Jordan Peele Looks To Continue Destroying The Myths About Representation In The Film Industry

Fresh off the big weekend box office success of his latest film Us, writer/director Jordan Peele sat down at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in East Hollywood for an in-depth conversation. Seated in front of a diverse group of 20-something improv students and future storytellers, Peele took part in an 80-minute discussion moderated by Peele’s friend, UCB co-founder and former Key & Peele executive producer Ian Roberts.

Peele discusses his history in the business, from his brief stint on MADtv—a contract that barred him from achieving his dream of joining the Saturday Night Live cast—to his planned revenge of becoming a producer and having the freedom to tell his stories the way he envisioned them. He explained how his comedy idols Steve Martin and Martin Lawrence influenced him in his work on Key & Peele, while his inspirations in filmmaking came from the legends Tim Burton and Ridley Scott.

Related – Us SPOILER Discussion And Review | Breaking Geek Radio: The Podcast

When discussing the pros and cons that come with his success as a filmmaker, Peele made it clear that his newfound power in the industry will be used to continue to keep his casts diverse and inclusive.

“The way I look at it, 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.” 

He went on:

“I don’t see myself casting a white dude as the lead in my movie. Not that I don’t like white dudes, but I’ve seen that movie… 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.”

Some politically-motivated blog sites have taken Peele’s comments as reverse prejudice. Yet, they do so without taking into consideration that in a country where minorities make up over 40 percent of the US population, “they accounted for only 19.8 percent of film leads, 12.6 percent of film directors, and 7.8 percent of film writers,” according to the Diversity Report released by UCLA’s College of Social Sciences. Inclusivity is a good thing for film and television—providing a representation that accurately depicts society today—and Peele looks to be the artistic and revolutionary storyteller to lead the way for a new generation.

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Source: The Hollywood Reporter.

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Anthony Esteves

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