Members of the team behind "Green Book" were amazed and thrilled it was crowned best picture at the Academy Awards despite the controversy that has dogged the segregation-era road-trip drama.

Co-writers and producers Nick Vallelonga and Brian Currie told The Associated Press at the Governors Ball following Sunday's awards that it was an honor to win in a year with so many great films.

"Green Book" tells the story of a white man who becomes friends with the black musician he drives through the 1960s South for a concert tour. The name is derived from a publication that helped African-Americans find establishments that would serve them in the segregated South.

"You have guys who are so diverse. They're not just racially diverse, economically diverse, educationally diverse," Currie said. "All of that makes for great characters. They had seemly nothing in common, and they found common ground to survive this trip."

While hailed as a tribute to racial tolerance by its makers and stars, "Green Book" was also widely criticized as an outdated, sentimentalized movie full of racial stereotypes.

Some of the musician's relatives took issue with the story's accuracy.