kazuhiro Tsuji holding his award.

Kazuhiro Tsuji | Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S via Getty Images

Here’s another example of something that’s pretty hard to believe has never happened before. In 90 years of the Academy Awards, never has an Asian person won the Oscar for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. That changed this year when Kazuhiro Tsuji won the award for his work on Darkest Hour.

Backstage, Tsuji told reporters, “I don’t want to think about [being] Asian. I’m just doing what I love to do. As soon as we start to think about the race we are, it’s not good. It doesn’t work well.”

Next: The winner of Best Original Song is the first person in history to ever do this.

4. Robert Lopez became the first person to win two EGOTs

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez accepting their awards on stage.

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez took home the Oscar for Best Original Song this year, as they wrote “Remember Me” from Coco.

This meant that Lopez became the first person in history to achieve a double EGOT. A person who has an EGOT, of course, is someone who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. As of this year, Lopez has won at least two of each, becoming the first person to do so.

He won two Emmys for The Wonder Pets, three Grammys for The Book of Mormon and Frozen, two Oscars for Frozen and Coco, and three Tonys for Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon.

Next: One of the presenters made history as well.

5. Daniela Vega became the first openly transgender presenter ever

Daniela Vega speaking in front of a microphone on stage.

Daniela Vega | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Daniela Vega introduced one of the original song performances at the Oscars this year, and by doing so, she became the first openly transgender person to ever present at the Academy Awards. Vega starred in the movie, A Fantastic Woman, which won the award for Best Foreign Language film.  

This was not the only way in which members of the transgender community made history this year. Yance Ford became the first openly transgender filmmaker to have a movie up for an Oscar; he directed the documentary Strong Island.

Next: Netflix made history in this way.

6. A Netflix feature film won an Oscar for the first time

A man in a mask leans down.

Icarus | Netflix

For the first time ever, a feature-length Netflix movie won the Oscar this year. Icarus, a documentary distributed by Netflix, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

This isn’t the first time Netflix has ever won an Oscar, but it’s the first time a full-length Netflix movie has won; last year, Netflix’s short documentary, The White Helmets, took home Best Documentary (Short Subject).

So will the day come when a Netflix movie actually wins Best Picture? That seems likely, especially since Mudbound came close to earning a nomination this year. At the moment, the only streaming service to pick up a Best Picture nomination is Amazon for Manchester by the Sea. 

Next: This person was the first to be nominated in these two categories. 

7. Mary J. Blige became the first person to be nominated both for a performance and for an original song

Mary J. Blige performing on stage in a red gown.

Mary J. Blige | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Mary J. Blige was actually nominated in two separate categories at the Oscars this year. First, she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Mudbound. But in addition to starring in the movie, Blige also wrote a song for it, and so she was nominated for Best Original Song as well.

This was the first time in history that anyone has been nominated both for an original song and for a performance in the same year.

Next: It’s hard to believe no woman had ever been nominated in this category until 2018.

8. Rachel Morrison became the first woman to be nominated for Best Cinematography

Rachel Morrison posing on the red carpet.

Rachel Morrison | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

As shocking as this is, it took 90 years for the Academy to nominate a woman in the category of Best Cinematography. The first woman to earn that honor was Rachel Morrison, who was nominated this year for her work on Mudbound. She did not end up winning the award, though; she lost to Blade Runner 2049‘s Roger Deakins.

Morrison is a prolific cinematographer, so she is certainly someone who is likely to win the Oscar at some point in her career. She may even be nominated again next year for Black Panther.

Next: No movie in this genre has been nominated in this category before. 

9. A superhero movie was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay for the first time

Hugh Jackman in 'Logan'.

Hugh Jackman in Logan | 20th Century Fox

Superhero movies generally don’t receive much love from the Academy outside of categories like Best Visual Effects. But this year, a comic book movie was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for the first time ever, as Logan made it into that category. It lost to Call Me By Your Name, though.

Still, this was a historic achievement for the genre, and it could open up the door to more comic book movies being present in this category, such as Black Panther next year.

Next: A nominee in Best Supporting Actor achieved this milestone. 

10. Christopher Plummer became the oldest acting nominee in history

Christopher Plummer wearing a striped shirt and a suit.

Christopher Plummer | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Countless jokes about Christopher Plummer’s age were made at the Academy Awards, partially because he’s the oldest actor to ever be nominated for an Academy Award: Plummer is 88. The previous oldest nominee was Gloria Stuart, who was nominated for Titanic at the age of 87.

Plummer starred in All the Money in the World, replacing Kevin Spacey in reshoots. Plummer did not win this year, but he did win Best Supporting Actor back in 2012 for Beginnings. At that time, he earned the title of oldest actor to ever win an Oscar, a title he still holds.

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