jordan peele says get out is a documentary, not a comedy

Universal has submitted the blockbuster to the Golden Globes’s Best Comedy category.

by André-Naquian Wheeler
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16 November 2017, 11:26am

Screenshot via YouTube

This article was originally published by i-D US.

Jordan Peele’s Get Out is undoubtedly one of the strongest, and most genre-defying, films to arrive this year. It borrows from a disparate batch of classics like The Shining, Jaws, and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner to create a nuanced commentary on racism, interracial dating, and violence against black men. But Universal has decided on a surprising category for Get Out ahead of awards season. Confirmed by EW, The studio has submitted the blockbuster to the Golden Globes’s Best Comedy category — instead of the more prestigious and competitive Best Drama — and fans are not happy.

"White privilege is watching Get Out and thinking it was funny," one fan tweeted. "Get Out being nominated as a comedy is the literal definition of how white people see racism," another fan expressed. "For them, it's just a joke that POCs need to "get over." And for us, racism is like a cascade of horrors that never cease."

Even Jordan Peele disagrees with Universal’s decision. He took to Twitter last night to say that Get Out is neither a comedy nor a horror satire. "Get Out is a documentary," he wrote, pointing out there is, painfully, more truth than fiction in Chris’s experience.

The "Best Comedy and Musical" category at The Golden Globes is inherently slightly vague and, at times, confusing. For example, last year the winner of the category was Matt Damon’s sci-fi drama The Martian. Other winners include The Hangover, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and La La Land. There are laughs in Get Out, but they are typically uncomfortable reactions to the almost absurdist state of American race relations.

Some are arguing that Universal's submission was simply a strategic move, to increase Get Out’s chances of scoring a Golden Globe. Rarely are horror films nominated for Best Picture The Independent noted, and, on top of that, there is stiff competition this year. Films like Call Me By Your Name, Dunkirk, and The Post (which, unlike Get Out, have had Oscar and Golden Globe buzz since their inception) are being touted as frontrunners.

The real problem lies in the fact that, despite being one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year, Get Out is still being positioned as a movie not capable of competing against more "conventional" award show films. Does a black film have to possess a certain aesthetic, pedigree, and approach towards racism to get industry recognition? If Hollywood is ever going to improve its diversity, POC-led films need to be seen as equally award-worthy.