+

"I’ve been spending the first half of my career focusing on comedy, but my goal, in all honesty, is to write and direct horror movies," Jordan Peele said in 2014.

At the time, it seemed like such a bizarre move for the star of Comedy Central's hit Emmy-nominated (and later Emmy-winning) show "Key & Peele." The statement made a lot of people scratch their heads wondering just how serious he was about his new project "Get Out."

Keegan-Michael Key (left) and Jordan Peele took home the Best Variety Sketch Series award at the 2016 Emmys. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.


A little less than a year later, Peele and his comedic partner, Keegan-Michael Key announced the show would end after its fifth and final season. "Wait till you see what we do next tho," Peele teased on Twitter.

Skeptics be damned: "Get Out" just got nominated for four Oscars, making a bit of history in the process.

The film came out in February 2017 and was an immediate hit with critics and audiences alike. Peele became the first black artist to be nominated for directing, writing, and Best Picture honors all in the same year. The film's star, Daniel Kaluuya, also received a nomination for Best Actor.

Peele and Kaluuya attend Variety's Creative Impact Awards in January 2018. Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Palm Springs International Film Festival.

#OscarsSoHistoricallyWhite — a win for Peele would be pretty huge.

In 2016, April Reign launched the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite to draw attention to the overwhelming and disproportionate whiteness of the show and its winners. While a lot of the focus has been on the acting awards, a look at the off-camera awards is even more shocking, where black nominees can be counted on one hand.

Peele joins John Singleton ("Boyz n the Hood"), Lee Daniels ("Precious"), Steve McQueen ("12 Years a Slave"), and Barry Jenkins ("Moonlight") as the only black individuals to be nominated for Best Director. While "12 Years a Slave" and "Moonlight" went on to win Best Picture, no black directors have ever won the individual award. Peele has a chance to change that.

Peele attends the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January 2018. Photo by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Turner Image.

What's even more is Peele's Best Writing (Original Screenplay) nomination is just the fourth ever for black writers and the first since Singleton's 1991 "Boyz n the Hood." Other nominees have included Spike Lee ("Do the Right Thing") and co-writers Suzanne de Passe, Chris Clark, and Terence McCloy ("Lady Sings the Blues"). Like the directing category, Peele has a chance to make another Oscar first with a win here.

This has, without a doubt, been Jordan Peele's year.

"Get Out" has picked up a slew of award nominations — Oscars, Golden Globes, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America, Independent Spirit, Image, and Writers Guild of America among them — as well as a few wins.

All of this aside, it's worth mentioning that he's also a new dad. Last year, Peele and his wife, comedian and "Brooklyn 99" star Chelsea Peretti, welcomed a son, Beaumont Gino Peele, on July 1. An Oscar win now would be icing on the cake for Peele.

Peretti and Peele at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January. Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

5 easy ways to practice self care

Because taking care of yourself should never feel like a chore

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life we forget the important things: like taking care of ourselves. While binge watching your favorite show and ordering take out can be just the treat-yourself-thing you need, your body might not always feel the same. So we’re bringing you 5 easy ways to practice self-care that both you and your body will thank us for.

Keep ReadingShow less

Saving the life of one small animal among the billions upon billions of living things on Earth may not seem significant in the big picture, but when that one small animal's life is in your hands, it means the world.

Yassin Elmahgoub is a medical student from Egypt who recently shared the journey of a tiny baby parrot he rescued. The parrot, who he named Mumble, was born with birth defects and wasn't able to stand or walk. With the help of a parrot behavior consultant, Elmahgoub hand-fed Mumble, nursed him to good health and helped him develop mobility.

In a TikTok video that's been viewed more than 8 million times, Elmahgoub shared Mumble's journey from his earliest days until he was finally able to walk on his own.

Keep ReadingShow less