As Hollywood’s Award season ramps up we are in the throes of celebrities who will panegyrize with aplomb. There will be three things on display these weeks that the illuminary-ati absolutely love:
3) Lecturing Us How to Live
The political prolix handed down from our cultural royalty is a regular occurrence. At issue is that they are often the incorrect delivery system for their preferred cause. Case in point was at last night’s Producers Guild Awards. Jordan Peele (half of the comedy team Key & Peele) received the honorary Stanley Kramer Award (for raising public awareness), and his speech reveals some of the challenges elites have in lecturing us.
While I don’t automatically discount causes and protests I do have a resistance to many, as I have a hard time swallowing tales of oppression from world renown millionaires. Peele was introduced by television mega-icon Norman Lear, who referenced the film “Get Out”, a racial allegory that has received raves for much of the year. “It’s a horror movie where the black guy isn’t the first one killed.”
That’s actually a pithy line. It references a trope common in the horror genre, but it also reveals something that goes unrecognized. What is laughably overlooked here is that in noting this racial cliche’ what Lear does is actually acknowledge that this is a racial issue within their own industry. As they love to condemn the rest of the country for racism they hold up as an example the racism within their own ranks — as proof we are a racist nation. How does that work?
Then Jordan Peele gave his speech, and while I certainly will not begrudge the POC actor his opinion on race I do have to ask about his examples. Peele explained that as he created his film he asked himself what really scares him. He jokingly says, “It’s not white people.” But then he explained further. “It’s silence — ‘Get Out’ is my protest against that.” The writer/director/producer then elaborated, using a reference of a location depicted in his film.
That’s how I came up with the idea for The Sunken Place. The Sunken Place is the system that silences the voice of women, minorities, and of other people…The Sunken Place is the President who calls athletes sons of bitches for expressing their beliefs on the field and the homeland of our most beautiful immigrants sh*tholes. Every day there is proof that we are in The Sunken Place.
Now I can fall to the default stance of a celebrity bemoaning being prevented from expressing themselves. After all, Peele’s movie was made, and it was widely distributed, and it grossed well over $250 million. There’s hardly a case of silencing taking place. But let us just analyze his comments and peer back at the last year.
Hell, just look back one day. Peele references women being prevented from having their voices heard — on the very day women’s marches were held across the country. These were highlighted all day on the news networks, and many of the celebrity speeches were broadcast live. The day was filled with signs and lectures about fighting against Donald Trump to retain women’s rights. (Ask any member of these marches what rights have been rescinded by the President and you’ll get a stammering non-answer.) Point being, they had their voices broadcast to a massive audience.
This touches on Peele’s larger point, and that is there has been no shortage of outrage and condemnation directed at Trump. It’s quite amusing to look over all the invective and scorn we have been treated to for over a year now and then be told the problem is people are not allowed to speak their minds.
Frankly, too many people have been able to speak their minds, when they clearly did not properly formatted thoughts in their head. I would welcome some of these voices falling silent for a while.