There are some movies that are unintentionally funny. They’re bad movies that take themselves so seriously that you just can’t help yourself, you have to laugh at them. They’re unintentional comedies, but still comedies. However, none of those films were ever really considered for an award. After all, they’re bad movies. Why would anyone consider them for anything?
But Jordan Peele has a weird situation on his hands at the moment. His film “Get Out” has been nominated for a Golden Globe. That’s the good news. The bad news is that despite it being a horror movie, it was nominated as a comedy film.
Now, some are upset that Peele’s film isn’t getting the right kind of credit they think it deserves.
Over at The Mary Sue, writer Teresa Jusino argues that there may be several layers to “Get Out” being labeled a comedy, including Peele’s status as a comedian. After all, he’s the “Peele” and “Key & Peele,” so it’s an understandable issue. I happen to agree with Jusino on this, as well as when she says, “Then there’s the fact that it’s a genre film, which tend to get taken less seriously.” As a science fiction writer, I’ve experienced this snobbery first hand.
However, Jusino loses me when she finishes by writing, “And, of course, there’s the fact that if awards shows acknowledge that this is a drama and not a comedy, they’d have to wrestle with the idea that *gasp* racism is a real-life horror. Can’t have that, can we? *sigh*”
First, does anyone even pretend that racism isn’t a horrible thing? Anyone other than outright racists, at least?
No? I didn’t think so.
However, the more I thought about it, I realized Jusino may have stumbled onto a point, but not in the way she intended. You see, I wrote about “Get Out” over a year ago when it was mostly just a trailer. At the time, I noted how it played on racial bigotry and a cynical view of white America, playing with the racial tensions that have spread through the nation in recent years.
Could it be possible that the awards show labeled it as comedy in an effort to try and protect it? Might it be that it’s the racism they’re trying to shield the world from, where blacks believe that whites are just like in the movie?
Then again, maybe it has more to do with Peele himself claiming the film was a satire. Satire and comedy have a long history of being intertwined. In fact, satire is usually somewhat humorous. There’s a reason The Onion does as well as it does, and I can’t help but laugh at almost everything I see from The Duffle Blog.
Satire is perceived as humorous, and since Peele called the movie a satire… well, what would awards voters think of themselves if they didn’t take that into account?
What is telling is that this movie that is blatantly racist towards white people is being lauded by the Hollywood elite, and yet it’s still not good enough for some folks.