Jordan Peele acknowledges Black press with special screening of #UsMovie.
On the heels of his blockbuster hit, Get Out, director/producer/writer Jordan Peele is set to release a new horror movie, US. Though the movie is slated to be a success, we must also congratulate Peele for sharing this moment with the Black press by inviting them to a special private screening at SXSW. He is actually setting an example of making Black journalists a priority by giving them the opportunity to be first.
As Black people, there are often times we are excluded from something not because we aren’t capable, but simply because we are Black. So when a Black person gets a chance to include his community in his success it is cause for celebration.
In the entertainment industry, Black media is an afterthought when getting the scoop or the interview. They are oftentimes overlooked on the red carpet or not given proper credit after a repost on social media. Though they are just as talented, there is still a lack of respect.
At 2018’s MTV Movie Awards, actor and comedian Lil Rel Howery went against what is considered “protocol” and spoke to the Black journalists first on the red carpet. He said, “I want to start with the people who are actually supporting me, have supported me, and will actually put the content out there. Then, I’ll talk to everyone else, but that’s who I’m going to start with first.” It takes more people going against the norm for change to happen. If the celebrities, management and PR teams turn a blind eye, the marginalization of Black media will continue.
Jasmine Brand, the founder of The Jasmine BRAND which is a popular entertainment site, recently brought up some good points on the morning radio show, The Breakfast Club, about Black media. She said, “I feel like there is this huge conversation about diversity in Hollywood, but I feel like there’s no conversation about the lack of diversity in media.” She went on to speak about Black Twitter, “The thing is Black Twitter runs a lot of things. We run a lot of things. We can make you go to the movies. We can make you buy albums. We can make you buy clothes. I just don’t understand why there is not the same level of respect or a conversation about why Black media is getting treated the way that they are.” Black media continues to hold a lot of power and influence, but
Jordan Peele has taken a sledgehammer to how things have operated in the past. The sweet spot in this movie rollout is Peel providing the Black press the opportunity to screen the film first during SXSW. With much of the cast being Black, he shines a spotlight on the type of change that can ignite the difference between #OscarsSoWhite to Hollywood employing real diversity and inclusion. As Peele’s success continues to rise, he doesn’t shy away from leading with his Blackness, but instead, embraces it. Peele has a special talent of celebrating Black culture in his films, and now he has brought that to reality with this special screening.
Of course, when something like this happens, it’s going to be celebrated all across Black Twitter. Many journalists and fans were congratulating the move through the USFirst hashtag.
Jordan Peele didn’t just give Black journalists a few seats at the table, but with hosting a private screening of US at SXSW, he gave them the entire room. It is a move to be applauded, nothing less.
Peele didn’t simply give Black media a few seats at the screening, he made sure they were seen as a priority. It wasn’t the bare minimum to just appease the masses, but he went above and beyond to make sure they were included, first.