When Netflix released the first teaser trailer for its upcoming, satirical series based on Justin Simien’s movie, Dear White People it probably wasn’t prepared for the level of backlash it received.
The new, full-length trailer for Dear White People comes with a “trigger warning” that uses a quote from Variety calling the show “meant for both white and black people.” It may seem like an odd way to start a trailer if the viewer was unaware of the history surrounding the show and the movie in question, but this is, in many ways, a perfect response to the racist, degrading terms sent to Simien in the wake of the show’s announcement.
Dear White People follows the lives of the wealthy, elite and overwhelmingly white students at an Ivy League college who find themselves under the microscope of an outspoken, intelligent black woman named Sam. The show is based on the 2014 film of the same name, which brought Simien acclaim from critics and contempt from those who didn’t agree with what he was doing with his film.
After the same reaction was sparked following the first trailer drop, Simien penned a heartfelt essay on Medium acknowledging his critics and explaining why it was so important for him to continue the story of Sam and the story in Dear White People. It didn’t, however, do anything to help with the abusive messages being sent to him on a daily basis.
“Being called a nigger and a race baiter by strangers on twitter was still infrequent at this point, but frankly it’s the kind of thing where once is more than enough,” Simien wrote. “‘You DO realize your last name means MONKEY right??’ Still stung. Even after the half a dozen times I’d read similar tweets and variations thereof.”
The new trailer gives a more in-depth look at what Simien wants to do with the show and the type of humor that will be found throughout. For those interested in the series and want to get a taste of what it may be like, the film version of Dear White People is currently available to watch on Amazon and Netflix.
Dear White People the series will be available to stream in its entirety on April 28.