Botwc Firsts

Peter Ramsey Is The First Black Person To Direct A Major Animated Film

Peter Ramsey Is The First Black Person To Direct A Major Animated Film

Photo: AP

In 2012, Peter Ramsey became the first Black director of a major animated film when he directed Dreamworks’ "Rise of the Guardians." Last night, he won his first Golden Globe for "Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse," a film that he co-directed alongside Bob Persichetti and Rodney Rothman. This also marks the first Golden Globes for Sony Pictures.

Photo: NBC Universal/Getty Images 

During his acceptance speech, Ramsey began to stress the importance of the film’s diversity, by crowning a new Spiderman who was both African American and Puerto Rican. While his speech was cut short, the same sentiment that echoed throughout the film were the same remarks that he used to wrap up.

"Anybody can be behind the mask. We're counting on you! You can do it!"

Thankfully, he was able to expound on what he was trying to express to members of the press once he was backstage.

"We all felt deeply the idea that anyone can have this kind of experience. Anyone can share in this myth, be in this kind of legend, be this kind of hero," Ramsey said.

Since its debut, newsfeeds have been inundated with parents, aunties, uncles, friends and fans detailing various reactions to seeing someone on screen who looked like them.

Raised in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles, Ramsey began his career as a storyboard artist working on films like “Boyz n the Hood,” “Independence Day,” “Hulk” and many others. He also served as Second Unit Director on notable films such as “Higher Learning,” “Poetic Justice” and “Godzilla” to name a few. After honing his directing skills on some of Hollywood's biggest box office hits, Ramsey went on to join Dreamworks as a story artist working on “Shrek the Third” and “Shrek the Halls” and the rest is history. 

Congratulations Ramsey and thank you for giving us an animated film that we all deserved — one that was equally as diverse behind the scenes as it was in front.