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Social Media Discussion about Jordan Peele and “Us”

Posted by Rachael Murphy

“Us,” the long-awaited follow-up to Jordan Peele’s “Get Out,” premiered this past week on March 22, 2019. The comedian director’s second horror film centers around a family tormented by their exact lookalikes. According to Vox, the film brought in around $70 million domestically during its opening weekend, making it “the largest domestic opening weekend ever for an original horror film.” Currently, the film is 95% “certified fresh” on the popular movie critic site RottenTomatoes.com.

Social media analysis shows a divided view. A study was conducted with the keywords “Jordan Peele” and “UsMovie.”

When restricting the sentiment meter to positive and negative, 51.9% of social media discussions are coded as positive. The majority of the sentiments are positive, but this number is a stark contrast to RottenTomatoes’s 95%.

One reason for this lukewarm sentiment may be the language used in social media posts to discuss horror films. Words like “horror,” “kill,” and “death” may be coded as negative despite these words not reflecting sentiment toward the movie but rather the content of the film.

However, one other factor that may contribute to a relatively balanced sentiment is Peele’s recent statement that he does not foresee himself casting a white man as the lead in his future films. While some social media users saw this declaration as a positive move toward equity for black actors, others perceived Peele’s decision to be racist against white people.

The word cloud also reflects this discussion, with “black,” “white,” and “casting” making up some of the more popular words used in social media posts.

Peele’s successful sophomore film and his reflections on his directorial career call attention to the historically significant issues of race and racism in Hollywood cinema.