Friday 17 November 2017

'Dear White People' sparks calls for Netflix boycott

Netflix: Dear White People
Netflix: Dear White People

Sasha Brady

Netflix shared the trailer for its new comedy series Dear White People and some people aren't pleased.

With the announcement that Netflix is set to stream the TV adaptation of the 2014 film Dear White People, some people have cancelled their subscription and are venting their anger on Twitter with the hashtag #BoycottNetflix.

The 10-episode adaptation is based on the 2014 crowd-funded movie of the same name.

Set in a predominantly white Ivy League college, the series focuses on a series of racially insensitive parties that spark tensions on campus and inspire one of the characters to become more direct in her critiques of the school's white student population.

The premise of the show isn't anti-White. It's meant to be provocatively tongue-in-cheek and uncomfortably funny. In fact, the series is hoping to bridge racial divides by highlighting racial tensions that are generally ignored.

But it all kicked off on Twitter when Tim Treadstone, a former Buzzfeed writer who has since become an outspoken member of the so-called alt-right Twitter mob under his @BakedAlaska handle, argued that Dear White People was promoting "white genocide" and encouraged his followers to cancel their Netflix subscriptions in protest.

Director Justin Simien has responded to the backlash on Facebook: "When the first trailer for the film dropped, I'll admit the deluge of claims that I was a reverse racist and a 'piece of [expletive] monkey that should shut up and go back to Africa' really hurt," Simien wrote.

"But now, I feel strangely encouraged. To see the sheer threat that people feel over a date announcement video featuring a woman of color (politely) asking not to be mocked makes it so clear why I made this show."

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