'Dear White People' Isn't Done Yet, Heads to Netflix for TV Series
The dictionary defines “equilibrium” as a state of rest or balance that comes from the equal action of opposing forces. In this new dark age where noted racist Donald Trump could be the President of the United States a year from now, equilibrium is the best explanation we have for why the critically acclaimed 2014 Lionsgate film Dear White People got resurrected for a ten-episode Netflix show next year. How else are we supposed to survive a potential Trump presidency (without leaving the U.S.) that’s already garnered the praise and support of white supremacist groups than with a show that will unapologetically call out the racism that exists across college campuses across America?
When the movie first dropped on January 18, 2014, the cries of “America is a post-racial society” that began when Obama took office were in the midst of being silenced by the acts of police brutality that took the lives of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and so many others. Dear White People exploded into pop culture to show that no matter where you went, black people still faced racism in all forms. It helped the narrative to transcend film, and opened up a necessary dialogue on college campuses. “During the film’s release, I had the pleasure to speak with hundreds of students and faculty across a variety of college campuses dealing with these very issues in real time,” director Justin Simien explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m so grateful to have this platform — not only to give a voice to those too often unheard in our culture, but to also tell great stories from new points of views.”
For the Netflix show, the original screenwriter and director, Justin Simien, will return to do the ten half-hour episodes that once again focus on a diverse group of students of color navigating a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug, which sounds like most Ivy League colleges. Just last year, more than a thousand students at Yale University held a “March of Resilience” against racial discrimination on campus, and the University of Missouri came to a standstill when racism rocked the campus and gained national attention.
It’s unclear if the first film’s phenomenal cast, including Everybody Hates Chris’ Tyler James Williams, Creed’s Tessa Thompson and the legend Dennis Haysbert (aka the Allstate guy) will return, but Simien is getting a little help from his friends. He’ll write the entire series, direct the first episode, and then executive produce the show with fellow Dear White People producers Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev, as well as Weeds’ Devon Shepard. It’s all pretty incredible given that the film began after Simien used his tax return to underwrite a concept trailer for it. We’ve still got another year to wait for the show to drop its ten-episode truth bomb on us, but at least we can rewatch the hilarious, poignant movie until then.
Images via Dear White People.
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