'Dear White People' Creator Sounds Off On Netflix Boycott

"Equality feels like oppression to the privileged."

Who knew addressing why blackface isn't okay would send the white community in a frenzy? That's just what happened when Netflix released a 30-second teaser for Dear White People.

Set on a fictional Ivy League campus, the Sundance hit film-turned-comedy series is already at the center of a "Netflix boycott" before its premiere this spring, but creator Justin Simien is not intimidated by the onslaught of "anti-white" accusations and canceled subscriptions.

"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," the award-winning filmmaker wrote in a series of tweets. "This is how a minute long date announcement becomes a distorted call for white genocide in the minds of the some people. Despite all signs to the contrary."

At a time when the nation reeks of divisiveness, Simien stresses that the work of the artist is to reflect the times. "I'm not the first artist to use a misnomer as a title and I reject the notion of 'causing a divide' simply by stating that one exists. 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," he later continued. "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."

In spite of the backlash, many rose to Dear White People's defense and appear just as unbothered by the boycott as its creator.

Catch the trailer above, and get ready for April 28.

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Halle Berry Receives Praise For Refusing To Skip Black Journalists On Red Carpet

Halle Berry is receiving all the praise at the moment, not only for her latest role in the new John Wick movie but for refusing to skip two interviews with a pair of black journalists on the red carpet.

Emerald Marie, a reporter from Where Is The Buzz TV, was one just two black journalists who were sent to the premiere of John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. Emerald recalled being excited to interview the Oscar winner, but was quickly cut off by the actress' publicist. Instead of walking away, however, Berry made the decision to turn around and speak with Emerald and the other black male journalist, Lamar Dawson.

“I can't skip my brother and sister,"  Berry said, according to Marie.

The latest incident is unfortunately common for black journalists and media companies. "Oftentimes, black reporters and black outlets are pushed to the end and unable to get the proper interview that they need,” Marie explained. Because of Berry's generosity, Marie said she has a "newfound respect" for the actress.

Dawson also released a statement to VIBE about his interaction with Berry. "Emerald and I were standing next to each other on the carpet and were discussing how too often Black reporters are skipped at these events--and then it nearly happened to us. It's a big issue that needs to be addressed. Our stories deserve to be told, too," he said. "When Halle came back, I was able to talk to her quickly about her show 'Boomerang' and how important it is for the show to feature Black, LGBTQ storylines--an interview question the mainstream outlets aren't going to ask thus underscoring the importance of diversity in newsrooms and the importance of outlets that seek to give a voice to marginalized people. I'm grateful for Halle for seeing us out there."

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum starring Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry hit theaters today (May 17). Check out Emerald Marie and Lamar Dawson's full recaps from the red carpet below.

 

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I wanted to share this story because so often we hear people say “support black business” We all know it’s hard being the Minortity in many industries! For Halle Berry to make a conscious effort to turn back around and make sure the only two black faces we recognized & allocated the time to get our coverage is just another reason why she is a Leader & Queen 👑 @halleberry ❤️‼️🎤 #blackbrandsmatter #johnwick3 #blackreporters thank you @whereisthebuzz for this platform

A post shared by @ emerald.marie.tv on May 15, 2019 at 6:34pm PDT

 

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Last week, I shared a story about how too often Black journalists are often skipped on red carpets, but at the “John Wick 3” premiere I was covering, Halle Berry came back to talk to me and the only other Black reporter, @emerald.marie.tv. The story has been getting traction and Halle was asked about it today at another premiere by @hay_itslay and I am deeply moved by her response and the response from many of you. I hope it sparks much needed change in the industry. ✊🏾

A post shared by LAMAR DAWSON (@dirrtykingofpop) on May 16, 2019 at 2:35pm PDT

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Uzo Aduba To Play Shirley Chisholm In Upcoming FX Series

Actress Uzo Aduba is reportedly slated to portray legendary congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm in the upcoming series, Mrs. America for FX, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Orange Is the New Black actress reportedly verified the reports on Twitter on Tuesday (May 14). The series will follow the backlash surrounding the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), THR reports. Aduba joins Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, and other all-star actresses.

ERA, which prohibited gender discrimination, was introduced in Congress in 1923 but has yet to become law. Chisholm, who became the first black woman to serve in Congress and the first black woman in the United States to run for a major party’s presidential nomination, was a prominent advocate for ERA before she died in 2005.

Dahvi Waller wrote the nine-episode series and will also serve as the show's executive producer. Mrs. America is set to premiere on FX in 2020.

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Will Smith And Queen Latifah To Produce Hip-Hop 'Romeo & Juliet' For Netflix

Will Smith and Queen Latifah are joining forces to produce a film that blends hip-hop and Shakespeare. The pair are reportedly gearing up to produce an upcoming hip-hop musical of Romeo & Juliet for Netflix, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film will be a contemporary musical on Shakspeare's romantic tragedy that is set in New York City. The updated rendition will portray a young waitress from Brooklyn who falls in love with an aspiring musician from a wealthy family.

Solvan "Slick" Naim will reportedly direct from a script he wrote with Dave Broome. Latifah will produce the musical through her Flavor Unit Entertainment banner. Smith will act as an executive producer under his Overbrook Entertainment, with James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett.

Hip-hop and Shakespeare might sound like they don't miss, but you probably forgot that Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Romeo + Juliet. The film, which starred a young Leonardo DiCaprio, also took a more urban, hip-hop approach.

It's unclear when the upcoming musical will hit Netflix at this time.

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