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The Netflix series ‘Dear White People’ follows a group of black students dealing with life at a fictional Ivy League school. The show depicts situations that may seem over-the-top--like white students throwing a blackface party in today’s world--but writer-director Justin Simien says it’s all too real. As Season 2 streams on Netflix, Simien tells us about being the subject of coordinated attacks on social media and takes us through the unconventional journey that brought ‘Dear White People’ to the screen--big, then small--in the first place.

Hollywood news banter 6 MIN, 19 SEC
  • Matt Belloni checks in from Cannes, where it’s a quieter, more muted festival than in years past. Part of that is because Netflix isn’t there, and there’s also a pall over the gathering because of the Harvey Weinstein of it all. Plus, no selfies allowed on the red carpet.
  • New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman resigned just hours after The New Yorker published allegations of physical abuse from four women. He was previously seen as a champion of the #MeToo movement and the man who would potentially take down Weinstein in court. But even with Schneiderman gone, the lawsuits against Weinstein will continue.

Matthew Belloni, Hollywood Reporter (@THRMattBelloni)

Justin Simien on ‘Dear White People’ 21 MIN, 19 SEC

The new season of ‘Dear White People’ on Netflix picks up roughly two weeks after the conclusion of Season 1. Black students at the fictional Ivy League Winchester University are still shaken by recent racially charged incidents, and to make things worse, their black residence hall, Armstrong Parker, has been forced to take in white students after a mysterious fire at another dorm.

And now campus activist Sam White, played by Logan Browning, is so rattled by a barrage of racist tweets from an anonymous troll that for once she’s at a loss for words. Instead of delivering her usual pointed commentary on her college radio show, Dear White People, she has been reduced to playing classical music.

The series follows Sam and other students with unique perspectives as they try to make sense of what’s happening on their campus.

‘Dear White People’ was created by our guest today, Justin Simien. He wrote and directed the 2014 film and now serves as the showrunner for the Netflix series.

Of course, there have been a few changes in America since he wrote the movie. Simien tells us about writing satire that’s now manifested in reality under the current administration, and talks about being the subject of intense Twitter attacks just based on the title of his show.

Plus, he takes us through the unconventional journey that brought ‘Dear White People’ to the screen in the first place, and tells us what’s next for him: a horror satire called ‘Bad Hair.’

Justin Simien, Host of "Don't @ Me," and writer, director, producer of “Dear White People." (@JSim07)


Kim Masters

Kaitlin Parker

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