The first full trailer for the Netflix series “Dear White People” is out, and it doesn’t hold back on any of the blunt satire that caused the original film to make a splash in 2014.
Produced by Lionsgate, the 10-episode, half-hour series is centered around a group of black students at an Ivy League school, where race issues are swept under the rug, as they work out what race means to them and to their classmates.
“Trigger warning: the following program is meant for white and black audiences,” says the trailer’s voiceover, immediately conjuring up conversations people have online about race and other hot-button issues. It continues from there, following the students through the drama of their daily lives.
The two-minute preview manages to highlight some of the racism black people experience daily in such environments (such as questions about “where you’re from”), but also how our own racial biases can impact how we see those around us, no matter what side we’re on. At one point in the trailer, Samantha White (played here by Logan Browning and by Tessa Thompson in the original film) makes a crack about whiteness on her radio show only to find out the caller is black.
The trailer is simultaneously biting and self-deprecating, but that hasn’t stopped those from crying racism.
In a Medium post titled “Why did I name it ‘Dear White People?'” writer and director Justin Simien addresses some of the backlash the movie and the show have received, based on the premise alone. The post was written right after the teaser and the premiere date were released to the public back in February.
“Among the now perfunctory ‘what if there was a dear black people’ comments, were accusations that I, and by association Netflix, were promoting a call for ‘white genocide,'” Simien wrote. “Complaints that racism isn’t real, sat beside comments calling me a n*****. Assertions that all black people do is whine and destroy property were wedged between threats that the alt right would burn this country to the ground if we kept promoting ‘white hate. Being called a n***** as well as being called the sole cause of the racism I was complaining about was a sort of recurring theme.”
The reaction to the latest trailer isn’t looking that different. It already has a similar negative rating, with half of the total recorded as dislikes at the time of this writing, and the comments aren’t much better. Seriously, don’t read the comments.
Watch the full trailer above.