Netflix has given a straight-to-series order to “Dear White People,” based on the 2014 movie from writer/director Justin Simien.
Set amidst a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug, the 10-episode, half-hour series is described as a sendup of “post-racial” America. Simien will write the series produced by Lionsgate TV, and will direct the first episode.
Devon Shepard will executive produce with Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev, who also produced the film.
“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,” Simien said in a statement. “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. From day one, Lionsgate has been remarkably supportive of the vision for the show, and working with Netflix is every bit as harmonious as I’d imagined it would be. Bringing this show to such a vibrant platform is an honor I don’t take lightly.”
“Justin is a gifted storyteller whose bold, unique vision is perfectly suited to Netflix,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President of Original Content at Netflix. “His original film ‘Dear White People’ announced the arrival of a fresh, creative voice that had everyone talking, and we’re excited to have Justin create this new series for our members worldwide.”
“We’re proud to expand our partnership with our friends at Netflix on a comedy that tackles racial themes with a combination of intelligence, honesty, irreverence and wit,” said Chris Selak, Executive Vice President, Television, Lionsgate Television. “Our original film with Roadside Attractions catapulted ‘Dear White People’ into the national conversation about race, and Justin and the rest of the creative team have an opportunity to expand this world and bring its timely and universal themes to a global television audience.”