Netflix is set to release a controversial and critically acclaimed video series on April 28. A trailer for the series, “Dear White People," released last week and has fueled outrage on the left and right, but for strikingly different reasons.
Some critics on the right allege that the series is ‘anti-white’ and racist. What followed was a rash of discontent promoted via hashtags like #boycottNetflix. Conversely, left-leaning media outlets, including Vox, the Huffington Post, and BuzzFeed have praised its “witty and honest exploration of racial politics. (Vox)”
What the story really amounts to is a 30-second trailer being blown way out of proportion. Meanwhile, an opportunistic media on both sides of the political spectrum has used this film to reinforce a presupposed ideology back to its readers.
Watch the trailer for yourself:
The series is centered on the experiences of a group of diverse students and their plight at Westchester University, a majority white Ivy League School. It is based on a film of the same name that was originally released at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014. The film, however provocative the trailer may be, has been woefully prejudged by commentators on both sides.
One Huffington Post headline said in reaction to the controversy, “Dear White People: Get A Grip.” The story was directed to those who cancelled their Netflix accounts once the trailer was released. In another article they exclaim, “A ‘Dear White People’ Netflix Teaser Just Dropped And It’s Everything.”
Milo Yiannopoulos wrote on Breitbart, “MILO: Dear Netflix People, Stop Race Baiting."
“...America is tired of entitled brats on TV lecturing other people about Halloween costumes while turning a blind eye to the real causes of racial tension…”
BuzzFeed focuses on the story behind the trailer, “Netflix’s “Dear White People” Teaser Tackles Halloween And Blackface.”
The Blaze published the article, “Netflix debuts trailer for ‘Dear White People’ and receives huge backlash."
Vox in its article praises the series, saying, “Justin Simien's satire is a small but insightful illustration of what it means to be black in America — and all of the other issues related to culture and diversity.”
The headline for The Daily Caller reads, “‘Dear White People’ Trailer Getting Crushed On YouTube,” and the article went on to showcase different ex-Netflix customers and their reasoning behind canceling their subscription.
This trend of boycotting companies that offend our views is becoming increasingly prevalent. The rhetoric of both narratives only speaks to those with the predisposed beliefs to match the headline, and the story is getting lost behind divisive words and hidden agendas.
Somehow people are getting told to “Stop Race Baiting” and to “Get a Grip,” as they both talk about the exact same story — the direction of the information is contradicting. Media outlets on both sides are shaping the facts which inevitably shapes the identity of their routine readers and shames their counterparts.