Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
February 28, 2016 at 12:00 PM EST

Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer took home Oscar gold for telling the real-life story behind the Boston Globe‘s Spotlight team.

McCarthy and Singer won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for Spotlight, after winning in the same category at the Writers Guild Awards earlier this month. In their screenplay, McCarthy — who also directed the film — and Singer follow the investigative team at the Boston Globe as they fight uncover the truth about systemic child abuse inside the Catholic Church.

The film is nominated for several other awards, including Best Director for McCarthy and Best Picture.

“We made this film for all the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable,” McCarthy said. He also dedicated the award to survivors, “whose courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration.”

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Backstage, McCarthy continued, “I think if Josh and I came away with anything from this, it’s just what hardworking dedicated curious and committed professional these reporters are. And for any profession you take your hat off to people like that. For us it felt more like a social calling than it did a job, with these people, it was incredibly inspirational.”

Singer also noted that he, McCarthy, and Spotlight star Mark Ruffalo joined sexual abuse survivors at a protest prior to Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.

“We actually spent the morning down at the cathedral,” he said. “We were out protesting with probably a good 20, 30 SNAP [Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests] folks. … It was very fulfilling to stand there with them and urge the church to take action.”

McCarthy added, “And our message is, ‘We hear you, you’re not alone, there’s no shame in this, come out, speak loud, be heard and save lives.’”

Spotlight beat out Bridge of Spies, Ex Machina, Inside Out, and Straight Outta Compton in the category.

—Additional reporting by C. Molly Smith and Marc Snetiker

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