I saw this headline yesterday: “Jordan Peele on Making Movies After ‘Us’: ‘I Don’t See Myself Casting a White Dude As the Lead’”. I thought nothing of it. I’m not, like, trying to score woke points or anything, it honestly didn’t strike me as anything notable or scandalous. The headline “black director focuses on diverse casting” is not particularly newsworthy. What’s newsworthy is how often the “white director will only work with white actors and tell white stories” headline gets buried. But since everything is a garbage dump, Jordan’s words triggered the “black racism!” cries from white bros who are mad that everything isn’t for them and about them right now.
The context for Jordan’s words was interesting – he appeared at the improv theater which houses the Upright Citizens Brigade, and he was speaking to “a diverse set of 20-something improv students, aspiring storytellers and fans.” the moderator for the conversation was Ian Roberts, co-founder of UCB and executive producer of Key & Peele. Peele was and is a student of improv and comedy, and he got his start in improv theater. He was talking to his peeps. In the middle of a conversation about power and how to wield it, Peele said this:
But there are other kinds of power, and Peele plans on wielding his judiciously. One way is to keep putting black faces on the screen in leading roles. “The way I look at it,” he explained, “I get to cast black people in my movies. I feel fortunate to be in this position where I can say to Universal, ‘I want to make a $20 million horror movie with a black family.’ And they say yes.”
It’s a formula he’s not interested in messing with.
“I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie. Not that I don’t like white dudes,” he said, nodding over to his moderator pal Roberts. “But I’ve seen that movie.” The line drew loud applause and shouts of agreement. “It really is one of the best, greatest pieces of this story, is feeling like we are in this time — a renaissance has happened and proved the myths about representation in the industry are false.”
So… a black writer/director who has rewritten the Hollywood rules about what kinds of movies get made, what kinds of movies are successful and what a horror lead looks like now says that he plans on continuing to cast his films however he sees fit. And salty white peeps are salty about it. And… I mean, what else is there to say? Jordan Peele is writing and directing and producing his own stuff and it’s all wildly successful. They should make white directors take the Jordan Peele Five Year Challenge and not cast any white people in lead roles and then maybe I’ll listen to the complaints.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.
Because casting white women in Asian roles is a non story but OMG a black man who is finally in a position where he can create stories and cast POC who historically get overlooked for leading roles is an outrage 🙄
Wasn’t there a story awhile back about the author of CRA when he was shopping his movie to studios that it was suggested he cast an all white cast for the movie??
Lol. An all white cast for a movie called “Crazy Rich Asians”? White people be wildin’. I did hear they tried to cast white leads for To All The Boy’s I’ve Loved Before.
I see nothing wrong with what Jordan said. Many white directors do the same thing (cast only white leads), the difference is they don’t talk about it in public.
The story I heard was that some exec suggested that a white actress should be cast as Rachel, not that the whole cast should be white. It’s still ridiculous though.
When white men cast black actors we get Green Book.
Funny, but we also get the Color Purple.
If they did that every year you’d have something but because they might do it once a decade, well, you don’t.
@Noway…and the “Color Purple” isn’t an adaptation that Black folks like to write home about….
Did you legit just reference The Color Purple? 😂
Harpo who dis woman?
I kid I kid. But really…suffer porn gets old even when done well.
Lala11_7—bwhahahah. 😈 TCP has terrific performances, but it truly is a Disney version of the original material (as Pauline Kael so aptly noted.) Spielberg was not the right director for this.
“Because casting white women in Asian roles is a non story”
Huh? Emma stone and scarlet Johannsen still get ragged on literally all the time for what they did, what planet do you live on where those things are “non stories”?
@kara yeah you’re right because their careers have totally been ruined by those roles….. and they keep apologizing for those roles, right??
Take your pearls and clutch them somewhere else
I’m an Asian woman myself and your comment is really weird. Who is talking about careers being ruined? Your original comment merely said it was a “non-story” when it isn’t at all. Scarlett johanssen hasn’t had any good roles besides marvel movies specifically because of ghost in the shell. And there was literally a joke about Emma stone and Aloha at this years Oscars where she yelled out “I’m sorry!”. Like…..?
@Kara I’m a black woman and the point is when the controversy of casting a white woman in an Asian roles happens people to me appear dismissive.
There are stories here and there but that’s it. Emma Stone yelling “I’m sorry!” Doesn’t remedy the fact that she never addressed making a bad career choice. Scarlet Johansson is arrogant and lied her ass off about not playing an Asian character in a movie and never addressed it. The point is I see a double standard when issues like this come up. Jordan Peele is getting dragged hard for basically saying he’s tired of seeing movies with predominantly white males in lead roles. Getting ragged about it hasn’t hurt them career wise. I barely hear about them getting dragged about those roles. And your statement about her not getting “good roles???She’s STILL getting roles though!!! Her getting so called dragged is not preventing people from casting her.
Emma Stone did address it several years ago. It wasn’t so much of an apology, but she talked about how the whole thing opened her eyes to Hollywood’s history of whitewashing and how she was the butt of jokes for her casting. It was obvious she regretted being a part of that whitewashing.
Scarlett is another level. She just doesn’t get it. And doesn’t seem to want to.
@kebbie thanks for that information. I also wonder about how the directors of these movies addressed this issue? It just seems people are more forgiving of white directors or actors who do these things. . I’m sure it hasn’t hurt their careers that much either but I’m glad to know she at least acknowledged it.
Lol funny you bring that up. Cameron Crowe (Director of Aloha) apologized and said he deserved 100% of the blame.
Rupert Sanders (Director of GITS) defended casting Scarlett and went on to cast her as a trans man in Rub & Tug, which she then had to drop out of after a huge backlash. Those two are doing their part to erase every minority group there is!
Racists who deny racism in movies SAY – it you want these movies made, make them yourself. So. He’s doing that. And now they are clutching their pearls and crying. Hope they clutch a little too hard and pass the f out. We can do without the racists for a few news cycles.
I am not clutching my (fake) pearls…when you read the whole quote, and the quote in the context in which is was said….I’m CHEERING!! Oh, MoxyLady, I don’t think the racists could do without you for a few news cycles…whatever would they weep and wail about if they didn’t have racism? Sexism…oh, all you women are just so mean to us … we meant nothing by it…can’t you take a joke? (please, please hear the disgust in my tone through my fingers)….
_Thank_ you. Racists spend more time raising the bar than they do “making movies themselves.” Or doing anything else.
This is such a perfect answer! Jordan Peele can do whatever the f**k he wants with his extremely successful movies, and that includes casting whoever he wants. It’s so ridiculous that white people are complaining about his casting decisions when in Hollywood the only thing that matters is money. HIS MOVIES MAKE MONEY. No one is going to mess with that. So suck it up, white folks. Peele can do whatever he wants, just like you.
I’ve seen “Us” twice — got even more out of it the second time. To me it was a universal story. Tho, as in “Get Out”, maybe there were resonances I missed. And now I’ve seen Lupita! Excellent. (Oh, I’m white.)
DAWGGGGGGGGGG this reminds me when the amazing comic paul mooney (who has written for EVERYONE one for decades) said that Meryl Streep was to play Harriet Tubman
I SCREAMTTTT (euphemism) you hear me…. i died laughing so hard omg— if only because I’m sure Paul being a renown entertainment/comic writer had heard hollywood try this idea
Preach baby! I don’t see myself casting one as lead in my bed anytime soon either!
Lmaoo. I wouldn’t mind a white man in bed though. Just to see how it feels.
You’re not missing much.
The ones getting ready to cry….just breath…we can be adults and not hurt/clutches pearls people here….
my fiance and I often discuss this and laugh …our interracial exploits which were a product of curiosity in diverse or white-only spaces while in college and military ….but ill stay mum for decency LOL
Am I supposed to applaud your bigotry?
It’s one thing to say you won’t cast white men because you want marginalized groups to have opportunities. It’s another thing entirely to personally shun someone based on race.
Thank you ! Why is this kind of comment okay ?
Is it bigotry or a matter of physical attraction?
If you hear a dude saying “I’m not attracted to black women” – what is it, bigotry or a mere lack of attraction?
Shrute you follow me around here. Did you spray on a bit too much obsession? May I suggest counseling?
Reverse racism is not a thing.
I never said reverse racism because that’s a nonsense term. But you can certainly display bigotry and prejudice, which is what OP was doing. Maybe she was joking but doesn’t seem that way.
Hey Darla, I’m not sure if you’ve realized but the comment sections here thrive on dialogue. If you don’t wanna hear it, maybe don’t participate. This is literally the third (I checked) response I think I’ve ever posted to one of your comments. 🙄
It is not bigotry to choose to not engage with someone who is part of a group that has marginalized your ethnicity or race. Requesting an open mind is asking for emotional labor that isn’t appropriate. You are discounting her potential experience.
I think she knows best what is appropriate for her and it is not for others to think she should make herself concerned with potentially being bigoted towards a privileged group when deciding her personal relationships.
Bigotry and prejudice requires social power and dynamics that WOC do not have and are not at all comparable in comparison. I mean, come on now, I’m white, and I can understand that. A non-white woman being wary of white men stems from entirely different sociocultural reasons than white people’s exclusion of non-white civilians. Equating them is either ignorance or just being intentionally obtuse.
Oh geez. She doesn’t want a white male sex partner. Big deal.
I’m cackling out loud rn over the idea a commenter would ‘follow’ another around, GMAB. ridiculous
It’s not “dialogue” when you have an unyielding, point scoring tone.
Personally, I don’t discriminate against anyone based on their skintone, I date people based on their personalities. I feel like you are missing out on a lot of good people by saying you won’t date a specific race.
@Jade – attraction can’t always be ignored. It doesn’t matter how great a guy’s personality is if you don’t want to kiss him.
@mac I get it but isn’t there people you haven’t been into when you met them but their personalities change that? There are men I think are handsome right away and then there are men who I grow to like based on their personality. That being said, I side eye people who say they arent attracted to a specific race, that’s just straight weird to me and borders on being racist.
Aw, butthurt much? White folks have been casting ONLY white actors in lead roles since the beginning of filmmaking (that’s about 119 years). Think it’s about time POC have the power to do the same if they want. And if their movies make money/win awards, no one in Hollywood is going to complain .
It’s not bigotry for someone of a certain race or ethnicity to prefer to date and mate with people like themselves. That’s actually human nature and by and large most people end up dating and mating with people who look just like themselves. What I find maddening is this belief by a certain kumbaya set that interracial dating is the answer to fixing racism and everything will be fine when we’re all a mixture of everything; cause that is a falsehood.
Not racism: preferring to date someone with whom you share significant cultural and ethnic ties; someone who looks like you.
Racist: fetishizing certain groups, going out of way to exclude certain groups based on personal prejudice, stereotypes, racism, self hate, a belief that certain people are better than others.
“Bigotry and prejudice requires social power and dynamics that WOC do not have and are not at all comparable in comparison. I mean, come on now, I’m white, and I can understand that.” Anyone tired of white women who think they know all about black people?
soooo yea its personal preference
I say this as a black woman who has no prob if a white man likes blondes only or a darker black man favors red (lightskin) women….just preference…she or he is not pickforking them —she just made a tongue and cheek comment @shrute
Your loss, sweetheart.
I’ve had more than my share. I’ll be okay. Enjoy your day!
Your share of what?
Do try and keep up dear.
i’m sorry – are you alleging the sex with white men is so outstanding that to chose not to is a LOSS? that is literally crazy.
i am white and i have almost exclusively slept with white men and i’m here to to assure anyone listening that it is resoundingly….fine
And you should try to expand your menu, too. Don’t limit yourself.
“resoundingly…..fine” made me laugh out loud. That endorsement is perfection.
@Lizzie and @Megan2 it really is perfection. Also, whenever someone begins with “sweetheart” or “doll” in a comment I can be assured some condescending tripe is headed my way.
@Lizzie…Oh, you’re brilliant! resoundingly…fine LOL LOL
@Lilly with the double-L…I will consciously do my best to not use ‘doll’…reading your words makes me realize it has very negative connotations…maybe condescending, maybe ‘erasing’ the soul of the woman, I’m not sure. My mum called all four of us girls ‘doll’….when she couldn’t remember which one of us she was talking to. Rather than go through the whole cast, she short-cutted to ‘doll’….and sometimes I do, too. I will be more careful in future. At 65, I’m still evolving; God’s not done with me yet, thank Dog 🙂
The thing is, it totally depends upon the man and his anatomy – and whether it works for you or not.
I’ve also almost exclusively slept with Caucasian men, and the majority were mind blowingly amazing. As were the Native American men.
But I would never try to say that all Caucasian or Native American men were that way, because they aren’t. Perhaps the qualifier “some” should be used?
@LivePlantsCleanAir I tend to think of mother’s as exempt from rules for what they call their children. Usually whatever it is they have a time where they hate it. 🙂 Here’s to continually evolving in life, agree so much.
I don’t think he needs cast white men but saying aloud wasn’t the best move. Directors who only direct white men don’t say that aloud so don’t the attention and critism.
I think it was a great move. It’s sure got people out showing their true selves, screaming and crying about how unfair it is, or tsk-tsking and pearl-clutching over it not being “the best move”. I’m pretty sure Peele knows the business better than some rando who’s got time to comment on gossip sites during the work day…
Peele has lived his enitre life as a black man which may be why he is so damn good at telling black people’s stories. We have plenty of directors who can tell white men’s stories so let’s let Peele do what he does best.
@kendra come on sis (black woman term of endearment) DARNNN so winning best original screenplay and absolutely revolutionizing the horror narrative for the betterment of a people who LETS BE HONEST (99.9999% of stuff is stolen from)—–
i mean he didnt say i aint casting now honkies or crackkas he said he doesnt want to go that route BECAUSE he’s seen that already and he wants to do something diff…. he does not need to placate to the majority when you have ppl like the COEN BRO-herds that literally said they should have to be made cast a dog, alien, martian, black, etc. (im paraphasing) but their statements on diversity on their end was deeply dehumanizing and UNWISE but they are still pushing thru i take it….
JORDAN was qualified in saying this and is well equipped to hand any whitetears that may fall from this lol
Are you white Darla? I’m just confused because lots of people have their preferences, I couldn’t care less who someone chooses to sleep with. I just don’t understand the reaction to this comment.
Yes I’m white Jeffifer. I don’t want to have relationships of any kind with white men now, or perhaps ever again. Every single one of them I know (I live in a large trump county) are Trumpsters or, far fewer, Berners. They have put me through the ringer emotionally to the point I seriously went into therapy. I am done with the emotional work they need. Now, it is true that with a man of color, you still have to worry about sexism rearing its head. But its less work looking for and fighting against that then the whole trump agenda, or the kind of privileged fools who would vote for a woman just not that woman (SURE!) and were 100% bernie or bust. I don’t need this in my life anymore. And I answer to no one. And I mean; I answer to no one. I have no boss, I pay my own bills, nobody tells me what I can and cannot do, and that certainly goes for internet commenters.
If a man needs Grand Canyon-type emotional work, he’s not worth it. Period.
You sure have a lot of stuff going on – white men are Trumpsters and black men are sexist. A ‘man of color’ is not going to solve your problems.
@darla soooo honey if you are looking for a man of color solely to save you and be your DARK KNIGHT …that’s not the moves, really you will be living a life of pedestal worship based on white femininity (docile princess type expectation) or at worst a bedpost cultural experiment or fetish in which your true needs wont be met….
now if you meant that the current state of white male toxicity has you more open to cultures who seems to be more understanding and comprehensive on unity of course do you…..but i often see white women do this with men of color particularly black men
(black men and women and children are the most sexually abused and misused group) people often want to sexually take a hiatus with us and yet toss us and or limit us for their emotional narrative and NO ONE bats a lash because subconsciously they the world has been sold the theory that we’re only good and built for this type of affection.
If my partner and I ever break up, I wouldn’t bother with cis men, period. So yeah, I get it.
Please please please Jordan Peele do not apologize or walk back these words in any way. I don’t think he will, because he knows he’s right, but still…
TBH, I don’t really care whether a white director only casts white actors or a black director only casts black actors partly because I seek out media and stories from various sources beyond Hollywood myself, so what Hollywood chooses to create is not the be all and end all for me.
The only slight ring ring ring in my head about this is that if we are truly talking about creating diversity in film-making, then this mean creating films that are diverse in two different ways:
1) Stories about and from people of different races/cultures/experiences I.e a ‘black’ story, a ‘white’ story, a ‘Thai’ story;
2) Stories featuring a diverse cast where the actors background racially etc is not pivotal to them being cast.
Peels is making films in category 1, which is not a problem. There is an absence of black stories in Hollywood and I understand Peele’s perspective.
However, I also think that all that will end up happening is just a swing of the pendulum the opposite way. It’s STILL casting based on race, whether it’s ignoring white actors or black actors, and I thought that was the very issue that the idea of diversifying film was hoping to resolve. That said, it’s naïve to think that there will ever truly be color blind casting.
“However, I also think that all that will end up happening is just a swing of the pendulum the other way” ….
No. Full stop.
A thousand or so years of white supremacy vs one writer-director of color saying he isn’t that interested in casting white leads is not a “swing of the pendulum,” nor does it signal one. Peele isn’t just a director, he’s an auteur. He’s simply saying those aren’t the stories he’s interested in telling. It’s not “reverse racism” (still Not A Thing ™) or “just the same” as default all-white casts that have existed for as long as filmmaking has.
Not similar. Not close. Not almost, or sorta, or kind of, or if you look at it from this angle.
Just … No.
Yes thank you
everything you said
Reeta- no Peele is not making films in your category 1. Us has white folks.
The outrage is stupid. He’s not saying he won’t cast white folks, just not as lead. White people be salty cause they can’t stand not having top billing. And I say this as a white chick.
At least his characters are suppose to be black unlike Ridley Scott who refuses to cast Middle Eastern actors in Exodus because you know he’s a petty racist. Scarlett Johansson as an Asian woman. How man white directs have ever cast a black lead? Name one black male lead that’s not Denzel, Kevin Hart you can count them on one hand. Now name all the white male leads, not enough time in the day.
Get back to me when it’s an even playing field then the outrage of the fragile white male tears can be considered ( with an long side-eye)
the point isn’t to have color blind casting. the point is to have the stories of all people who live on this earth be represented in our entertainment and marketed to everyone, not just to a specific demographic like now where the industry is segregated with black programming that is expected only to be consumed by black people and white programming that is expected to be consumed by everyone. right now – black movies for white people mean 12 years a slave or some goofy white savior shit like green book – which is offensive.
unless every single decision made in hollywood between today and the next 100 years is made by black people for the benefit of ONLY black people and then on top of it they enslave white people to work for free on films in the 100 degree heat while separating them from their families, raping them and beating them to death – the pendulum will be swinging as normal.
@Lizzie, exactly. As the Root’s Michael Harriot said, African-Americans could be “racist against whites” …
“If white people built a time machine, went back to 1619 and subjected themselves to slavery, built America into a superpower without compensation or reparation, attended inferior schools, faced double the unemployment of blacks and were killed, lynched and incarcerated disproportionately by black people, I would agree that black people were racist, even if I didn’t do anything to them personally.”
The problem with this argument is that it overlooks the breadth of Hollywood’s reach and influence. Mass media speaks to a larger segment of the population than niche or foreign films that aren’t seen on the mainstream market. That inevitable means it has more of a responsibility for what it puts out because it has significant influence over how society views its own reality. There are dozens of studies out there showing the psychological impact of restricted minority and women’s roles in television and movies. It’s upholding systemic supremacy if it’s holding up a funhouse mirror that distorts the true picture of a culture rather than the reality of what’s in it.
Jordan Peele should do whatever he wants. Period.
That’s what I was going to say. He owes no one any explanation.
I don’t see a problem with it at all. White dudes aren’t hurting for roles. No tears.
I couldn’t help but get on my local Facebook pages covering this yesterday and it was embarrassing how many white people were pissed about this, I saw comments like “just wait until they see how it feels when we do the same”, fkng MORONS.
Ugh. How white people can view themselves as victims in 2019 or cry reverse racism is beyond me. But it explains trump voters. Good for Peele and I hope he doesn’t walk it back.
Right? Apparently they’ve forgotten the last 100 years of film, where it’s been nothing but a sea of white dudes, both in front of and behind the camera.
Lol he’s felt it his entire life. How can people not see that?
Yep. You can’t cure stupid. Also, they enjoy feeling sorry for themselves.
“They enjoy feeling sorry for themselves”……weird, eh?
Yes tell them to show you their outrage that Martin Scorsese only directs White guys. Minorities are lucky if they get 5 minutes of screen time. Yet he never gets mentioned as one of those directors who does have people of color as leads or 2, 3, 4th lead.
I, too, saw it as a total non-issue. He’s a fantastic director, one of the best of his generation.
I agree. This is a non-issue for me. He’s a great director, I look forward to seeing his films in the years to come. Can you imagine what he will be doing in 10 years? The fact that he is so new to directing full length films and is already so amazing at it, I’m so excited to see how he continues to grow. Such talent.
White Actors are the most hired in the industry. 99% of films are based around white males. The studios are run by White men. What more do they want?
Apparently the other 1%
it goes to the saying “when you’re used to privilege, equality feels like oppression”. and this isn’t even equality, it’s ONE director who’s going to give non-white dudes a chance.
and they need to GET OVER IT. just because a group is being given MORE opportunity doesn’t mean you’re getting any less.
I recall a meme I posted a while back that said “you ever WTF white people and you ARE a white people?” RIGHT OVER HERE.
I see it as an issue not because of his preference but because of people’s acceptance. This is also racism. It was also racism when Michelle Obama went on TV and said black girls rock or something to that effect. Racism goes both ways. If a white dude said this it would be offensive, so a non-white one shouldn’t get a pass. I am a POC myself but have found that people are way more willing to overlook or call out racism for whites than for a diverse population when diverse people may be equally racist.
lol “this is also racism”
I think he’s doing this because there are enough white leads in Hollywood and not nearly enough people of colour. I don’t see how it is racist. “Black Girls Rock” is racist? Michelle wasn’t attacking other girls, she was simply telling black girls what she herself would have wanted to hear on national TV from someone who looks like her.
I’m a woc. We took a vote. I’m going to have to place you on probation.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha
No. Racism does not “go both ways.” It can not, by definition. Sure, race-based PREJUDICE can be experienced by people of any race (with race itself being a construct designed by Europeans, to codify their own superiority), culture or religion, but RACISM requires prejudice + power, which only white people/culture/society possess.
The system of White Supremacy was built over hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Jordan Peele, who, to date, has made two movies (both of which have plenty of white dudes in them), not casting a white guy as the lead in his next one is unlikely to shake the foundation of, you know, the rest of world history.
Racism for whites? really? To be racist, you must have political and economic power. If you really are a POC (which I doubt), if you think a simple affirmation of black girls (who have had little to no affirmation in our culture) = racism, then I feel sorry for you. If you hear “black girls rock” and figure that means “Other girls don’t rock,” then you, darling, have truly been living under a rock. Be better (to quote your preferred First Lady).
P.S. Don’t pretend to be a POC if you aren’t one. If if you truly ARE one, then “doing like they do up in the Big House” isn’t going to get you a seat at the table.
What I’ve been thinking about for a while is that people seem to have different definitions of the word racism. And this seems to cause talking at cross purposes. Wish there was a commonality of terms for the discussion. Racism is when this… Racial stereotyping means that… And, in language, we probably need another whole set of new words or phrases defining the varieties of racist expression as more education of what the experience of racism looks like for different racial and cultural groups.
Often it feels like people are talking about compeltely different ideas.
@Svea, words mean what they mean, and new ones can be made up, but they’ll be equally mis-used by people acting in bad faith.
Racism isn’t using the wrong word, or a single act, or hate in your heart, it’s a system designed and purposefully put in place to prioritize one group of people, based on skin color, over another. You don’t have to FEEL racist, to benefit from racism. You don’t have to BELIEVE in racism, for it to be real. And you don’t have to agree on the definition of the word for it to be what it is.
“Racism works both ways.”
hey don jr did you make a wrong turn at breitbart?
People of color can be prejudiced or bigoted, but not racist. People need to understand the meaning of words before they use them.
Unpopular ?? opinion: we should rethink using the word “racism”. Racism has evolved into an umbrella term for 2 different things, and that confuses people. When people are talking about “racism”, they’re either really talking about racial prejudice (anyone can be racially prejudiced) OR institutional racism (“prejudice + power”, aka the Jim Crow South). Institutional racism is infinitely more damaging than prejudice. Prejudice may hurt your feelings, but institutional racism can destroy lives and generations.
So, when people aren’t precise, you get stuff like “racism is prejudice + power” or ” This group can’t be racist!” Which is technically, half right, but then you get defensive people arguing over semantics because they’re talking about two entirely concepts and neither realize it. When you use the right terminology, it eliminates a lot of the confusion and debate.
Prejudiced, maybe. Racism, not so much. That’s a systemic mechanism. But frankly, it’s neither, because he’s not stealing away essential rights by refusing to cast whites in his movies. He has no obligation to do so. He isn’t taking away opportunities that exist elsewhere. Creating a safe place for minorities is not at all the same thing as stripping away rights.
The privilege is in the assumption that the dominant powers of a society should have access to everything. That they have a right to everything. And they *don’t.* Jordan Peele is not hurting anybody by not casting white people. There are plenty of roles for white people elsewhere. Locking the door when five others are open is not prejudice. It’s just making a space for yourself.
Oh dear… I must be walking into a troll trap but here I go. Racism requires an imbalance of power to exist. Its pervasive and consistent nature require this characteristic. For example, I am Latina, and of course I get affected by the white supremacist morons, but I cannot deny that within the Latin community there is racism towards those Latinos with darker skin. It can be called racism because it impacts their opportunities, social standing, and upward mobility, and also because it has existed since we got colonized by Europeans. You will never be able to make the same argument for “racism” against white people or lighter skinned people
Nope. Our most basic and fundamental institutions in this country are racist and geared to favor whites. So no, racism does not “work both ways,” not with the kind of system we have in place.
I’d like to remind you that Jordan Peele is half white. He was raised by his white mother as a single parent. His wife is also… *gasp* white.
Try again with the racist thing….
“It was also racism when Michelle Obama went on TV and said black girls rock”
You can’t be serious.
You are wrong
Read S and others above
PLEASE SERIOUSLY EDUCATE YOURSELF
I love his films, and we absolutely need more diversity in Hollywood. I think he can cast who he pleases, like all directors.
I hope someday though we reach a point when people can cast who they please and it has nothing to do with the race of the actor, and the words spoken don’t mean something differently based on the race of the director.
I hope that isn’t taken like I’m a “white bro” sniveling at the loss of privilege. White privilege has been around for too long and it needs to stop. I just want everyone to be happy, healthy, and equal and loving to all.
To further clarify, I love he’s the guy who is making himself the director to give roles to those who may not have had the opportunity in decades past. I get what he means. He didn’t say “I don’t give jobs to whites”. Saying that would be racist IMO, because it’s offering a job based solely on skin color, and that isn’t his intent. He’s just leaving opportunity open for those that deserve it and haven’t had the exposure they deserve.
It’s not as if white people are going to be out of jobs because of this, lmao. And he never says he’s not going to cast them at all, they just won’t be the lead. That’s totally fair, imo.
People on twitter (a great source) have said that this is limiting but Hollywood naturally imposes limits on non-white actors and directors and always has. That’s what people have fought for over 50 years. JP is doing a good thing.
I’m surprised white people just now realized it. I thought they’d be pissed after he made sure to have black reporters watch the movie US before white reporters. Lmao
I like Peele and his movies and I’m happy he has the choice to make the movies he’s making and to cast them as he sees fit.
[whispers] … Scratch that, [shouting]
The reason that white people dominate filmmaking, acting, reporting on films and pretty much every other coveted profession in this country, isn’t based on merit, or a lack thereof from other races. It’s all about the privilege, baby. Therefore, offering rare opportunities to people of color who have been denied them on a historic and ongoing basis, isn’t “reverse racism,” heck, it’s not even leveling the playing field. It’s a tiny droplet in the ocean of privilege white people in America are often unaware they’re constantly swimming.
As someone a whole lot smarter than me said…When You’re Accustomed to Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression
love that last line , S
It’s not racist to me (I’m white)
He’s answering honestly about his creative intentions. He’s not saying there’s something bad about WM, only that he’s using his position as a highly respected boss to do the projects that he’s interested in and that those projects have been less common in the past.
Btw I still remember the white man in get out, good role and well directed. In us there’s an excellent ww character too.
Hopefully he will keep a similar energy about casting Black women in his movies
You mean like the star of his current film, Luipta Nyong’o??
I mean for his films going forward since he was talking about his future movies after “Us.”
Similar energy? So I think you’re saying you hope he never casts a white woman as a lead? I hope he does, he’s an amazing director
@Desolee did you even read the article?? He said he’s not casting yt leads.
No i didn’t read it ! Ok then too bad, but I’ll still be a loyal fan.
He said he could never see having a white dude as his lead and talked about being able to cast black leads. He never uttered the words he will not cast a white female lead. His mother and wife are white women. Honestly, I hope he continues to cast all black leads, but he never mentioned white women.
I think in the context of the conversation he was having, not a problem at all. However, I could see how some might take that one quote as a stand alone as a little offensive, only bc of how it’s phrased. Let’s say a white director like Stephen Spielberg said “I don’t see myself casting a black actor as lead in my film” you can bet your money that everyone would be so quick to call him a racist. Even if it’s the creative choice you make as director, it’s one of those things you don’t really say out loud unless you want criticism. Just sayin
I guess if you lack intellectual nuance and a cursory knowledge of the history of racism in this country and in Hollywood specifically then yes, I guess you could have a problem with what he said.
98% of directors are white directors … Just sayin’
92% of leads in 2018 U.S. theatrical releases—lauded as one of the most diverse years in cinematic history—were white … Just sayin’
0 black directors have won an Oscar for directing, and only 6 have even been nominated in almost 100 years … Just sayin’
A white person with power proudly proclaiming they’ll engage in race-based casting AGAINST minorities is in no way, shape or form the same as a person of color advocating FOR minorities in his own work … Just sayin’
“Reverse Racism” is a completely made up talking point of alt-right/white supremacists. Such a thing does not, and can not, by definition, exist. … Just sayin’
Ummm…S, will you marry me please? 🤜🏽🤛🏽
@S ~ thank you for “Just sayin’ “. Thank you to all who help me see my privilege and allow me to walk alongside…I’m tossing my (fake) pearls. I’m going to start collecting the pearls of wisdom dropped on these pages….we’re funny, we’re feisty and we’re working towards a greater understanding. One day we may might live in a perfect world. Just not today. Today I will again stand with my neighbour when the old, entitled woman on the 3rd floor bitches about the smell of their cooking or the children laughing. And again I tell the old, entitled woman she’s out of line. And again she hisses to me what a disgrace I am. … and I don’t mind when she says it. I do mind when someone whose words and thoughts I have come to respect and admire calls me out, though. Thank you!
Spielberg may not SAY he only makes movies with white actors but that is exactly what he does.
Valiantly Varnished – I perfectly understand the nuance, but I don’t think it’s helping race relations when people talk like that. Most people aren’t going to understand that kind of nuance, FACT. All you’re doing is alienating people who used to be on your side.
Ah, yes, the being-called-a-racist-made-me-a-racist defense. Spot on!
Girl, bye. If getting your feelings hurt makes you decide to be racist, spoiler alert: you were always racist.
“I don’t think it’s helping race relations when people talk like that”.
In other words, you want to tone police how black people discuss racism because you think your comfort is more important than our truth and experiences.
“In other words, you want to tone police how black people discuss racism because you think your comfort is more important than our truth and experiences.”
*STANDING AND CLAPPING* for ValiantlyVarnished!
I get SO TIRED of people saying “racism exists because people keep talking about it”. WTF? and GD it, as a white person, I fully want to hear from POC about their experiences. there are so many aspects of it that white folk don’t even recognize because WE DON’T LIVE IT. simple word choices, etc. that a white person wouldn’t even notice…the micro-aggressions that people refer to. hearing about what some of my friends have gone through makes me, yes, uncomfortable (AND IT SHOULD!) and, truth be told, sometimes it makes me sick to my stomach. but I want to hear it, and I want my friends to be able to share it.
I have no problem with Peele’s decision when I first heard it and now after I thought of it. He’s a story teller, he should tell his stories.
See Woody Allen, The Farrelly brothers, Scorsese and a host of others that are doing the same thing he just said.
If you google “famous directors” they’re almost all men, and almost all white men. And when you look at the films those white men have made, they almost all star white male actors. Christopher Nolan. David Fincher. Ridley Scott. George Lucas. Clint Eastwood. Michael Bay. I could go on and on.
See, this is exactly the reason why the “but we should be a meritocray, race shouldn’t matter either way” argument stinks. Everyone who’s seen Jordan Peele’s work (any of his work! I’m so, so pumped for Twillight Zone!!!) knows that part of why he’s so good is because he has a very specific vision and knows how to realise it. Say what you will, his movies are *perfectly* cast. This, right here, is exceptional work and instead of deserved appreciation he gets whiny comments because he wants to stick to his vision. That’s not the way to advocate for meritocracy, folks!
By the way, I consider myself a cinephile (white, middle class Euro) and I’m extremely delighted that we have such a fresh and original voice in Jordan Peele. Long may he reign!
Can’t wait for the Twilight Zone and he’s remaking one of my favorites Candy Man.
Thing is, this is not the same as a white director saying “I don’t see myself casting a black dude anytime soon.” Because Jordan Peele, much like Lin Manuel Miranda’s casting choices for Hamilton, is coming from a place of wanting to give opportunities and a voice to actors who don’t find themselves in these spaces often enough and tell stories from a perspective we haven’t gotten before. White guys are leads in horror movies, action movies, superhero movies, indie movies, romantic comedies, etc. We see people of color as leads in far fewer films, and Peele is trying to bring POC into the horror space in a way they haven’t been before. I see nothing wrong with that. It’s a false equivalency to try to compare it to white directors only casting white people. White people have had opportunities to play not just diverse roles but roles that SHOULD belong to people of color for a long, long time.
I don’t mind or care at all that he said this, and I think it’s good that he’s able to do so. I think we are slowly, slowly making progress when it comes to having diverse movies. It was exciting that Us featured a black family as the lead but their blackness really had nothing to do with the plot. Just an everyday horror story about an every day American family. (Not that there’s anything wrong with telling the story of the black experience, and Get Out was wonderful, but it’s kind of like when a character is gay and all of their plotlines revolve around either their sexuality or their relationships and not just them as a person).
I haven’t seen the movie yet but read some articles about it and, yes their “blackness” does have to do with the plot and the story the movie is really telling. You should read up on it because it’s deeper than just a horror movie about an American family.
I’ll let others say more since, as I said, I haven’t seen the actual movie yet.
I saw the movie last weekend. The family being black had nothing to do with the plot. Jordan even specifically said that he just wanted to tell a horror story that happened to feature a black family, and that it wasn’t about race like Get Out was.
Maybe you should see the movie first.
I saw the movie. The family being black has nothing to do with the plot. It’s not Get Out. If you want to dive in deeper and try to analyze the film, you could use the family being black, especially Lupita’s character as something to analyze (it’s ultimately about outsiders, how this country views those who are different and class) but it’s really just a horror movie about a family that happens to be black, which is what makes it remarkable.
Supposedly a cardinal suggestion for writers is write what you know. So many white writers tell those stories and white directors make them. (And at this point I don’t think there would be much appreciation for a white director telling a black story.)
To me the main problem is not in casting. The problem is the cockblocking of minority and women writers and directors so they don’t have the opportunity to tell their stories and to work. Once we have diverse writers and directors, the casting will follow. I think this is what Peele was saying. The time for the all-white boys club has to be over. Then we’ll get more interesting stories.
Hollywood has felt this way about casting black leads since…forever. Nothing wrong with Jordan Peele doing things his way.
Lol, pandering much?
That’s fine and I think it’s great he does this considering how many movies cast black/POC as leads, but he’s half white. He was actually raised by his white mother. It kind of confuses me in situations like this when a biracial person is so caught up in one side of their race and make is seem as if half of them isn’t another race. Hopefully I’m making sense I don’t want people to think I’m stomping him, I’m just confused for his decisions when he’s clearly half white.
Nope. Maybe you aren’t American, but in the US we have the “one drop” rule. Mark Twain’s satire “Puddnhead Wilson” made fun of this. The slave characters were 1/16 and 1/32 black, had blond hair and blue eyes, talked like slaves, and identified as black. Most black Americans are anywhere from 15-20% white. Jordan Peele and Meghan Markle will be identified as black. They know they will be seen as black, no matter how they choose to self-identify. We don’t have the “Coloured” designation that exists in South Africa. They would be just as subject to Jim Crow segregation in 1950s Alabama as anyone 100% black. Heck, most of the people openly discriminated against were done so by their distant white relatives.
I’m biracial too, and was raised only by my white parent. But I identify as black a lot of the time and it’s not because “I’m so caught up in one side of my race.” It’s because that’s how the world sees me and treats me (and I say this knowing that I have a lot of privilege as a black person because I’m light skinned and have had a white parent advocating for me throughout my life). I’d imagine he feels the same. And honestly, not to be rude, other people’s racial identity doesn’t have to make sense to you. But if you really are curious about it, or why mixed people might identify as they do, there is a big huge internet out there with lots of answers.
Why doesn’t he identify more with his “white side”? Well, there’s the pesky problem of a few hundred years of American racism, including chattel slavery, which regularly included rape of women of color by white men, who then owned their own enslaved offspring. You know, for a start.
There’s also the fact that the vast majority of people who have looked at Jordan Peele since, well, birth, have made it very clear to him that THEY identify him as a black man, with all the racist implications, fear and lack of privilege that, that designation entails, which he has talked about extensively in his work, both dramatic and comedic.
It’s not like America, even in 2019 (maybe, especially not even in 2019), gives bi-racial people, at least those who quote-unquote “look” African-American, a choice to “identify” as white. That’s been Jordan Peele’s—and so many other bi-racial children’s—experience his ENTIRE life. But, sure, feel free to wonder.
When you are mixed with a minority race..often times its the outside world that identifies you more with your skin color and that will change how you look at yourself.
I am half white half mexican and was shocked the first time I was a called a racial slur for mexicans. But thats how the world views ME and that impacts my life and that makes me think – you know what, maybe I am different? Maybe I’m not as white as I thought I was? Mexicans also think I’m white because I’m 3rd generation american. I don’t fit in well on either side. I’m a hyrbid like Jordan
Being mixed puts you in a unique position to embrace multiple cultures while not being fully accepted by either all of the time. Its very fluid. To quote the lovely bones, were kind of in the inbetween.
I commend him for giving back to his black community. What good reason is there that he shouldn’t help his communities rise up in the entertainment industry?
Thank you for all of these responses because…well GEEZ.
The perfect example of the “one drop” rule would be our former, wonderful prez. how many of his detractors would bash him because he’s black and at the same time be all “he’s half white! he was raised by his white mother! why does he always have to identify with black people?!”
oy vey. THIS is why racism and race relations NEED TO BE DISCUSSED OPENLY AND FREQUENTLY.
I totally understand what he is saying but I wish he did not say it. It just gives too much ammo to people that are not friends of POC. He could’ve just continued to cast his movies as he sees fit and there would have been far less drama
Those folks already have the ammo they want. Let’s stop acting like POCs have to speak “perfectly” at all times. We’re kind of over the “respectability politics” game b/c we know it doesn’t work.
Exactly. And we need to stop asking black people to change and alter how we express ourselves to make white people comfortable.
More than 80% of white people in 1968 disapproved of Martin Luther King Jr., including those who identified as liberals and said they agreed with the goals of the civil rights movement. They just wished he’d said things differently, or wasn’t so “violent” or “aggressive” in his tactics, or cited his breaking of laws (like loitering), as “just hurting his cause.”
“[Our] most troublesome adversary was not the obvious bigot of the Ku Klux Klan or the John Birch Society, but the white liberal who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice, who prefers tranquility to equality.
“…The white liberal must rid himself of the notion that there can be a tensionless transition from the old order of injustice to the new order of justice….[We have] not gained a single right in America without persistent pressure and agitation… [to] force its citizens to confront the ugliness of their prejudices and the tragedy of their racism.”
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
and, frankly, there will always be a segment of the population for whom ANY kind of protest is “too much”.
Colin Kaepernick is a perfect example. kneeling, protesting quietly, not calling attention to himself…and look at the backlash he gets.
I think people in power like Jordan NEED to say it and NOT walk it back. Don’t cave, man! We all know he is doing the good work for his community. Don’t be silenced by racists and Limousine liberals, dont apologize to them! Let them be uncomfortable, it is not our job to accommodate their racism and help them perpetuate oppression and inequality!
I don’t give a crap who he casts as long as he keeps making movies.
I see nothing wrong with what he said, at all. He has a white mother ffs, it’s not like he hates white people…lol
Good for him to be able to give opportunity where opportunity is due.
Jordan should agree to cast a White lead if every White director cast a Black lead. I wonder what the whiners would say if they had to deal with a Spielberg film with the Black guy running away from the giant lizards.
I don’t know why anyone is remotely mad about this when you have people like Sofia Coppola who literally hasn’t had anything but a blond lead for her entire career lol and no one’s complaining. She’s the director and she does what she wants, just like he’s the director and he does what he wants.
Because they’re blonde women. It’s only outrageous when it involves the inclusion of people that aren’t white. I mean, who will think about the white people??
I was going to say the bling ring, but there was a blonde girl in it, right?
Conservatives snowflakes are going to melt down of this one folks!! Seriously he has earned the privilege of casting anyone he wants after his recent big successes. So suck it up buttercups he is now in charge of his own movies.
His movies, his call.
White people are not owed leads in films. Jordan Peele is a gift to humanity.
People need to check their privilege and step the f*ck back.
White woman here and I have no problem at all with what he said. I applaud it. And I’m glad he’s doing it. Even white people get sick of white people in EVERYTHING. It’s not like white men can’t get jobs uh, in EVERY OTHER FILM.
Good for him! I just want him to keep making movies.
I can think of so many horror/thriller films with white leads, mix it up hollyweird!
Bcoz the way he say make more sense but the way u say in article and put the headline for this article is “white racism”.
Anyone putting a hard line under any plan about what race their leads will always be are wrong to do so.
But the headline on this article just scandalizes it, thats not what he said. Do better CB.
Good God. If Jordan Peele was actually the ONLY filmmaker/director in the game and he was saying this, I could kind of get the irritation, because nobody should be systemically barred from a profession simply because of their race. But omfg white actors have SO much opportunity, it’s absolutely stupid for people to be mad at him for saying, “Those aren’t the stories I’m interested in telling,” which is absolutely, 1000%, his prerogative. It’s funny to watch white people (I’m white, btw) flip tf out when they sense one teeny, tiny, fraction of the way people of color were systematically treated for a couple of centuries in this country. Snowflakes.
And because poc got discriminated in the past and are still discriminated it is now alright for poc to discriminate white people?
This is not discrimination. Stop it.
Of course it is racist. “Blacks only” is as racist as “Whites only”.
As a non white person, I don’t like the wording, but I agree with the sentiment and good for him to use the opportunity.
No, it absolutely is not racist.
What I do see as racist is Suspicious Bitch.
The only people getting their panties in a twist about a black director telling his stories and casting his choice of actors, are racists.
People who aren’t racist and understand what he’s doing, are thinking and saying Good for him! It’s about time!
Because God forbid white people don’t get 200% of the acting opportunities.
I’m with someone up thread who was WTF white people! And I’m a white people.
It’s ridiculous, frustrating and disgusting that white people are bitching about what Peele said. It makes me want to throw shit, at white people
yep….right there with ya, @CairinaCat…..I have two dogs…….
I’d love the three amigos directors to cast only Mexicans in their films, but alas, they’ve chosen to work differently. Good for Peele, to have that kind of power and being willing to tell his stories in POC terms, but if he did differently, he’d not be to blame IMO.
At least Cuaron has gone back to work in Mexico and really caused a splash casting a native woman in Roma, which I hope continues to happen more often.
It’s going to take a long time and a lot of films and tv shows before we’re going to have something that approaches a level playing field. So whatever Jordan Peele does to get to that point seems good to me. I wish I wasn’t too scared to watch Us in the cinema though. It seems perfectly designed to stop me from getting a night’s sleep for a long period.
Yeah, I don’t do horror, red horror, black horror, white horror, yellow horror, nope not for me. Not since 1972 after watching ‘Night of the Living Dead’. Took me almost a year to shake that one off, and I still shudder just even thinking about it!
Jordan Peele’s of two ethnicities. His mum is a musician. Her name is Lucinda Williams.
There’s a very insightful piece on him by The NY Times. Here’s an excerpt:
‘Blackness is the orienting principle of Peele’s art. Its richness, its strangeness, its beauty, its complication, its ridiculousness, its divisiveness, its allure, its very realness. Many a black artist has explored blackness, but few have found it as fascinating as Peele appears to. It perplexes, amuses and excites him, the way language obsesses some novelists and food delights certain cooks. Increasingly, though, he has wanted to do more for blackness — building that pipeline, for instance, through which other artists’ ideas would flow.’
I think it’s cool he wants to cast a person of colour as leading man. You don’t see many of them.
Jordan, like many mixed ethnic people has a rich and varied history to draw from. No offence need be taken with regards to his leading man choices.
Also, I’m excited to check out his revamping of the Twilight Zone. In that series his leads will be of all different ethnicities. So…
Omg – I feel like the nerd girl who should never have been invited to the party in the first place, but I had no idea Lucinda Williams was his mother. Kinda geeking out about this.
….and just to pile on, no, this is not reverse racism. Just stop – enough. I don’t even have the energy to debate this. It’s just silly. Good for him to make whatever movie he wants, with whomever he wants.
In ‘Us,’ a white actor has a total ‘Oscar-bait’ role (Elizabeth Moss putting on lipstick was straight terrifying). In both of his films, white actors play prominent roles.
But even if Peele said he would EXCLUSIVELY hire Black actors… shrug? No one is furious at the majority of Hollywood directors who use racially exclusive casting as an unspoken rule to maintain white supremacy.
This comes down to discomfort with a Black man having the power to make a decision without centering white concerns.
Not really on topic but I personally have been very attracted to black as well as white men. Also, I have always had a naturally very curvy body type that it took my whole life to accept. As a result, men often overlooked me. I have always had great admiration for curvy WOC that have awesome body confidence. They can wear awesome clothes in styles I don’t have the courage to wear and look absolutely gorgeous. Their whole aura screams ‘ I’m beautiful’ and they truly are. Then I hear other white women say ‘ they’re too fat to wear that. It looks trashy. ‘ and it makes me so angry. Personally, I wish I was just like them.
It’s interesting to see how much geography plays a role in those things. Where I live, being curvy (big hips, thighs, ass, breasts and calves /small waist ) is the dream of every pre pubescent because it’s the standard beauty, and what men like. I grew up with the trauma of having “stick thin legs” , just like my skinny peers lol. Now , thanks to the acceptance speech things are more balanced.
Honestly it usually white women an the occasional random dude “frown” or talk smack about a truly curvy body(not overweight mind you but actual hourglass) true hourglass. Most if not all men like truly hourglass bodies.
True. If there’s a body type that has always been the standard is the hourglass.
Wrong he is not. Go Pele.
I don’t see anything wrong with what Jordan Peele said with regards to only casting black men in leading roles. White directors do this all the time with white actors.
Just saw Us, and it’s fantastic. White lady here, and I for one am excited for Peele to keep making movies centering black folks. It’s about time. Also, Lupita is an absolutely phenomenal actress; her performance here is astonishing. That’s all I got
Jordan Peele is a freaking genius, and we are all damn lucky that he is making movies for us to enjoy. He can say whatever the heck he wants about his casting choices.
I think that’s ok. I prefer movies with white lead usually, but thats only me 🙂 (sorry for my english :))
Perhaps white actors who take umbrage can work for … literally every other director in Hollywood.