Get out of here, “Karen.”
Many people on Twitter were a combination of confused, amused and offended on Tuesday by the recently released trailer for the upcoming horror/thriller “Karen,” produced by BET and others.
The 100% not-fake film stars “Orange Is the New Black” actor Taryn Manning as the titular Karen (whose full name is listed as “Karen White” on Wikipedia) and is about a “racist, entitled white woman in the South [who] terrorizes her new Black neighbors,” according to IMDb.
Cory Hardrict (“American Sniper”) and Jasmine Burke (“Saints & Sinners”) co-star in the movie as a “community activist and his wife” who move to an Atlanta suburb, according to Deadline.
“Last year during the global pandemic and civil unrest, I — like many of us — felt anger, despair and hopelessness. The overwhelming amount of support from people around the globe, who want to see change, has been such an inspiration,” director Coke Daniels (“His, Hers & the Truth”) told Deadline.
The trailer itself plays like a sizzle reel of every Karen-related headline of 2020, when the name became culturally synonymous with entitled, middle-aged white women who have a very specific haircut and a penchant for summoning managers and placing racist calls with the police.
In the not-at-all-subtle trailer, Karen literally does everything noted in the stereotype above (with the exception of rocking a Kate Gosselin-inspired haircut). She also casually notes that Burke’s character is “slaving away in the kitchen,” makes a huge 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 when the trash is picked up.”
Oh, and a Confederate flag also makes its way into the trailer just in case the viewer wasn’t yet convinced that Karen is indeed racist.
Some people on Twitter thought the trailer was so on-the-nose that it had to be a “Saturday Night Live” parody or a Lifetime movie.
Others felt it was a very pale knock-off of Jordan Peele’s critically acclaimed 2017 horror movie “Get Out.”
Some Twitter users also questioned Manning playing the titular role, 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 directing law enforcement to tear-gas anti-racist protesters while he took a photo-op with a Bible.
Still, Manning told Deadline that she “felt a social responsibility” to participate in the movie.
“Even if I had to play the villain to affect change around the globe, then I was more than willing to step into the role.”