People Are Split Over Whether Get Out Is A Comedy Or Not

Photo: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock.
Get Out, the highly lauded summer horror-comedy written and directed by Jordan Peele, is officially in the running for the 2017 Golden Globes — but it's categorized as a comedy, as per Entertainment Weekly. Seeing as the film deals with the topic of racism, some have found this decision baffling, or even harmful, considering the film's mission.
"Miscategorizing Get Out as a comedy is a sorry attempt to deflate its impact as both a formative horror genre film and exacting critique of white supremacy," a Twitter user argued.
Yet another wrote, "Who determines a movie's respective categories because Get Out is not a comedy. It is more like a satirical horror story- the horror being the reality for an entire race present day in an alleged civilized & progressive society- hence the satire."
The Golden Globes comedy category has always been a little controversial. Or, at least, it's been the butt of jokes. When the Hollywood Foreign Press Association nominated The Tourist as a comedy, there was similar confusion. The Tourist, if you'll recall, was a thriller starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. Speaking with the Associated Press, Jolie said she laughed at her nomination for the movie in the comedy category.
"We were laughing because it's the first time that I've been in the comedic category so it's new for me," she explained, i.e. no one expected The Tourist to be nominated for its sense of humor.
Similarly, in 2015, The Martian won the Golden Globe for best picture as a comedy. The comedian and director Judd Apatow called the decision to have the movie compete as a comedy a "punk move."
"Trying to dominate the comedy category when you are really a drama [that is] afraid of dramatic competition is a punk move," he wrote. Later, at the Critic's Choice Awards, he directly addressed Matt Damon, the star of the movie.
Said Apatow, "We only have one award Matt, that’s all we get. I’m like a nerd on the schoolyard and you stole my milk money. Can we just pick whatever category we want to be in?"
That's the trick: Studios get to submit films in the categories they see fit. After the controversy of The Martian, which earned Damon a Golden Globe (also in the comedy category!), the Globes revised the category definitions. Now, the guidelines stipulate that "dramas with comedic overtones should be entered as dramas."
So, Universal Pictures submitted Get Out as a comedy, not as a drama. This could be because the studio genuinely considered the movie a comedy, or, as Twitter has also pointed out, this could be because Get Out has a better chance at winning if it's competing with comedies. (Refinery29 has reached out to Universal Pictures for comment.)
Lil Rel Howery, who played Rod in the movie, tweeted that he found the categorization "weird."
"Their [sic] is nothing funny about racism..." Howery wrote. Later, he added, "Jordan Peele wrote a masterpiece that has horror, drama, suspense and comedy in it. And it all was good so hey maybe it just fits in a bunch of categories!"
Then again, according to Jordan Peele, the director, Get Out is a documentary.
Mainly, though, the movie defies category. Jason Blum, the man behind Blumhouse Productions, which produced the film, told Variety that he knew the movie was a risk because, tone-wise, Get Out doesn't have a strict genre.
"The tone of the script was impossible and the central notion is outlandish," he explained. "There were one thousand ways this could go wrong and one way it could go right. The fun is taking that chance. The reason the movie works is because Jordan [Peele] got the tone right."

More from Pop Culture

R29 Original Series