," get out
The recently released trailer
for the upcoming horror/thriller "Karen," produced by BET and others, confused, amused, and offended many people
According to IMDb, the film is about a “racist
, entitled white woman in the South [who] terrorizes her new Black
neighbors” and stars Taryn Manning from “Orange Is the New Black” as the titular Karen (whose full name is listed as “Karen White” on Wikipedia).
According to Deadline, the film stars Cory Hardrict ("American Sniper") and Jasmine Burke ("Saints & Sinners") as a "community activist and his wife" who relocate to an Atlanta
“Last year, during the global pandemic
and civil unrest, I — like many of us — felt anger, despair, and hopelessness, but the overwhelming amount of support from people all over the world who want to see change has been such an inspiration,” director Coke Daniels (“His, Hers, and the Truth”) told Deadline.
The trailer itself plays like a highlight reel of every Karen-related headline from 2020, when the name became culturally synonymous with entitled, middle-aged white women
with a very specific haircut and a penchant for summoning managers and making racist phone calls to police
MuCuSandChEeSe (@mucusandcheese) shared this post on Instagram
Karen literally does everything mentioned in the stereotype above (with the exception of sporting a Kate Gosselin-inspired haircut) in the not-at-all-subtle trailer. She also casually notes that Burke's character is "slaving away in the kitchen," makes a big show of installing security
cameras on her property, and demands that her new neighbors "need to be taking your trash cans off the curb right wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Oh, and if the viewer is still not convinced that Karen is racist, a Confederate flag appears in the trailer.
Some Twitter users assumed the trailer was a "Saturday Night Live
or a Lifetime movie.
Others thought it was a pale imitation of Jordan Peele's critically acclaimed horror film "Get Out," which debuted in 2017.
Is that Karen movie preview... an SNL
thing or real? — roxane gay (@rgay) June 22, 2021
What is this Jordan Peele "Get Out" snl skit nonsense? No one asked for a movie about a murderous Karen pic.twitter.com/ILYGmsvJZ6 — London
(@urmom2708) June 22, 2021
We live in this movie for free, so why would we pay to see it? pic.twitter.com/YpbnDgdhBd — Corey Reynolds (@coreyreynoldsLA) June 22, 2021
What he was able to do with Get Out was interesting for the time being, but we really don't need "Black folks being terrorized by racist whites" to become a horror sub genre.... https://t.co/6ujqCPxqBx
— Fully vaccinated Guillermo del Negro (@BlackGirICinema) June 22, 2021
That Karen movie isn't being subtle at all. Look at the last name of Karen. Jordan Peele really set the bar high with his film Get Out, and it appears that filmmakers following his lead are only interested in showing racism
, but forgetting the subtle references and themes that Peele did in his film. pic.twitter.com/xRjSNTNXX6 — Alyssa (@Raininsleep) June 22, 2021
The trailer for Taryn Manning's Karen has been released, and this is my official reaction to this Lifetime-style depiction of surface racism: pic.twitter.com/Ul2vCF9y1k — Chris is now fully vaccinated (@wischofsky) June 22, 2021
I saw the trailer for Karen and... pic.twitter.com/ERjTIGvbCi — Liz Jenkins (@ej11lizzie) June 22, 2021
Karen (2021) pic.twitter.com/lO2PT8axu7 — Dréa A. Gay (@dreaalexand) June 19, 2021
Some Twitter users questioned Manning's role as the titular character, citing her multiple run-ins with the law
(though charges were either dropped or never brought against her) and her social media
presence, including a now-deleted 2020 Instagram post in which she defended former President Donald Trump
for ordering law enforcement to tear-gas anti-racist protesters while he posed for a photo with a hooded figure.
Is it just me, or does Taryn Manning (Karen in this) go on a weird
q an*n esque rant during last year's BLM protests? https://t.co/jl9eWWbxOP
pic.twitter.com/uCRAs190v4 — Sarah (@ScaredBisexual) June 22, 2021
Nah, there's a reason Taryn Manning "plays" these types so well pic.twitter.com/NoyDQAG2sr — Aoi aka Beniyasha | Momiji's real mother (@Aoikun) June 22, 2021
Nonetheless, Manning told Deadline that she “felt a social responsibility” to be a part of the film.
“Even if it meant playing the villain to bring about global change, I was more than willing to do so.”