Jordan Peele has sparked a backlash after revealing he has no plans to cast a white actor as the lead in any of his films.
Speaking at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, the Oscar-winning director, who recently released horror movie Us starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke, said that he feels “fortunate” to give black people a platform.
“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, but I’ve seen that movie”, as reported by CBR. “But I’ve seen that movie.”
“The way I look at it I get to cast to 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.”
Peele is among directors like Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) and Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”), who have recently risen to prominence with films that tell stories about the black experience – and, by extension, films that spotlight audiences’ desire for representation in Hollywood.
“Black Panther” rapidly became the country’s highest-grossing superhero movie ever; “Moonlight” won best picture at the Oscars.
This is not to mention Peele’s debut, “Get Out,” an allegory about race and violence in America, which was critically and commercially revered. It was the most profitable film of 2017, grossed more than $250 million worldwide, and won Peele an Oscar for best original screenplay.
“It really is one of the best greatest pieces of this story, feeling like we are in this time [when] a renaissance has happened and proven the myths about representation in the industry are false,” Peele said.