Opinion: ‘Dear White People’ and #NoNetflix

Netflix recently released their trailer for “Dear White People,” a show based on the 2014 movie with the same name. It’s about a college student, Sam White who hosts a radio show about what it’s like to be a minority in a predominantly white school.

Many confused viewers took to Twitter to rant and rave about how unhappy they were with the idea of the show.

In the trailer, White speaks about acceptable Halloween costumes and alludes to how blackface isn’t one of them.

How is telling people that blackface is offensive a sign of a white genocide? Are the words, “The is way you portray people based on the color of their skin kind of offensive… Can you not do that again?” too much for people?

Former Buzzfeed writer Tim Treadstone, who reinvented himself as a member of the “alt-right” — a white nationalist movement — on Twitter under the handle @BakedAlaska, went to Twitter claiming “Dear White People” was advocating white genocide. HIs tweet stated, “Netflix announced a new ant-white show (Dear White People) that promotes white genocide. I cancelled my account, do the same. #NoNetflix.”

After that, many chimed in and did the same. The trailer received over 300,000 dislikes on YouTube. On Twitter, there were replies such as “Netflix announced a new racist anti-white show called ‘Dear White People.’ Would it be OK to make a show called dear black people? No.” Others tried to defend it, “‘Dear White People’ series is getting so much hate. FFS at watch the movie the show is based off of first,” said one Tweet. Netflix has not commented on this the backlash yet. “People protesting ‘Dear White People’ are the reason why there is a movie and a tv show,” said another Twitter user.

It’s far-fetched and odd that white genocide can be alluded to after pointing out a racist gesture. Making the Aryan race feel under attack was the same strategy of the Nazis, but it seems as if the correction is undetected.

“Dear White People” isn’t encouraging white genocide. This seems like a tongue-in-cheek show that challenges viewers to think about why having a “black face” party isn’t acceptable. It’s about race relations, not an attack on white Americans. Many shows have tried this angle — like Donald Glover’s “Atlanta” or Issa Rae’s “Insecure” — but it can’t be any more direct with a title that addresses an entire race. This show is about race relations and addressing issues regarding race might be uncomfortable for some. This show is meant to be satirical. The direct title of the show feels point at an obvious group of people.

Boycotting “Dear White People” could also include keeping your Netflix account and just not watching the show. Netflix has a plethora of shows and movies that you’re missing out on if you delete your account. Hulu has the movie version of “Dear White People” should that network be boycotted too?

Everyone is free to express how they feel, and at the end of the day, if someone really wants to delete their Netflix account over an unreleased show that won’t be out until April, then feel free. As for the rest of us… Netflix and chill?

COURTESY OF BLACKFILM.COM

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