Oscars: 'Green Book' Wins Best Original Screenplay
Nick Vallelonga, the producer caught in controversy throughout this awards season, went onstage to accept the honor with Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly.
Taking the stage, Currie said "I'd like to thank Universal Studios." He thanked the entire cast and crew and his parents, "the best" he could ever have. Farrelly thanked the "entire state of Rhode Island," and went on to thank the cast, along with his wife and others involved in the film. Said Vallelonga, "Thank you all... we did it."
The film is inspired by the true story of an African-American pianist named Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) who hired New York City bouncer Tony Vallelonga (known as Tony Lip, played by Viggo Mortensen in the film) to accompany him on a concert tour in the South and provide protection.
For its depiction of race, which some have declared "outdated," Green Book has been one of this award season's most controversial films. Screenwriter Vallelonga, who is Tony's son, also came under the microscope for the resurfacing of his anti-Muslim tweet from 2015. He received further negative attention when a 1998 Newsweek story was uncovered, noting that Vallelonga once flashed his genitals as a joke.
Backstage in the press room, Vallelonga noted that Shirley was an "amazing" man. "He told me, if you're going to tell the story, you tell it from your father, and me. And also he told me, don't tell it until I pass away." Shirley died in 2013.
The 2019 Oscars took place at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Centre and were televised live on the ABC Television Network.
Following Kevin Hart stepping down as host, the ceremony was presented hostless for the first time in 30 years. The program included numerous musical performances, including a Queen opening number featuring Adam Lambert.