Trent McLaurin, APSU Senior, Corporate Communication
For the past couple of weeks, we have seen an interesting social media development surrounding a film and its societal commentary. Social media erupted over the release of “Get Out” and its take on a particular issue. Get Out is a movie directed by Jordan Peele, one half of the comedy duo Key & Peele, and its plot follows an interracial relationship as they meet the girl’s parents for the first time. Get Out is a comedy, horror thriller with deeper themes embedded throughout the film involving subtle racism. Social media has rarely been a place where a unanimous opinion has formed since it has become a platform to share different opinions. Get Out seemingly has united all of social media in agreement of how spectacular the movie is; social media, weeks after its release, are still digesting the themes presented in this film. With all this positive attention the film is getting, a question I propose is how much of it is genuine?
Almost any film that deals with a topic of race and is done by a minority is almost guaranteed to be universally loved; not only off of the merit of the film but because of the backlash one would receive if they stated an opinion contrary to the populace, especially when comes to topics of race. Now take the film Get Out, a film dealing in not only race relations, but interracial relationships as well and what you have are people agreeing with whatever the movie says not because their beliefs align with the movie but because they do not want to be seen as a racist. Cultural communication has always been an uneasy topic in America due this nation’s history with racial insensitivity. Get Out prompts a conversation that is uncomfortable for America but it is one that needs to be had. The positivity this film is receiving is well deserved but I do not believe everyone praising this film understands the message in its entirety. Sure they may see the overt message but subtlety is where this film shines bright. Overt examples include the fascination over the African American physique, Rose separating her milk from her “fruit loops”, and just passive racism in general. A more subtle example is in the catatonic state Chris and similar characters were found in known as the “sunken place”. It was not only a way to move Chris into the next part of the movie, it also a metaphor for the minority’s voice in America. In America, many minorities feel as if their voice is not heard by those who reign over us; as our screams and yells fall on deaf ears by those who look down on us. This is highlighted by a line in a song played in the beginning of the film called “Redbone” by Childish Gambino, calling for people to “Stay Woke”, “woke” being a term used to describe enlightened individuals who pay attention to the hidden ills of the world. Chris allowed himself to be lulled into a false sense of security by Rose’s mother and by the time he realized what was happening, it was already too late and he was ensnared in a plot that would use him without his control.
People need to stop blindly praising this film, out of fear of being perceived as a racist, but instead use the film as a mirror and see if they are guilty of some of the things mentioned in this film. We all are not perfect, we all have our prejudices but being blinded by them holds us back as a society. We should remember to keep an open mind and remember that our way of thinking is not the only way to think.