Today’s outrage: A new show coming to Netflix called “Dear White People”.
This new show, that expands on Justin Simien’s 2014 movie of the same name, has not been released to Netflix yet, with a due date of April 28.
I did not see the original movie. Judging by the IMDB page, not many people did, it only grossed $4 million – a tiny sum for movies these days. The synopsis of the movie is “the lives of 4 African-American students at an Ivy League college”. The synopsis for the show expands it a little more, saying “At a predominantly white Ivy League college, a diverse group of students navigate various forms of racial and other types of discrimination.”
But what has people upset, upset to the point they are unsubscribing from Netflix, is the trailer that dropped yesterday. You can watch it below:
The trailer is…. interesting, to be sure. But those boycotting Netflix are saying it’s “reverse racism” and “promotes white genocide” and a long list of other ridiculous claims. Personally, I don’t see how they are getting any of that from this very brief trailer.
Now I’m not saying people aren’t allowed to be fans of the things they want to be fans of, or unsubscribe from the thing they want to boycott. Likewise, Netflix is allowed to produce or purchase whatever they want.
My issue with this particular situation is this:
If you’re boycotting Netflix over this show, are you really doing it for the right reasons? Or are you just doing it because someone told you to be mad about it, because someone else is doing it, or are you really, honestly angry that this show will exist and you’re no happy about the themes in it?
The Band Wagon effect. I hate it. I think it shows the very worst of what mankind can and will do.
This clip is literally 30 seconds long. It shows a bunch of disjointed clips from the show, most less than a second long. The voice is that of one character, probably taken from one scene in one episode. And because of that people are quitting the entire Netflix network. I’m sure there are a few people that saw the original movie and are probably upset that Netflix has made a show out of it, but I promise you that the vast majority of people deleting their Netflix accounts are doing it because of something they saw on facebook or twitter and not actually any first-hand experience.
The same goes for the whole Ivanka Trump/Nordstrom thing. People are writing #BoycottNordstrom because someone (ahem) told them to be offended that they weren’t carrying Ivanka Trump’s clothing line anymore. They didn’t ask Nordstrom WHY they weren’t carrying the line, whether it was a business decision to distance themselves from the White House, or whether it was a financial decision because the line wasn’t selling well, or the supplier wanted more money and made the line less profitable….. No, they just jumped on the social media bandwagon to boycott Nordstrom. A good percentage of them probably haven’t shopped there in the first place.
As I said before, you, me, and everyone else, are free to like and dislike the things we do. And we’re free to spend our money, or not spend it, on the things we want. If you want to boycott Netflix or Nordstrom or any other place, don’t let me stop you. But just ask yourself:
Why am I doing this? Is this something I am really upset about or am I just acting upset because someone told me to?
I don’t have any idea whether Dear White People will be any good. The trailer looks interesting and is certainly controversial in its presentation, but most good art is controversial. And I’m not going to tell you to watch it or not. But before you boycott Netflix, make sure you’re doing it for your own reasons and not someone else’s.
And that’s good advice in general. With anything and everything, make sure you’re doing it for your own reasons and not someone else’s.