What you didn't see: Jordan Peele's epic answer to a backstage question.

After winning the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, Jordan Peele's press conference got off to an awkward start backstage.

Standing in front of a room of reporters with numbered cards in hand, the "Get Out" writer and director joked that he felt like he was "about to be auctioned off right now." Someone else in the room replied, "You absolutely are. Get used to it."

GIF from "Entertainment Tonight"/YouTube.


The room laughed at what was essentially an unintentional callback to a scene from Peele's award-winning film. "This is creepy," he said. The atmosphere was filled with a kind of enjoyable tension — the same feeling one might have when watching "Get Out" for the first time.

What made the whole experience even more surreal was the fact that Peele almost didn't make the movie, let alone win a top honor for it.

GIF from "Get Out."

The whole press conference was fascinating, but one question about the importance of awards stood out.

"As you continue to move forward telling stories about race and things that have affected us in our society, how important are Oscars and other awards essential to you for validation or to continue to move forward?" asked one reporter. Peele's response touched on his complicated feelings around awards as a sign of validation, discussing how his 12-year-old self helped him understand why they do matter.

"I didn't know how important this was. I always wanted this, but the campaign is grueling, and there are times when I questioned, what is it all about? You're watching your last jump shot for a year, and as an artist, that doesn't feel right. It doesn't feel right to be complacent and to feel like I've done anything too special to reward myself."

Once he was nominated, however, Peele says he understood how much awards helped inspire him at a young age.

"When the nominations for this came together — first of all, when the nominations came out, I had this amazing feeling of looking at the 12-year-old that had this burning in my guts for this type of validation, and I instantly realized that an award like this is much bigger than me."

All GIFs via Entertainment Tonight/YouTube.

It was Whoopi Goldberg's 1991 Best Supporting Actress Oscar win that helped fuel Peele's own curiosity and ambitions. He hopes his win can have the same effect on others.

"This is about paying it forward to the young people who might not believe that they could achieve the highest honor in whatever craft they want to push for. You're not a failure if you don't get this. But I almost didn't do it because I didn't believe that there was a place for me. Whoopi Goldberg, in her acceptance speech for best supporting actress for 'Ghost,' was a huge inspiration to 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. So I hope that this does the same and inspires more people to use their voices."

Peele has every reason to be inspired by Goldberg's speech. It was filled with a beautiful combination of honesty and joy.

"I want to thank everybody who makes movies," she said, beaming. "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 wanted — made me want to be an actor. I'm so proud to be here. I'm proud to be an actor, and I'm gonna keep on acting. And thank you so much."

Peele tweeted that Goldberg's speech "practically reached through my TV and told young me to follow my dreams."

Maybe his speech could inspire another aspiring filmmaker the way hers inspired him.

You can watch Peele's backstage press conference below.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
President Biden/Twitter, Yamiche Alcindor/Twitter

In a year when the U.S. saw the largest protest movement in history in support of Black lives, when people of color have experienced disproportionate outcomes from the coronavirus pandemic, and when Black voters showed up in droves to flip two Senate seats in Georgia, Joe Biden entered the White House with a mandate to address the issue of racial equity in a meaningful way.

Not that it took any of those things to make racial issues in America real. White supremacy has undergirded laws, policies, and practices throughout our nation's history, and the ongoing impacts of that history are seen and felt widely by various racial and ethnic groups in America in various ways.

Today, President Biden spoke to these issues in straightforward language before signing four executive actions that aim to:

- promote fair housing policies to redress historical racial discrimination in federal housing and lending

- address criminal justice, starting by ending federal contracts with for-profit prisons

- strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Native American tribes and Alaskan natives

- combat xenophobia against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has skyrocketed during the pandemic

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.

Keep Reading Show less
True
Gates Foundation

Once upon a time, a scientist named Dr. Andrew Wakefield published in the medical journal The Lancet that he had discovered a link between autism and vaccines.

After years of controversy and making parents mistrust vaccines, along with collecting $674,000 from lawyers who would benefit from suing vaccine makers, it was discovered he had made the whole thing up. The Lancet publicly apologized and reported that further investigation led to the discovery that he had fabricated everything.

Keep Reading Show less
via TikTok

Menstrual taboos are as old as time and found across cultures. They've been used to separate women from men physically — menstrual huts are still a thing — and socially, by creating the perception that a natural bodily function is a sign of weakness.

Even in today's world women are deemed unfit for positions of power because some men actually believe they won't be able to handle stressful situations while mensurating.

"Menstruation is an opening for attack: a mark of shame, a sign of weakness, an argument to keep women out of positions of power,' Colin Schultz writes in Popular Science.

Keep Reading Show less