Jordan Peele has an important reason for why he won’t cast white male leads


Jordan Peele has made a name for himself making horror movies starring black actors, and he has a good reason to continue casting black leads.

By now, Jordan Peele has proven with Get Out and Us that he is a man of many talents, both in the comedy and horror world, and he’s just getting started. Besides owning the spotlight for the superior content that Peele is dishing out in his films, his movies also stand out from the rest because the lead roles are black.

Despite diversity in Hollywood still being a slow-to-change problem, the good news is that it looks like Peele doesn’t intend to stop casting black leads for his projects anytime soon. Peele revealed this during a talk at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, according to The Hollywood Reporter, where he stated that he didn’t see himself casting a “white dude” as a lead in his movies. To explain his reasoning, he added: “Not that I don’t like white dudes, but I’ve seen that movie before.”

In really considering what Peele is saying with this, you have to bear in mind the history of black actors in film and recognize that there’s still a lot of progress to be made before the playing field is equal. Black actors of the past have often been pigeonholed into stereotypical and often damaging roles. And while there have been many movies in the past with majority-black casts, it’s been rare that they reach the levels of box-office success that films like Us or Black Panther have reached.

Peele knows that there will always be movies for white actors and actresses and, in turn, he’s using his status in Hollywood to create opportunities for black actors who otherwise may not have been considered for such roles.

Finally, it seems like the age-old justification that “there isn’t an audience for that type of movie” is finally being washed away. Peele’s Us opened with an estimated $70 million at the box office and Get Out has grossed over $250 million worldwide. Those numbers alone show that there’s a hunger for this diverse kind of content, and studios are finally coming around to the idea that movies with diverse casts will attract audiences.

In making a name for himself, Peele mentioned in the interview that he could now ask Universal Pictures for $20 million for a film project with an all-black cast, and the answer from them would ultimately be “yes.” With this type of influence, Peele is choosing to support diversity and assist in portraying black people on screen in positive ways that we’ve never seen them portrayed before.

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You can look out for Peele’s next project, a reboot ofThe Twilight Zone, streaming on CBS All Access starting April 1.