Who knew a 30-second clip about the problem with offensive Halloween costumes could cause such backlash?
Enter the trailer for Netflix’s upcoming series “Dear White People,” a 10-episode comedy set to premiere April 28 by Justin Simien. The show, based on Simien’s 2014 hit indie flick of the same name, is about the racial issues that arise on a fictional Ivy League campus when a racist fraternity holds a blackface dance party.
Apparently, some were not OK with the message. Twitter users, many of whom profess their fondness for President Donald Trump or the alt-right in their bios, began tweeting about boycotting Netflix and canceling their subscriptions after the trailer debuted Wednesday, calling it “anti-white” and “racist.”
But those behind the series are speaking out against calls for a boycott.
“Equality feels like oppression to the privileged and thus three benign words send them into a fight for their very existence, which happens to it actually not [being] in any real danger,” Simien said, per IndieWire. “This is how a minute long date announcement becomes a distorted call for white genocide in the minds of some people. Despite all signs to the contrary.”
The show has no racist intent, he insisted.
“I’m not the first artist to use a misnomer as a title and I reject any notion of ‘causing a divide’ simply by stating that one exists,” he continued. “Which is my role as artist. To state what is. But if facts and common sense can not wake us up from our delusions and distorted ways of seeing, what can? Stories. Stories teach us empathy. They reveal to us ourselves in the skins of others. Our entire concept of reality is stories. So tell your story. Come out of the closet. Write your thesis. Make your film. But do it honestly. Tell the inconvenient truth. It is the only thing that has ever saved us. So while it was fun engaging the trolls but it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. The harder thing is to listen and present what is.”
He also took on Twitter trolls.
Actress Logan Browning, who stars in the series as college radio host Samantha White, tweeted that many of the critics who have given the show rave reviews thus far are, in fact, white.
Others are thrilled for the show’s debut, including writer Jack Moore.
Since the trailer was posted on YouTube Wednesday, it already has over 500,000 views.