There’s no denying it – Get Out has been a major hit. Critics adore the film (it’s currently sitting at 99% on Rotten Tomatoes with only one negative review), and at the time of writing this it’s made around $150 million worldwide, on a budget of $4.5 million. Not bad an original script by first time Director Jordan Peele, known primarily for comedy.
Personally, I thought Get Out was decent, however for me it did suffer from being built up too much. Living in the UK, I didn’t get a chance to see it until it the film had already been out for three weeks in America, long after the hype train had left the station.
Now there are two things I want to get out of the way before I continue. Firstly, I am white, as I know that will be the first question people ask when reading this, and secondly, no, I wasn’t personally offended by this film in any way, however, after watching this film my analytical brain couldn’t help but ask the question – is Get Out racist?
Fair warning, there are spoilers ahead, so if you haven’ seen the film and don’t want it ruined for you, here’s the beast place to stop.
The plot of Get Out revolves around the character Chris, a black man who’s meeting his girlfriend’s parents for the first time. As she’s the daughter of an affluent white family, he naturally has some concern about any potential issues or stereotypes that could effect the way they feel about him. This by itself isn’t a bad set up, and being something that’s probably quite realistic for a lot of people, was an effective starting point.
From here however, things start to get a bit more questionable. It turns out that his girlfriend’s family, as well as an entire community around them are kidnapping, brainwashing, and essentially stealing the lives of numerous young black people, so that old white people can transfer their consciousness into their bodies, and continue to live healthy lives. They choose black people because being black is ‘in’, and try their best to act and speak in a way they believe is relatable to this young black man.
My issue is, imagine this was the other way round. A white character was afraid to go to the home of their black partner’s family, and the place they grew up. That in itself doesn’t sound too good. Now imagine this community of black people have been singling out white people to capture and brainwash, because being white is ‘in’. On top of this, there would be some scenes where the black characters mimic stereotypes of white people, like a less extreme version of White Chicks.
Although it’s hard to say, as this movie doesn’t exist, but I think there would be some intense backlash against a film that portrayed a group of black people this way. Like I said, I wasn’t personally offended by Get Out, and this outlook on the film didn’t even occur to me until a couple of days later, however now it’s in my head, it’s all I can really take away from the film.
How do you feel about Get Out? Do you understand the point I’m making, or do you think I’m wrong, as usual? Share any thoughts in the comments.