Jordan Peele Raised His Hand & Surprised Students At A UCLA Class Inspired By 'Get Out'
UCLA students lucky enough to be taking a Get Out-inspired class on black horror films didn't suspect anything out of the ordinary when Professor Tananarive Due cued up a scene from—what else?—Get Out.
Little did they know that the film's visionary writer and director Jordan Peele was quietly sitting in the back of the room, ready to surprise them and answer questions about the film.
"What do you think the director was trying to say about the coveting of black bodies?" Professor Due asked her students after the clip ended. "You in the back," she said.
Me: "What do you think the director was trying to say about the coveting of black bodies?"— Tananarive Due (@TananariveDue) October 13, 2017
*@JordanPeele raises hand*
Me: "You in the back."
The hand in the back was, of course, that of Jordan Peele. He walked to the front of the room to answer questions, as Professor's Due's students collectively lost their minds:
"They went to their phones, they were on Facebook Live, Snapchat, Instagram," UCLA Department of African American Studies chair Marcus Anthony Hunter told LAist. "There was a clear exuberance in the room." According to Hunter, Peele received a standing ovation as he walked to the front of the room. This student video shows what the atmosphere in the room was like at the time:
And some student reaction shots, courtesy of Peele's production company:
Hunter told LAist that Peele had reached out Professor Due after seeing news coverage about her class. "He had gotten wind of it and did some of his own investigating and was taken with both the class itself and also Professor Due's work," Hunter said. "He sent her a note to say that he would love to come in and surprise the students, who'd been viewing Get Out in segments during the quarter.
Peele arrived at UCLA before the class and met with Professor Due, Hunter, and "some other folks from the university." He then snuck into the classroom just as they were completing the viewing and sat down in the back. "He was dressed down, so he looked very much like he fit in," Hunter said.
Peele "didn't just answer questions and conduct the class. He took the class to church," according to Professor Due. Here are some more of her recollections and observations from the class:
One student came in late and had to cross right in front of Peele to take a seat. He was like, "How can you be late to Get Out class?" LOL— Tananarive Due (@TananariveDue) October 13, 2017
One student opened the door and walked out. I was puzzled. But I think she was gathering herself in the hall. She came back in. :)— Tananarive Due (@TananariveDue) October 13, 2017
"I love horror. But it never dawned on me that I could have a black horror course before Get Out," Due told Gizmodo in September during an in-depth interview about the class. "When a movie like that comes along, you now have a reference point to talk about everything that has come before."
Perhaps Peele himself summed up the afternoon best:
That was fun. https://t.co/OKhrKjGGfN— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) October 12, 2017