While most outlets have been focused on the high number of series Netflix has been cancelling recently, the streaming service has also been hard at work renewing series which are currently showing promise and gaining viewers. Last week, Netflix issued a press release announcing that one of its up and coming original series, Dear White People, will be renewed for a second season.
Dear White People follows a group of African-American students as they encounter various forms of institutional discrimination, personal prejudices, and microaggressions at a fictional Ivy League school, Winchester University. The story begins when an on-campus satirical newspaper throws a racially-charged ‘blackface’ party, stirring up emotions of students throughout the campus. Each episode revolves around a different student at Winchester University as they navigate the many social and political issues encountered at the elite school.
Season one of Dear White People drew controversy from the moment its trailer was released. Many social media users protested Netflix’s release of the show, calling it racist and accusing it of “white genocide.” Many users took to Twitter to threaten to cancel their Netflix subscriptions if the streaming service went ahead with the release. Nonplussed by the threats, Netflix premiered the series on April 28, 2017. The show’s creator issued a statement in response, asking critics to voice their opposition in a more productive manner than throwing around terms like “genocide:”
If facts and common sense can not wake us up from our delusions and distorted ways of seeing, what can? Stories. Stories teach us empathy. They reveal to us ourselves in the skins of others. Our entire concept of reality is stories. So tell your story. Come out of the closet. Write your thesis. Make your film. But do it honestly. Tell the inconvenient truth. It is the only thing that has ever saved us.
Netflix’s Dear White People is based on the 2014 film of the same name, written and directed by Justin Simien. The film won a Best First Screenplay award at the 2015 Spirit Awards and an award for “U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent” at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Simien serves as series creator and executive producer for Netflix’s adaptation, which is produced by Lionsgate. Renowned producers Yvette Lee Bowser (Living Single, A Different World) and Stephanie Allain (Black Snake Moan) serve as executive producers.
Season two of Dear White People does not yet have a release date, but Netflix announced that production on the ten-episode second season will begin sometime later this year. Season one is available for streaming on Netflix.