You might remember when neo-Nazis began a crusade to boycott Netflix when news first arrived of the TV series adaptation of Dear White People. Well, the trailer for Justin Simien’s show is here, and it comes with a pointed trigger warning for all the people who can’t understand white privilege.
The series follows the same lines as the film of the same name from 2014, set in the fictional Ivy League school Winchester University, where Samantha White (Logan Browning) hosts her sharp-tongued radio show: ‘Dear White People’.
“Having a black vibrator does not count as an interracial relationship,” she asserts jokily on-air. Samantha leads a group of students at the school against varying shades of racism, from explicit use of blackface to micro-aggressions. The story also traces her relationship with a white classmate, and how she navigates it.
Simien previously said the decision for bringing the project to television was because he felt “these characters belonged on TV”. Taking to Twitter when people began voicing their plans to boycott because it was "race-baiting" and promoting "white genocide", Simien said: “Dear White People was a widely reviewed film three years ago. A cursory Google search would confirm it has no racist intent. But that Google search is not embarked upon because they NEED it to be hate speech. They NEED to fight an enemy, lest they sit alone in their own pain. Feelings of being (passed) over by an evolving society.”
“Stories teach us empathy. They reveal to us ourselves in the skins of others. Our entire concept of reality is stories. So tell your story. Come out of the closet. Write your thesis. Make your film. But do it honestly. Tell the inconvenient truth. It is the only thing that has ever saved us. So while it was fun engaging the trolls... it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. The harder thing is to listen and present what is.”
Dear White People has a whole host of new actors, but Brandon P. Bell returns to take on the role of Troy Fairbanks again, the son of the dean in a quest to become the college’s first ever black president.
Simien has written all 10 of the episodes, and it’s dropping on Netflix April 28.
Watch the barbed and funny trailer below.
Follow Anna Cafolla on Twitter here @annacafolla