Justin Simien, the creator of Dear White People, which just dropped a Netflix trailer recently, is responding to people who are calling the series based on his indie flick “anti-white” and “racist.”

Several people, after seeing the trailer, took to Twitter and other social media to denounce the show and call for a boycott of both it and Netflix, even going so far as to suggest that they would all be cancelling their subscriptions to the streaming site.

“Equality feels like oppression to the privileged and thus three benign words send them into a fight for their very existence, which happens to it actually not [being] in any real danger,” Simien said, per IndieWire. “This is how a minute long date announcement becomes a distorted call for white genocide in the minds of some people. Despite all signs to the contrary.”

“I’m not the first artist to use a misnomer as a title and I reject any notion of ‘causing a divide’ simply by stating that one exists,” he added. “Which is my role as artist. To state what is. But 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. So while it was fun engaging the trolls but it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. The harder thing is to listen and present what is.”

He also did a little trolling himself, writing on Twitter, “Thanks for helping me make a simple date announcement the most viewed in Netflix history for a new series bro!”


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