Jordan Peele isn’t here to dunk on Kanye West for residing in the Sunken Place

Senators speak on the passage of the First Step Act

Jordan Peele covers the latest issue of Rolling Stone to preview his latest horror flick, Us. We don’t know much about Us, other than it looks creepy as hell and it involves a lot of scissors and bunnies. YIKES. Anyway, I love Jordan Peele and this interview just made me happy – it’s an in-depth piece about his vision, his ideas, what he thinks about race and pop culture, and it also includes some stuff about his childhood which I did not know. I didn’t know he was raised entirely by his white single mother. I didn’t know he came up with most of his horror-film pitches when he was high either (although that explains some sh-t). I did know that he’s a complete pop-culture nerd though, which is evidenced by the fact that the bulk of the interview takes place at Universal Studios’ The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

At the Wizarding World: “What we should do is head to Hogwarts. Get some butterbeer. The Harry Potter ride is dope… I might do a wand fitting today.”

The genre confusion of Get Out: “I’m such a horror nut that the genre confusion of Get Out broke my heart a little. I set out to make a horror movie, and it’s kind of not a horror movie… As a horror fan, I really wanted to contribute something to that world.”

Whether ‘Us’ is really about race: “It’s important to me that we can tell black stories without it being about race. I realized I had never seen a horror movie of this kind, where there’s an African-American family at the center that just is. After you get over the initial realization that you’re watching a black family in a horror film, you’re just watching a movie. You’re just watching people. I feel like it proves a very valid and different point than Get Out, which is, not everything is about race. Get Out proved the point that everything is about race. I’ve proved both points!”

Being mixed race: Peele has acknowledged he was left with a degree of identity confusion; his dad was black, but he was raised entirely by his white mom. The other effects of a fatherless childhood are harder to pin down. “So much of that pain is internalized and you don’t really notice it until you’re watching some movie where there’s a father-and-son thing that you just start crying for no reason, or a moment of hanging out with my son and sort of imagining if I wasn’t in his life. There are moments where I have that feeling, but the vast majority of my life has intellectually just not been preoccupied with it, and therefore I felt free from that emotion. But I find that a lot of my work deals with those themes. So I’m definitely working it out.”

He’s not here to dunk on Kanye West being in the Sunken Place: “The Sunken Place is a new term we have to aid us in the discussion of what appears, to me, to be black people choosing an ideology that is racist against black people…However frustrated I am with what [Kanye’s] doing, the artist in me is like, ‘He saw my movie!’  The thing about Kanye is, it feels to me that, whatever he’s going through, he’s trying to tell his truth. And there’s something magnetic about people who are trying to tell the truth. I might be wrong, but my feeling is that even when he’s saying something I disagree with, he’s trying to tell his truth, and that’s more than you can say about 90 percent of people.”

[From Rolling Stone]

Can I just say? That was one of the classiest statements I’ve ever read about Kanye West. Kanye has been canceled for so long for cause, and I’m still not entirely sure Kanye was completely conscious and not in some kind of fugue state during some of his MAGA crap. But Jordan Peele found a way to have some kind of compassion for what’s happening, and to also let people know that he finds Kanye “frustrating” too. As for the rest of it… I love Peele’s mind. I love the way he processes things and how he thinks. I’m still not going to see Us though. I 100% support him, but I just know that movie would give me nightmares for months.

2018 Vanity Fair Oscars Party

Cover courtesy of Rolling Stone, additional photo courtesy of WENN.

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15 Responses to “Jordan Peele isn’t here to dunk on Kanye West for residing in the Sunken Place”

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  1. SM says:

    No. There is such thing as struggling to tell your truth. Living in delusion and being completely out of touch with reality and hence recycling some ideological crap and conspiracies someone fills your head with is an entirely different thing.

    • Anna says:

      Agreed…And KW’s support for basically the re-branded KKK at a governmental level is very, very dangerous. It minimizes what is essentially a hate group that is very specifically targeting BIPOC and anyone/group that is non-white, male, cis, hetero. Case in point, the attack against Jussie Smollett. Does K have anything to say about that in his home city?

  2. lucy2 says:

    There was a lengthy commercial for Us before the game yesterday, and everyone sort of stopped and watched it. It looks so scary to me, I don’t think I’ll be able to watch it!

    I agree that was a classy statement. JP seems like a very thoughtful guy.

  3. KatieBo says:

    “Unlikely Triumph” WTF- That’s some subtly racist messaging on the cover.

    • Wow says:

      I didn’t see it as racist. He did literally change the game for the horror/thriller genera in and industry that head pats people of color then ignores what they say. It was an unlikely triumph for him to not just get to make a film, but an innovative film in an industry plagued by a lack of good ideas. His unlikely triumph eeked a door open that was previously nailed shut for black filmmakers to make great films, not just “black” films or the crumbs they are often tossed.

      I saw it not as racism, but a nod to him doing something amazing even with the odds against him and changing the game in a way no black filmmaker has really been ALLOWED to before.

      • lucy2 says:

        In addition to that, he also basically went from being a TV comedy star to writing and directing a massive hit horror movie, that got Oscar nominations and a win for him, and made over $250 million. I don’t think many people expected that from him, or anyone with a similar early career.

      • Sigh... says:

        “Unlikely” is a reflection of the prejudiced industry he’s in, “triumph (comedy-to-horror, tv-to-movies, low-budget-to-box-office-history, years-writing-it-to-Oscar-win)” is all his.

    • launicaangelina says:

      I didn’t interpret it as racist. I thought it was a reference to his extensive comedy history. I knew of him from Mad TV and Key & Peele. TV comedy skit shows to Movies in the horror genre was an impressive and unexpected leap.

  4. minx says:

    Love him. I mean, Jordan, not Kanye.

  5. Sam says:

    He’s a good writer. The Twilight Zone reboot might be decent.

    • Pandy says:

      Yes, was getting excited until I realized it’s another streaming service.

      • Some chick says:

        I’m planning to watch with friends (at their place/on their streaming, haha). It looks really promising!

        Us looks too scary for me. Get Out was genius, but I have my limits as far as scary movies go, and as soon as I heard a bunny is involved, that made me pass. Sorry, Jordan. I’m there for Twilight Zone, tho!

  6. Tiffany says:

    Frank Ockenfels- damn good job on that cover.

  7. Nicegirl says:

    I’m so excited to see Us. I love Jordan Peele scary movies now.

  8. Patty says:

    Jordan Peele is a very gracious man but I disagree on the Kanye bit. Speaking ones truth or attempting to speak ones truth is not a pass. Otherwise where do we draw the line? I mean white supremacists and Neo-Nazis are speaking their truth but they don’t get a pass. Donald Trump is speaking his truth……

    I feel like ignorant people who jane trash arguments should always be called out; less other people start to believe whatever truth they are speaking is “the truth” and not just nonsense.