Director Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” was a smash hit at the box office last year, but an Oscar’s voter said talks of the film’s racial undertones is what led her to eliminate the flick from contention for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards.
“It’s a good B-movie and I enjoyed it,” a voter from the Academy’s actor branch told The Hollywood Reporter of the film. “…But what bothered me afterwards was that, instead of focusing on the fact that this was an entertaining little horror movie that made quite a bit of money, they started trying to suggest it had deeper meaning than it does — and, as far as I’m concerned, they played the race card, and that really turned me off.”
“…In fact, at one of the luncheons, the lead actor [Daniel Kaluuya], who’s not from the United States [he’s British], was giving us a lecture on racism in America and how Black lives matter, and I thought, ‘What does this have to do with Get Out? They are trying to make me think that if I don’t vote for this movie, I’m a racist.’ I was really offended.”
The anonymous voter wasn’t the only one who took issue with the movie’s racial commentary, however. Several other critics were also bothered by the film’s message, inadvertently revealing their own racist attitudes in the process.
“I had multiple conversations [about Get Out] with longtime Academy members who were like, ‘That was not an Oscar film.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s bullshit. Watch it,’ ” another anonymous voter told Vulture. “Honestly, a few of them had not even seen it and they were saying it, so dispelling that kind of thing has been super important.”
All hope for diverse nominees in the wake of #OscarsSoWhite hasn’t been lost just yet, as Vulture revealed that new Academy voters were happiest that ‘Get Out’ was recognized as an Oscar-worthy film. Several members even gushed over how well the Get Out awards campaign was executed, sending moviegoers running for the theatres when it finally hit the big screen.
“Good on Universal for really stepping up because it all starts with the studio — what they decide to green-light, what they put their money behind — and they did their job with Get Out,” one voter wrote.
Despite the pushback from older Academy voters, folks still have high hopes for Peele and “Get Out” at Sunday night’s awards. On Saturday, Peele took home “Best Feature” and “Best Director “at the 2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards, prompting two sizable standing ovations from the crowd, USA Today reported. Historically, films who win big at the Spirit Awards also go on to win an Oscar.
“Our truths are the most powerful weapons we have against the lies in this world,” Peele said in his acceptance speech. “We believed that because this is a movie that no one had seen before, we knew it had to exist.”
— Carly Mallenbaum (@ThatGirlCarly) March 4, 2018