In the new and, for some, controversial Netflix series, “Dear White People” racial issues on American college campuses are explored through comedy.
By Robert Arias, Staff Writer
Video streaming service, Netflix faces controversy over misconceptions on their upcoming series “Dear White People.”
On February 8, Netflix released a 34 second trailer for their new series with a voice-over saying, “Dear White People, here’s a list of acceptable Halloween costumes: pirates, slutty nurse, any of our first 43 presidents. Top of the list of unacceptable costumes: me.”
Some people believe the show promotes anti-white propaganda based on the title alone. Since the trailer’s release on Youtube, it has over 4 million views with about 400,000 dislikes and only 60,000 likes.
One Youtube user commented, “I love how making a series called ‘Dear White People’ is considered okay by Netflix while a series called ‘Dear Black People’ would be considered racist…”
Some Netflix subscribers took to Twitter announcing subscription cancellations in protest.
Netflix’s summary of the upcoming series states: “Based on the acclaimed indie film, this series satirizes ‘post-racial’ America as students of color navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college.”
The film follows four black students at a fictional, predominantly white Ivy League college. In an interview with Vice, back when the film was released, Director Justin Simien stated that the film is more about self identity.
“I found it kind of impossible to talk about race identity—or identity at all—from one singular point of view.”
Simien elaborated that the film discourages pushing an agenda. “This idea of either rebelling against or assimilating into—that dichotomy that those are the only two choices we have—is why we get so stuck and so caught up… This movie for me is a middle way.”
Simien created a twitter account called @DearWhitePeople which gained over 260,00 followers. He also mentions the growing popularity of Stuff White People Say and Shit White Girls Say as they too featured stereotypes but were taken as jokes.
“It occurred to me that by naming the film itself ‘Dear White People’ I could tap into the burgeoning meme culture as well as make a meta-commentary about the controversies within the film.”
Television news site Goshtv revealed that the Simien will be writing and directing the first season of his upcoming show.
Simien’s responded on Twitter about some of the criticism, reassuring those concerned saying, “There will be no arbitrary mocking of white people in ‘Dear White People’.”
The series will air on Netflix April 28,2017.