Is Get Out a comedy? Is it a documentary? For writer-director Jordan Peele, no matter what category his hit film is competing in at the Golden Globes, he doesn’t believe it can be “put into a genre box.”
The classification of Get Out has become a hot topic amid news that the film has been submitted as a comedy for the upcoming Golden Globe Awards. A source close to the Globes told EW that Blumhouse, which produced the Universal-released film, made the decision to classify it as such.
Get Out star Lil Rel Howery, who gives the film’s most comedic performance as Rod, reacted Tuesday on Twitter by writing, “But if I can be honest this is weird to me… Their is nothing funny about racism… Was it that unrealistic lol.” Peele chimed in Wednesday morning, tweeting, “‘Get Out’ is a documentary.”
The filmmaker, who first made a name for himself with comedic work (MadTV, Key & Peele), elaborated on his stance in an interview with IndieWire. “The problem is, it’s not a movie that can really be put into a genre box,” he said, adding that it “subverts the idea of all genres.”
Peele said he originally intended to make a horror movie, but after screening it and hearing feedback, he settled on “social thriller.”
“What the movie is about is not funny,” he added. “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.”
The plot of Get Out centers on a young black photographer (played by Daniel Kaluuya) who takes a trip with his white girlfriend (Allison Williams) to meet her parents for the first time. He ends up discovering too late that the family lures black people to their neighborhood with the intent to transplant their rich, white friends and family into newly acquired host bodies.
“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,” Peele told Indiewire. “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.”