Nominating 'Get Out' for Best Comedy Has to Be a Sick Joke

Get Out
Universal Pictures

Earlier this year, Key & Peele alum Jordan Peele blessed us with Get Out, his directorial debut that grossed over $253 million worldwide and became the "highest-grossing film debut of an original screenplay in the history of Hollywood." It's a notable masterpiece that's received high praise -- and a rare 100 percent Rotten Tomatoes score -- from both critics and moviegoers alike, making Peele's unconventional horror story about the black experience, appropriation, racism, and its intersection in today's "progressive" society -- in the guise of acceptance and color-blind declarations -- a welcomed anomaly in and of itself.

And yet, Get Out will compete for a Golden Globe in the comedy and musical category at the 75th Golden Globe Awards, which begs the question why -- and whether or not those who deem it a comedy actually saw (or understood) the film at all.

  • While "Get Out" did have moments of humor interlaced through the story line, its significance was anything but a joking matter.

    Daniel Kaluuya stars as Chris Washington, a talented black photographer headed off to meet girlfriend Rose Armitage's (Allison Williams) parents for the weekend during an annual get-together that's life-changing to say the least.

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  • The film addressed racism in clever ways -- like orchestrating a surreptitious game of "Bingo" with slave auction sentiments.

    Author Sam Wallace notes the scene's menacing undertones that expose the Armitage family's unseen plan and masked bigotry. "The fact that they were bidding on a black man is the darkest twist of all and not what you might first think is the obvious answer," he writes on Salon.com. "Without giving any spoilers away, this scene is quite possibly the darkest (and most horrific) twist in the whole film, as up to now it has been playing on obvious racial prejudices."

  • Or Rose enjoying "pure" milk with her trophy of black conquests proudly hanging on her wall as she seeks the next victim.

    Though Get Out was in theaters before the Charlottesville protest, many news outlets have pointed out the "new uniform of white supremacy" that mirrors Rose's attire.

  • Jordan Peele wanted "Get Out" to push boundaries, "represent the black experience," and drive much-needed dialogue about race and society.

    Jordan Peele
    Splash News

    "I'm a true believer in story. I think when you just tell people to think, people tend to get resistant and defensive, and feel like you're accusing them of not thinking," Peele told The Verge in an interview.

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    "But when you tell a story, and you draw them in through allowing them to see through the eyes of a different person, and when you can affect their feelings and emotions — whether it's making them laugh, or making them scared, or making them scream, or making them cheer — then you have them on a starting point, already, to think about why they had those visceral reactions.

    ".... As we got into the initial years of the Obama administration, it became more clear than ever to me that race was a conversation people were increasingly uncomfortable having. There was this “post-racial” lie going on. So this movie, the purpose of it became to represent the black experience, but also just [represent] race in the horror-movie genre and in the public conversation, in a way that I felt was taboo."

  • Since news of the film's Golden Globe nomination as a comedy -- a decision he *didn't* make -- Jordan begs the question, "What are you laughing at?"

    "Originally, I set out to make a horror movie. I ended up showing it to people and hearing, you know, it doesn’t even feel like horror. It’s in this thriller world. So it was a social thriller," Peele recently said in response to the news at a lunch event.

    "What the movie is about is not funny. I've had many black people come up to me and say, 'man, this is the movie we’ve been talking about for a while and you did it.' That’s a very powerful thing. For that to be put in a smaller box than it deserves is where the controversy comes from."

    When asked about his response to Universal Pictures submitting the film to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for Golden Globes consideration as a comedy, the star simply said, "I don't think it worked like that, I think it was just submitted."

    "I think the issue here is that the movie subverts the idea of all genres," Peele added. He continues:

    "Call it what you want, but the movie is an expression of my truth, my experience, the experiences of a lot of black people, and minorities. Anyone who feels like the other. Any conversation that limits what it can be is putting it in a box.

    "The major point to identify here is that we don’t want our truth trivialized. The label of comedy is often a trivial thing. The real question is, what are you laughing at? Are you laughing at the horror, the suffering? Are you disregarding what’s real about this project? That’s why I said, yeah --  it's a documentary."

  • The Internet is seemingly in agreement with Jordan's confusion and feels those who deem the social thriller a comedy miss the point ...

  • ... and only prove this country has problems with addressing a big issue.

  • What's interesting to note is that Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained" drama-western was noted for its "comic savagery."

    Huffington Post writer Liz Smith notes the film, about a liberated slave-turned-bounty-man on a quest to free his wife, is a "western shoot 'em up classic of willful hilarity." Anyone who saw the film will agree Tarantino's movie had endless amounts of funny banter -- like Don Johnson, Jonah Hill, and other white supremacists complaining about size of their tiny eyeholes on their sheets and how they can't see -- considering it is a film about slavery.

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  • And yet, it was still nominated for Golden Globes ... as a drama.

    Interesting.

  • Seeing as the HFPA created new rules after "The Martian" took home a Golden Globe for *comedy,* it should really consider upholding them.

    Entertainment Weekly reported the Hollywood Foreign Press Association created new guidelines amid 2016 Golden Globes backlash after The Martian, an outer space sci-fi drama, took home the Best Motion Picture in a Comedy or Musical award, which turned serious heads. Per HPFA's new rules, "dramas with comedic overtones should be entered as dramas," which makes you wonder if anyone saw Get Out to correct the error.

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  • Either way, what's done is done ... so we'll root for "Get Out" ... as a comedy.

    It's actually not cool, but whatever.

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