Theta Eta Chapter alumnus Charlie Wachtel has received an Oscar for co-writing the recent Spike Lee and Jordan Peele movie BlacKkKlansman.
The screenplay, adapted from a book by the same name, follows the true story of Ron Stallworth, a rookie African-American police officer who went undercover and infiltrated a Colorado branch of the Ku Klux Klan in 1979.
After meeting at Hebrew school, Charlie Wachtel and David Rabinowitz grew up together in East Brunswick. Now, they’re celebrating their first Oscar win.
Wachtel and Rabinowitz, 31, two of the pens behind the Oscar-nominated film “BlacKkKlansman,” received the honor for best adapted screenplay alongside co-writers Spike Lee and Kevin Willmott (“Chi-Raq”).
As a police detective in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Stallworth, who is black, successfully infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the 1970s. In the film, he does this with the help of Det. Flip Zimmerman, played by Adam Driver. Zimmerman, who is Jewish (in real life, Stallworth’s white partner was not), must play the part of a Holocaust denier and keep up the ruse as he comes face to face with Klan members who ask if he’s Jewish.
BlacKkKlansman is available to purchase now.