Mass confusion greeted the announcement that "Get Out" was submitted in the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category for the 2018 Golden Globe Awards. Some thought it was a racist decision by the Globes/Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Others understood that director/writer/producer Jordan Peele and Blumhouse Productions submitted the film in that category. Why? Well, of the few available options, "Get Out" is closer to a dark comedy/satire than a straight-up drama. (Also, let's be honest, it has a better chance of both getting nominated and winning in the comedy/musical category.)
#GetOut being nominated as a comedy is the literal definition of how white people and people of color see racism. 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.— Crutches&Spice♿️ (@Imani_Barbarin) November 15, 2017
Can we admit that the fact that #GetOut is categorized as a comedy actully PROVES the subtle white supremacy that the movie argues for— Keaton B. (@doulos_kb) November 15, 2017
White people are REALLY insistent today that calling GET OUT a comedy somehow trivializes it. It makes me realizes they didn't understand it and they also look down on comedy as a genre.— Ira Madison III (@ira) November 15, 2017
Until now, Peele's only social media contribution to the debate was to joke that "Get Out" was actually a documentary. But he further explained the decision, and the strong reaction to the "comedy" submission, in a statement to Deadline:
The most rewarding part of making "Get Out" is the conversations the film has inspired.
When I originally heard the idea of placing it in the comedy category it didn't register to me as an issue. I missed it. There's no category for social thriller. So what? I moved on.
I made this movie for the loyal black horror fans who have been underrepresented for years. When people began standing up for my voice, it meant a lot. "Get Out" doesn't just belong to me any more, now it belongs to everyone.
The reason for the visceral response to this movie being called a comedy is that we are still living in a time in which African American cries for justice aren't being taken seriously. It's important to acknowledge that though there are funny moments, the systemic racism that the movie is about is very real. More than anything, it shows me that film can be a force for change. At the end of the day, call "Get Out" horror, comedy, drama, action or documentary, I don't care. Whatever you call it, just know it's our truth.
It's also just a good movie. Will it be able to pull a "Martian," so to speak, and excel in the comedy category even though "comedy" is a stretch?
The 2018 Golden Globe nominations will be announced pretty soon, on December 11, with the awards handed out January 8 on NBC.
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