Following up on the viral phenomenon, that then became a movie of the same name, Netflix has given the greenlight on a 10-episode order of this half-hour ground-breaking comedy series. Slated for a fall season premiere in 2017, Dear White People will be produced by Lionsgate, sister company to Roadside Attractions, who produced the theatrical release.
As with the movie released in 2014, this series gives us a look at a group of students, diverse in color, as they chart their paths through the often left unanswered racial tensions at what is predominantly white Ivy League College. Presenting itself as a “post-racial” look at America, this series shows just what it takes to for a person of color to exist and make their way today.
Cindy Holland, VP of Original Content at Netflix contributes the series vision to the original author, who she feels presents a new and fresh look at an issue that was never resolved, just pushed under the rug. Simien’s movie, actually geared as a comical satire, began its life as a viral sensation on YouTube. After gaining the adoration of fans worldwide, as well as garnishing $50,000 from those same fans, Simien was able to produce his movie, scripted from his original screenplay. In several interviews over the years, Simien had expressed an interest of turning his screenplay into a television series, in the vein of the 80’s series spin-off of The Cosby Show called A Different World.
With the themes in the screenplay becoming more and more relevant in today’s world, Netflix saw a chance to help Simien make that dream come true. Simien will head the project up as an executive producer along with Devon Shepard (House of Lies) and the original cinematic versions Stephanie Allain Bray and Julia Lebedev. Netflix, in their partnership with Simien and Lionsgate, will bring to the forefront, treading in still tricky waters, to present racial themes in what is touted as a combination of intelligence, honesty, and wit. Through this pairing the hope is to bring the conversation of race, and the still inherent issues involved, to a more global television audience. This will be Lionsgate’s second original series in partnership with Netflix, following up on its critically acclaimed Orange Is the New Black.
But the fact remains, that racial tension is still a very big part of the world in which we live today. A series, such as this, has been attempted in the past, only to be dismissed. One has to wonder what makes the creators of this series think that theirs if the formula that is going to work. America, and the world, has lived so long with one type of racial divide or another that many critics wonder if it is even possible for the races to ever truly get along. With this series using a somewhat comical and witty look at such a subject, it makes one wonder if more harm than good will be done. If there is the smallest of a glimmer that the series will set the race movement back, rather than further it forward, then this may not the best of times for such a series. Looking at it from another angle, one might be able to advance the argument that the time will never be more perfect for the intended global audience to see what the series has to offer. No matter what side of the fence you may land on, one thing is for sure, we will just have to wait and see what happens when the series premieres.
Do you think the timing is right for a series as controversial as this one could become? And if the possible controversy that could develop does, will it all just serve to keep future series of this subject
Whatever your answer make sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on any news and updates for when a show is renewed or cancelled. You will receive an automatic email when the #DearWhitePeople series premiere release date is officially announced.