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Why Jordan Peele is Unlikely to Cast White Lead: ‘I’ve Seen That Movie’

Jordan Peele has been garnering rave reviews for the sociopolitical messages embedded in his movies; namely, Get Out and Us. Now, the director has expanded on his creative eye by explicitly stating he’s not interested in hiring a white lead.

While both films are considered horror movies, they are considered black films, as well, due to the cast Peele uses, and he doesn’t intend to buck this trend because he feels those kinds of movies with white leads have been done to death.

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“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 at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in East Hollywood. “But I’ve seen that movie.”

“It really is one of the best greatest pieces of this story, feeling like we are in this time [where] a renaissance has happened and proven the myths about representation in the industry are false,” he added.

Peele’s statements shouldn’t be misconstrued as segregative, because he has worked with white creatives before, especially for his Comedy Central work on Key & Peele, and it’s also worth noting that his wife, Chelsea Peretti, is white. However, it’s very clear, as per the impressive box office performance of Us, that there is a wide audience that wants more diverse movies and that’s buying into his vision, even more so than the critically acclaimed Get Out.

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Peele made it clear that the opportunity to bring black people to a mainstream audience was simply one that he had to maximize because diversity wasn’t prevalent in Hollywood in the past. “The way I look at it. I get to cast black people in my movies,” he said. “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.”

In theaters now, Us is written, directed and produced by Jordan Peele. The film stars Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Anna Diop, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Kara Hayward, Tim Heidecker and Shahadi Wright Joseph.

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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