The film ‘Get Out’ was recently submitted to the comedy/musical category for the 2018 Golden Globes, which caused controversy among the millions of fans who watched the filmed.
Many believed the film was incorrectly categorized, forcing many of us to ask whether, ‘Systematic racism, interracial relationships, black horror movie stereotypes, and white privilege comical?’
‘Get Out’ writer and producer, Jordan Peele jokingly tweeted out that the film is a “documentary”. Furthermore, in a statement submitted to Deadline, Peele explained his reasoning for the film’s submission to the comedy category:
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.
The ‘Black struggle’ in America has a history of being marginalized as being a “cry for help”, as though it is not the byproduct of systemic racism in this country.
In my opinion, Get Out is much more than a film about a White woman kidnapping her Black boyfriend to have her family perform a lobotomy on him. Rather, the film addresses how White individuals, who through liberal racism, objectify and suppress the black consciousness.
YouTube personality and activist, Franchesca Ramsey tweeted “FYI #GoldenGlobes don’t just randomly put films into categories. Universal submitted Get Out as a comedy. it’s a social satire, it works pic.twitter.com/FW9NR1vfRn”.
Social satire? Possibly. Perhaps you belched out a few laughs when Rod, Chris’ friend, and also the “voice of reason” in the film warned Chris about his White girlfriend’s strange family. Still, you could probably count more times where the symbolism and scenes embedded throughout the film that struck you.
If the film’s chance of winning the Golden Globe is greater, when placed in the comedy category than that of the drama category then, so be it. But, Get Out’s afflictive racial subtleties are what may keep it in the outskirts of the drama category.
Films like Moonlight, The Butler, Madea Goes To Jail, and Madea’s Witness Protection tap into the realities of racism. They also tap into Black experiences and Black stereotypes that manage to suit a specific genre more naturally and less controversially than Get Out.
If placed in the drama category, Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out is pitted against Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman, Kumail Nanjiani in The Big Sick, James Franco in The Disaster Artist, Matt Damon in Downsizing, and Steve Carell in Battle of the Sexes.
Still, classifying ‘Get Out’ as a musical or comedy trivializes the traumatic experiences of Black people.
Evaluating the film as a comedy devalues the Black struggle rendering it as one that can be overcome with laughter.
Get Out might be a film far too complex and socially political to be “forced” into the categories available at the Golden Globes.
December 11, 2017 nominations will be announced for the 75th Golden Globe Awards, let’s see who agrees with the film’s category submission.
Written by: Kamerie Gibson
Kamerie is a San Jose State University in California with a focus in journalism student at San Jose State University in California.
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