There is a lot of controversy surrounding Netflix’s forthcoming series Dear White People, set to premiere on the streaming service April 28. Misguided of course, but still controversy. There has been tons of backlash, even an invite to #boycottnetflix by people who feel offended by the show’s title – keyword: title – not premise and deemed it to be anti-white. What people fail to realize is that Dear White People is more of a social commentary on how far from post-racial our society actually is. The outrage surrounding the freshman series is an unintentional testament of that.
What a lot of social commentators and critics of the show fail to realize is that Dear White People is far from a new concept. In fact, the film by the same name created, directed, and written by Justin Simien, made its debut in 2014 to much acclaim. Like the film, the series focuses on black students who attend a predominantly white Ivy League university and deal with the racial tensions experienced in a “post-racial” society that is marred with microaggressions.
Simien, who also has a hand in the series as creator, executive producer, director, and writer, recently sat down with Teen Vogue to address the short-lived boycott of his show on Netflix’s platform. He told the magazine, “I think a lot of those people are going to be really surprised about what this show is, and what it’s not. I’m not interested in watching ten episodes of any race being disparaged. I’m not interested in creating a show like that. So, when people realize the show is about these characters that are just having an experience around this fictional radio show Dear White People. I think that a lot more people are going to get to go there and be surprised. One of the coolest things to see across the world, frankly, is people who don’t look anything like these characters see themselves in them.”
So no, Netflix boycotters, Dear White People is not a show that is for the support of white genocide. And no, it is not anti-white.
The show Dear White People will differ from the movie in the sense that each episode will focus on a different central protagonist so that we understand race through the lens of the different perspectives of each classmate. In addition to race, the show will tackle subjects like gender norms and sexual orientation.
The 10-episode satirical series will premiere in full on April 28 and stars Logan Browning of VH1’s Hit The Floor, The Have and the Have Nots’ Antoinette Robertson, Almost Famous’ John Patrick Amedori, and Netflix’s Burning Sands’ Deron Horton. Reprising their roles from the original 2014 Dear White People film are Brandon P. Bell, Ashley Blaine Featherson, and Marque Richardson.
Watch the official trailer below!
Photo Credit: YouTube/Netflix