• Imani Jai

This Has to Be a Joke... Right?

Recently, the Golden Globes announced that Jordan Peele's film "Get Out" will compete under the comedy/musical catergory in the 2018 Golden Globe Awards. When I first saw the articles on Twitter I thought to myself, "this has to be a joke... right?", but indeed it was not. For me and many other black people the movie was indeed a horror film and if you don't want to say it was a "horror" film, let's just chalk it up that majority of the film made us tense up in the theatre seats as we watched. It displayed some of our deepest fears of what it means to be black in America. The movie discussed hypersexualization, the objectification... of black people and that is really scary.

Although this announcement really wasn't that surprising if I think about it. How were white people supposed to perceive this movie that mirrored black fears and even our commonly joked about experiences? I saw the movie twice and got the experience of watching it at two very different locations-- one, a white movie theatre where my boyfriend, his family, and I were the only black people in a theatre that could fit 300+ people, the other a black theatre. At the white theatre, many white people laughed at the certain aspects of the plot that Peele intended to be funny, BUT there were many times when white people just laughed at shit that was downright creepy, but to them that was comedy-- the same stuff that left my boyfriend and me on the edge of our seats. That left me feeling a type of way about going back to my very white campus after the movie was over.

But to the white people at that movie theater, the white people who made the decision to have "Get Out" compete as a comedy/musical, and probably many others, the fears that black people live with daily is comical. White people didn't have to take a movie that discussed systematic racism, interracial relationships, white privilege, classism, horror movie stereotypes, and much more. If you found the movie to be funny ask yourself, "Why am I laughing?"


imani jai

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