It’s a rare TV show that generates controversy long before it even airs, but when that show sports the title “Dear White People”, then controversy kind of comes with the territory.
As the title suggests, America’s racial divide is at the core of the edgy comedy, based on the acclaimed indie film of the same name, satirizing “post-racial” America as African-American students struggle to find their respective places within a predominantly white Ivy League college. Logan Browning stars as a black female who hosts a college radio show that pushes buttons and boundaries within the school’s Caucasian population.
When the series was first announced, it caused an uproar among those who felt the show had an “anti-white” bias simply based on the title, with critics of the show (who, let’s remember, hadn’t even seen it yet) accusing “Dear White People” of promoting “white genocide” and glorifying “anti-white racism and aggression.”
Addressing the controversy head on, series creator Justin Simien wrote a lengthy response explaining why he chose that title, and how he reacted to the criticism. “For the those calling for a Netflix boycott because of the title of a date announcement for a show they’ve yet to see, the gall I have to address ‘White People’ at all feels like an attack,” he wrote.
“The satirical series — which picks up where the acclaimed 2014 film by the same name left off — follows a group of Winchester University’s students of colour as they navigate a diverse landscape of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness (or lack thereof) and activism in the millennial age,” reads Netflix’s synopsis. “Through an absurdist lens, ‘Dear White People’ utilizes biting irony, self-deprecation and sometimes brutal honesty to hold up a mirror to the issues plaguing society today, all the while leading with laughter.
“Dear White People” makes its Netflix debut on Friday, Apr. 28.