City Press TV review: Dear White People
Johannesburg - Netflix has of late been producing more entertainment featuring black people. Currently carrying the torch is the aptly titled Dear White People, adapted from the 2014 movie of the same name by creator and director Justin Simien. Who, FYI, is black.
That said, the conservative bigots of the internet have made it difficult for the rest of the world to enjoy nice things. The release date promo video published to YouTube on February 8 received a bitter response of over 423 000 dislikes and a mere 58 000 likes to counter. The official series trailer was met with similar hostility as it garnered over 39 000 dislikes and only about 19 000 likes. The promotion of the dramedy consequently sparked a minor #NoNetflix movement where bigots took to Twitter to post screenshots of their cancelled accounts. Their reasoning? The show is advocating reverse racism and white genocide. Oh, the caucasity!
Watch the trailer here:
Dear White People is an epic satirical drama set in the fictional Ivy League institution of Winchester University. It pulls no punches from the very beginning, with the show’s off-screen narrator saying: “The writers of this programme are depending on my ethnic but non-threatening voice to explain things that they are too lazy to set up traditionally.” The series masterfully intertwines the politics and occurrences of the aftermath of a black-face party with the personal lives of a diverse set of protagonists. Ironically, the show isn’t even about white people.
The cast consisting of Logan Browning, Brandon Bell, DeRon Horton, Antoinette Robertson and John Patrick Amerodi puts up stunning and heartfelt performances. The young talent brings to life the characters Samantha White (yes, that’s her surname), Troy Fairbanks, Lionel Higgins, “CoCo” Conners and the man who “looks like the white dude in the picture that comes with the frame”, Gabe Mitchell.
Dear White People is a masterpiece that fuses tongue-in-cheek humour with current issues, ranging from Bill Cosby, black-hair etiquette, sex toys, Star Trek, the urgency of protest movements and intersectionality. Under all the hard-hitting lines lies the question: Where do I stand in this world of black and white?
The show is sure to appeal to a South African audience as it asks us to question the universal struggle of being black, with contemporary issues such as police brutality and the politics behind it.
Is one allowed to date outside of one’s own race? Who gets to use the n-word? Can I still be racist even if I have black friends? What does it mean to be black and gay? How high up the hierarchal ladder does a black person need to be so that they are immune to the plague that is institutional racism? And, finally, is there even a correct way to be black?
Available on Netflix SA