Netflix’s Dear White People digs into everyday racism

By

Vox.com

Netflix

Justin Simien’s new Netflix show — the TV version of his 2014 movie of the same name — doesn’t take shortcuts. After breaking down the basics of what makes Winchester tick, Dear White People drops us right into the middle of the particularly messy aftermath of a “Dear Black People” party, which started with students in blackface and ended with royally pissed off black students giving them hell for it. Campus radio host Sam White (Logan Browning) — who helms the blistering “Dear White People” show that the party was mocking in the first place — immediately sets about trying to galvanize the school’s black students into taking a stand the administration can’t ignore.

With that, the show immediately throws us right into Winchester’s sprawling conflicts and interlocking drama. It spits banter so sharp and quick that it slices through even the tensest scenes with laser precision. It digs into the personal wreckage caused by institutional racism with humor, depth, and straightforward clarity.

With heart and humor and a steady gaze, Dear White People makes sure to portray its characters as whole individuals and not just human embodiment of their beliefs. No one is ever reduced to a walking talking point, but given the time and space to reveal who they are, how they got there, and what makes them special — which is, in turn, what makes the show special, too.

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Wasting Time Is New Divide in Digital Era

Drew Kelly for The New York Times

In the 1990s, the term “digital divide” emerged to describe technology’s haves and have-nots. It inspired many efforts to get the latest computing tools into the hands of all Americans, particularly low-income families. Those efforts have indeed shrunk the divide. But they have created an unintended side effect….

As access to devices has spread, children in poorer families are spending considerably more time than children from more well-off families using their television and gadgets to watch shows and videos, play games and connect on social networking sites, studies show.

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Room for Debate: Is Hollywood too Whitewashed?

From the New York Times

Cast of ABC's "Scandal"

Cast of ABC's "Scandal"

The virtually all-white cast of the HBO comedy “Girls” has generated debate about why so many television programs have few nonwhite actors in major roles. Shows like “Scandal,” a new ABC
drama starring a black actress, Kerry Washington, in a leading role, are rare exceptions.

Why are executives not casting more minorities? Are show runners afraid of compromising their storytelling, or is something else at play?

Read the discussion here.