Dear White People (TV series)

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Dear White People
Dear White People Netflix.png
Created byJustin Simien
Based onDear White People
by Justin Simien
Narrated byGiancarlo Esposito
Composer(s)Kris Bowers
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes20 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Running time21–35 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28) –
present (present)
External links

Dear White People is an American comedy-drama television series on Netflix that follows several black college students at an Ivy League institution, touching on issues surrounding modern American race relations. It is based on the 2014 film of the same name.[1] The film's writer and director, Justin Simien, returned to write and direct episodes of the series.[2] Each episode focuses on a particular character, except for the finale. Netflix ordered ten 30-minute episodes and the first season was released on April 28, 2017.[3][4] On June 30, 2017, Netflix renewed the series for a second season which premiered on May 4, 2018.[5][6] On June 21, 2018 the series was renewed for a third season.[7]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main characters[edit]

Recurring characters[edit]

  • Obba Babatundé as Dean Fairbanks[8]
  • Ally Maki as Ikumi
  • Brandon Black as Pastor Kordell
  • Caitlin Carver as Muffy Tuttle
  • Wyatt Nash as Kurt Fletcher[9]
  • John Rubinstein as President Fletcher, Kurt's father
  • Brant Daugherty as Thane Lockwood[10]
  • Nia Long as Neika Hobbs[11]
  • Nia Jervier as Kelsey Phillips.[9] Jervier reprises her role from the film (the character is credited as "Coco's Friend" in the film).
  • DJ Blickenstaff as Silvio
  • Courtney Sauls as Brooke. Sauls reprises her role from the film (the character is credited as "Wild" in the film).
  • Jeremy Tardy as Rashid Bakr[12]
  • Jemar Michael as Al.[13] Michael reprises his role from the film (the character is credited as "Smoothe" in the film).
  • Francia Raisa as Vanessa
  • Alex Alcheh as Milo
  • Lena Waithe as P. Ninny. Waithe was a producer for the film.
  • Tessa Thompson (two episodes) as Rikki Carter. Thompson stars as Samantha White in the film.
  • Tyler James Williams (two episodes) as Carson Rhodes. Williams stars as Lionel Higgins in the film.
  • Brandon Alter (one episode) as George. Alter reprises his role from the film.
  • Wendy Raquel Robinson (one episode) as Tina White.


Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
Volume 110April 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)
Volume 210May 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)

Volume 1 (2017)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byFeatured character(s)Original release date
11"Chapter I"Justin SimienJustin SimienSamanthaApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)
22"Chapter II"Justin SimienJustin SimienLionelApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)
33"Chapter III"Tina MabryChuck HaywardTroyApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)
44"Chapter IV"Tina MabryNjeri BrownCocoApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)
55"Chapter V"Barry JenkinsChuck Hayward & Jack MooreReggieApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)
66"Chapter VI"Steven TsuchidaLeann BowenSamanthaApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)
77"Chapter VII"Nisha GanatraJack MooreGabeApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)
88"Chapter VIII"Charlie McDowellNastaran DibaiLionelApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)
99"Chapter IX"Nisha GanatraChuck Hayward & Jack MooreCocoApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)
1010"Chapter X"Justin SimienJustin SimiennoneApril 28, 2017 (2017-04-28)

Volume 2 (2018)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byWritten byFeatured character(s)Original release date
111"Chapter I"Justin SimienJustin SimienSamanthaMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
122"Chapter II"Kevin BrayChuck HaywardReggieMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
Reggie suffers flashbacks from being held at gunpoint by campus police (who assumed he "didn't belong" at university until a white student intervened to "vouch" for him). Support comes from an unexpected figure.
133"Chapter III"Charlie McDowellJustin SimienLionelMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
Lionel party-hops with Silvio and discovers a new friend, Wesley.
144"Chapter IV"Kimberly PeirceNjeri BrownCocoMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
CoCo makes a life-changing decision, with the support of an unexpected friend.
155"Chapter V"Salli Richardson-WhitfieldLeann BowenJoelleMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
Joelle meets her competitor for top-grade in anatomy and they're not at all what she expected.
166"Chapter VI"Justin SimienJack Moore & Chuck HaywardLionelMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
Lionel must juggle his personal life and faux-professional obligations while helping Brooke hunt down the mysterious alt-right internet troll. All they find is the shocking fate of Sorbet, Kelsey's stolen medically prescribed comfort dog, but the evening holds a few more surprises for Lionel.
177"Chapter VII"Steven TsuchidaYvette Lee Bowser & Nastaran DibaiTroyMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
Troy finds his voice, comedic and otherwise, by partially confronting the pain he's caused others – Reggie, Sam and Coco.
188"Chapter VIII"Justin SimienJack MooreGabeMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
Gabe interviews Sam for his documentary film, "Am I racist?" Feelings simmer as the former lovers engage in personal and heated discussion about the fine line between using white privilege to dismantle white supremacy and the self-aggrandizement of the white savior complex. What does their passionate exchange and bad news for Sam entail for their relationship?
199"Chapter IX"Janicza BravoNastaran Dibai & Yvette Lee BowserSamanthaMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
Sam, Joelle and Coco drive to Sam's childhood home in the suburbs for an event that brings the whole family together. Sam confronts her mother, Tina, about withholding information. Mother and daughter reconcile over a letter, while Joelle and Coco reconcile over cosmetics.
2010"Chapter X"Justin SimienNjeri Brown & Justin SimiennoneMay 4, 2018 (2018-05-04)
As Rikki Carter arrives on campus, Reggie and Joelle finally come to an agreement over their relationship, prompting Sam and Gabe to reach an accord as well. Sam's confrontation with Rikki doesn't go as planned, but thanks to Coco and her most unexpected of allies, neither does Rikki's speech. Lionel and Sam try and join the mysterious Order of X.


Critical response[edit]

Both seasons of the series have been released to critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, season one has a "Certified Fresh" 98% approval rating based on 55 reviews from critics, with an average rating of 8.69/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Timely, provocative, and sharply written, Dear White People is an entertaining blend of social commentary and incisive humor."[14] On Metacritic, the season has a weighted average score of 85 out of 100, based on 21 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[15]

On Rotten Tomatoes, season two holds an approval rating of 100% based on 32 reviews from critics, with an average rating of 9.35/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Dear White People's endearing excellence returns, but with an added layer of emotional maturity that enhances the show's powerful, relevant meditations on race relations in America."[16] On Metacritic, the series has a score of 89 out of 100, based on 7 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[17]

Peter Debruge, writing for Variety, praised the show's writing, directing, social commentary, and cast.[18] The New York Times praised the show's examination of concerns such as appropriation, assimilation, and conflict.[19]


The initial trailer for the TV show attracted some angry responses, with the series being accused by some Twitter users of being racist to white people; they called for a boycott of Netflix.[20][21][22] The YouTube trailer for the series received more "dislikes" than "likes",[23][24] with RT observing a 10:1 ratio of dislikes-to-likes as of 11 February 2017.[25] Series creator Justin Simien responded positively to the backlash, saying it reiterated the point of the series, and brought more attention to it as well.[26] Lead actress Logan Browning noted that many of the critics who have given the show rave reviews are white.[21]


Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2017 Gotham Independent Film Awards Breakthrough Series – Long Form Dear White People Nominated [27]


  1. ^ Lawler, Richard (May 5, 2016). "Netflix orders a series based on the movie 'Dear White People'". Engadget.
  2. ^ Holloway, Daniel (5 May 2016). "'Dear White People' Series Ordered at Netflix". Variety.
  3. ^ Petski, Denise (February 8, 2017). "'Dear White People' Gets Netflix Premiere Date & Teaser". Deadline.
  4. ^ a b c Evans, Greg (21 July 2016). "Netflix's 'Dear White People' Casts Brandon P. Bell & Logan Browning". Deadline.
  5. ^ Petski, Denise (2017-06-30). "'Dear White People' Renewed For Season 2 At Netflix". Deadline. Retrieved 2017-07-01.
  6. ^ Netflix (2018-04-14), Dear White People – Vol. 2 | On The Issues Teaser [HD] | Netflix, retrieved 2018-04-14
  7. ^ "'Dear White People' Renewed for Season 3 at Netflix". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Petski, Denise (1 September 2016). "'Dear White People' Netflix Series Rounds Out Cast As Production Begins". Deadline.
  9. ^ a b Petski, Denise (7 September 2016). "'Dear White People' Netflix Series Casts Nia Jervier & Wyatt Nash As Recurring". Deadline.
  10. ^ Petski, Denise (14 September 2016). "Brant Daugherty To Recur In 'Dear White People' Netflix Comedy Series". Deadline.
  11. ^ Pedersen, Erik (29 September 2016). "'Dear White People': Nia Long To Recur On Netflix Series". Deadline.
  12. ^ Petski, Denise (21 September 2016). "'Dear White People': Jeremy Tardy To Recur On Netflix Comedy Series". Deadline.
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (28 September 2016). "'The Handmaid's Tale' Casts Amanda Brugel; Jemar Michael Joins 'Dear White People'". Deadline.
  14. ^ "Dear White People: Season 1 (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  15. ^ "Dear White People: Season 1 reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  16. ^ "Dear White People: Season 2 (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  17. ^ "Dear White People: Season 2 reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  18. ^ Debruge, Peter (March 13, 2017). "SXSW TV Review: 'Dear White People' on Netflix". Variety. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  19. ^ Poniekwozik, James (April 27, 2017). "Dear White People Review". The New York Times . Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  20. ^ "Dear White People trailer accused of, erm, racism". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  21. ^ a b Director, Cavan Sieczkowski Deputy; News; Analytics (9 February 2017). "'Dear White People' Cast Take On Trolls Calling For Netflix Boycott". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  22. ^ "Watch Controversial Trailer for Netflix's 'Dear White People' Series". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  23. ^ Chris Graham: 'Dear White People' trailer sparks backlash as Netflix faces claims of racism. The Telegraph, 2017-02-09
  24. ^ Andrew Filfield: Netflix's Dear White People inspires yet another #Boycott. Metronews (Canada), 2017-02-13
  25. ^ "'Dear White People' trailer fans flames of America's racial divide, as expected".
  26. ^ Stacy Lampe: EXCLUSIVE: 'Dear White People' Creator Justin Simien Responds to Netflix Boycott at, 2017-02-09
  27. ^ Erbland, Kate (19 October 2017). "'Get Out' Leads 2017 Gotham Awards Nominations". IndieWire. Retrieved 19 October 2017.

External links[edit]