The controversial film returns as a ten-episode season on the streaming service, adding to the growing Netflix-only listnab
Netflix’s new series “Dear White People” is causing uproar and backlash on social media, and is leading some users to cancel their subscriptions because they think the show is “racist.”
The show is based off of the movie with the same title. Justin Simien created, directed, wrote and produced “Dear White People,” which premiered in 2014. The film is a satirical comedy-drama that’s about racial tensions at a predominantly white university.
It follows the lives of Samantha White, a biracial student who hosts a radio show also called “Dear White People,” Lionel Higgins, a black, gay student trying to fit in and Troy Fairbanks, the dean’s son who’s under pressure from his father to become a lawyer and not let white people’s perceptions influence him. The film’s climax is during a Halloween party in which many students show up in blackface.
“Dear White People” won multiple awards and received positive recognitions from critics. However, Netflix’s trailer for the show is producing a more negative response among some of their viewers.
The series’ trailer was uploaded on Feb. 8. It currently has over 3.8 million views and over 300,000 dislikes. The comments under the trailer provided insight as to why some people felt so strongly about this unreleased spin-off show.
Some felt that the show perpetuated racism by its title. “That’s right guys, generalizing an entire race is ok as long as it’s done to white people!” YouTube user MR_MCNUGGETS said. “Way to further racial tensions,” user TheSuperQuail said.
Others were racist themselves. “Dear Muslims, stop blowing yourselves up and flying planes into buildings. Dear black people, stop killing people and living in section 8 housing and robbing liquor stores,” user John Grimes said.
Furthermore, people have been tweeting pictures and screenshots of emails they received from Netflix after cancelling their subscriptions. #CancelNetflix was also trending on Twitter.
Interestingly enough, it seems that the people who are furiously advocating for Netflix to be cancelled are missing the point. Their problem isn’t with Netflix. Their problem is with the title of the show and being called out. Sure, not all white people are racist. The point of the show isn’t to stereotype an entire race, as MR_MCNUGGETS believes.
In a blog post, Simien defended the title of his movie and the new show. “A show called “˜Dear White People’ forced the characters in the film (as well as audiences) to ponder questions alongside an uncomfortable feeling that their very identities may essentially be mere responses to mainstream white culture’s preconceptions of them.” Furthermore, by focusing on a college campus, Simien captures what it’s like to be a minority who is faced with microaggressions and demonstrations of more outright racism.
Racial tensions in the country haven’t decreased since “Dear White People” was released three years ago. More people are aware of these tensions and either want to help better society and understand their privileges and positions or ignore these issues because these problems don’t relate to them.
In Simien’s now-deleted Facebook post, he stated, “To see the sheer threat that people feel over a date announcement video featuring a woman of color (politely) asking not to be mocked makes it so clear why I made this show [“¦] I want those who are chronically unseen in the culture to feel seen. And I want those willing to extend empathy to experiences unlike theirs to understand their humanity more deeply.”
Like it or not, the controversy surrounding
“Dear White People” will continue when it is released, on April 28 with 10 thirty-minute episodes.