The man who directed a film that looks like trash—whether it’s a lazy copy of Jordan Peele’s Get Out or not—is vehemently denying that his film is a direct copy of Jordan Peele’s Get Out.
In case Karen forgot to call you to spill the tea because she was too busy calling police on Black folks, a new trailer for a film called Karen debuted earlier this week, which immediately began trending on Black Twitter.
Naturally, the film’s director Coke Daniels noticed the attention his film was receiving and spoke out on it. Initially, he seemed thrilled that people were comparing his film to Get Out and encouraged more of it—clearly because he was leaning into the “all press is good press” school of thought.
However, in a recent interview with TMZ, it seems Daniels is now rebuking that “narrative.”
“I don’t agree with the narrative that we ripped anything from Get Out, they’re two totally different films,” Daniels told TMZ. “Ours is about an entitled racist neighbor who tries to run the Black family out [of] the neighborhood [and] his is about a mixed-race couple that goes to visit and meet the family.”
Daniels did admit that he understands people are noticing that the two films are both social thrillers, and he believes the comparisons largely stem from that. I have to note that I also noticed a bunch of people initially thinking that the film was a sketch or a joke, though that wouldn’t have made it better because the trailer didn’t even display well done satirical commentary to me!
Regardless, Daniels assured skeptics he “embraces” all of the conversations and dialogue stemming from his film’s trailer release and he further noted that Peele “kicked down the door” for him to make this film.
“I realize as an artist, when you put your work out there, it’s subjective,” he said. “Some people are going to like it, some people are going to hate it. Everybody’s going to have an opinion and I’m here for it.”
The film’s star Taryn Manning previously responded to the ongoing commentary noting she “felt a social responsibility to take on this role.” Mmmhmm. Sure, Jan!
The trending shenanigans also inspired a larger conversation on the significance of viewers diving deeper into Black horror history, with many recommending the 2019 documentary Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror.
Though Peele is definitely not the originator of social/racial commentary in Black horror (that’s basically the core of the genre, historically), it’s not just the viewers making these comparisons. Hollywood insiders typically bank off of a previous film’s financial success to make the “next big thing” through pitching (the “X meets Y” tactic is common) through marketing tactics (a recent example is viewers noticing the promo similarities between Peele’s Us and Little Marvin’s Them).
To be honest, because the concept of “Karen” became such a huge cultural phenomenon, I’m betting there are 50-11 scripts circulating throughout the industry trades right now, and there are probably some miffed writers who now have to change the likely coveted title of Karen to something else.
I guess you could even say that it’s causing a lot of...white tears. *winks in freeze frame*