The show expands on Justin Simien's 2014 movie of the same name, which chronicled the lives of several black students at a predominately white, Ivy-like university as racial tensions spike. In the new 30-second spot, protagonist Samantha White bluntly ticks off a list of acceptable Halloween costumes on her radio show: "Pirate, slutty nurse, any of our first 43 presidents. Top of the list of unacceptable costumes: Me," she says amidst a flurry of photos of fellow students in blackface.
While the trailer captures the wicked humor of the original film, it unsurprisingly irked members of the so-called alt-right. As Fusion points out, Tim Treadstone, a former BuzzFeed writer who is now a prominent alt-right Twitter user, sparked the backlash by tweeting a screengrab of his Netflix cancellation notice and the message, "Netflix announced a new anti-white show (Dear White People) that promotes white genocide."
Treadstone, however, forgot to blur out his personal e-mail address in the photo, and as comeuppance for confusing satire that encourages critical thinking about racism in the 21st century with mass murder, he was signed up for 7,000 different mailing lists.
While others have since taken up Treadstone's protest, Simien responded to the empty fury on Facebook and in an interview with ETonline, noting he faced a similar deluge after the first trailer for the movie.
"But now, I feel strangely encouraged," he continued. "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."
Netflix's Dear White People will feature the same characters as the movie, though the cast includes both newcomers and performers from the film reprising their roles.
Netflix Faces Backlash Over Controversial ‘Dear White People’ Trailer
Netflix has sparked an irate online backlash after debuting the first trailer for upcoming racial politics comedy, Dear White People.
The show is a small screen adaptation of the 2014 movie which was originally released in 2014. According to an official synopsis on the streaming website, Dear White People is a series which, “satirizes post-racial America as students of color navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college.”
In the brief teaser, a black student broadcasts over the fictional Winchester University radio urging white students to stop wearing blackface costumes. “Dear white people,” she says. “Here’s a list of acceptable Halloween costumes: pirate, slutty nurse, any of our first 43 presidents. Top of the list of unacceptable costumes: me.”
On YouTube, the show has amassed 3,980 “thumbs up” and “81,285” thumbs down. Now, a section of the online community is claiming the show projects an “anti-white” sentiment, and have taken to Twitter to show their discontent.
Netflix’s “Dear White People” Series Sparks Controversy, Netflix Boycott
Is anyone surprised by this?
Among the many show announcements Netflix made yesterday was their TV series adaptation of the independent film Dear White People. While the trailer’s subject matter (is it okay for white people to dress in blackface?) seems pretty straightforward and uncontroversial (of course not), many people were still furious that the show even existed. In a similar move to the #DeleteUber campaign, many people began to support a movement to boycott Netflix.
For every controversy there’s an equal backlash, so for all the people criticizing the streaming service there were an equal number supporting the show’s premise and Netflix. The entire discussion was as partisan and racial as possible, with one side using the hashtag #WhiteGenocide and the other referencing the now-common “white tears.”
We recommend holding judgement until actually seeing the show, but since this is the internet here are a bunch of people with fully-formed opinions based on a 35-second trailer. Watch it here and let us know what you think. The show releases on April 28. The trailer currently has over 100,000 dislikes on YouTube to only 7,000 likes.