Justin Simien and Logan Browning discuss their critically acclaimed Netflix series 'Dear White People'

"Dear White People" creator and series star discuss the initial backlash, the critical acclaim and the fandom.
20:38 | 05/17/17

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Transcript for Justin Simien and Logan Browning discuss their critically acclaimed Netflix series 'Dear White People'
I did watch his entire theory might and I can't stop. Accede to those the mission accomplished exactly. And conflict. Old who don't know because again you know we're speaking to lie audience here. Give us it's like for those were just kind of start to get into it and we're off from the 200414. Sure with the same name by those. Who are listening and watching what this whole theory is. Absolutely so you know dear white people. Ultimately it's about a group of black kids who are at a mom bass Lee white Ivy League college. And they are basically all kind of in their own ways trying to figure out who they are and what they are in this. Society that doesn't quite get them and you know in terms of the title after white people Samantha white who was wonderful equivalent in Browning. Is a bit of a fire branches a radio show on campus Calder way people and it rubbed some people the wrong way it rallies some other people and we sort of you know the controversy over whether or not to show like that is race eastern that's kind of what like that starts as an arc projector for the series. And and its beginnings critical acclaim prize. On. How could also talk about what happened prior to and I think it's certainly honor we. Are surprised me out with all the people X acting so I think it was an exciting news. Not only that every man it's all I did you all walks of life just coming out on it all and he amazing. And I mean what your reaction. I mean surprises are where work out I'll say this I knew was showing me and we worked really really hard on the show. And its accounts of this bill with me since 2005 which is crazy it's twelve years so. You know I'd certainly the reception is beyond my wildest dreams. But again I knew was showing me I was proud of this thing no matter what the recession would be so when people are feeling it the way. I was feeling it the way that might cast a feeling at the wave of the writers amateur runner feeling it. I felt like a town already won you know. And it just sort of is a reflection of how we felt about it so it's very gratifying. Most. Surprisingly to me. Kind of a cult following and didn't thank you again the show is very specific. So it's going to have a specific audience but it's so artful and smash old at. I am actually really surprised by the phantom. And the people really gravitate towards certain character is in Ayers an hour in. There's already in. Compilation. Goes on a. Telekom Malaysia B at eight Dave rags. He. Day. Progress. People. Like your. Oh. Sorry. I. EE. Oh being. Sure that. He. Would be. These. Well you know I think one I think that there is a Gerber people who are desperate for talking points. And I think that listen the movie had already come out there really was nothing that happened in that teaser trailer that I thought was terribly controversial. But there's a group of people that seize on that moment to sort of you know rally their troops in and make the case at some. Oh America is becoming quote unquote anti white I mean that's sort of their thing right now. Some but it's all projection of there's nothing to do with the show that I made you know dear white people as an invitation. At the very least you know so again yes all of that was happening but one it was kind of proving the point in the show and and it was also it was creating this knee jerk reaction frankly as an artist. And I wanted you to have that I wanted you do to encounter this title. Feel some type away and if your courageous enough watches. And and have a completely different understanding about the issues and you may have had coming in to. And I know that was very supportive they didn't waver at all with that on an even if they had waiver to whatever extent. Do you know what you have pushed. That button and say okay well if if this going to be I think I'm still gonna move for him and he was this. One of those pet projects that you're like you know why this story needs to be told I. They're like Kirk by hook or by crook when I made that movie we have you know a really limited budget and limited time in limited resources. It I was gonna make the movie no matter what and you know. Listen necklace was very very supportive but again we knew was show we had we knew what we made and it was not what these people were saying it was. And dumb. I think it's all in a weird way kind of met version of the show kind of happening in real life and I think that that's beneficial and as an artist. I'm happy that I'm pushing buttons my favorite movies and TV shows pushed my buttons and and that's sort of where artists war zone. I think as a compliment. Yes different people who may understandable controversy. They are or are certain people you know who felt that this show was rhesus in his own way because it. Basically eat out brought to light certain. And paid an idea about you know you hear people here I think we I am wrong and how her life is. The earth hey there that they that I deal with and I want to addresses the issue I want to show you how outfield. Or. We know the thing is I think a lot of people who were maybe have the benefit of not like having to be a part of these issues. You know you my look at the TV screen and you see all these people process and you'll. What's a big deal you know slavery is over like. You know where these people complaining about if they would just let it go we would all be fine and the truth is is that what we're trying to say is that. No it's a lot more complicated than that and you know actually living as a person of color in this country. It's an experience that not everybody can understand so I'm inviting you. To understand it for those of you already do understand and I'm inviting you to see your cells in the shadow and you know I think of that listened we can't just come together until we face. What divides us and I think this show is an honest but humorous and entertaining look at what those things are and maybe we can figure out how to get over them. It's also mean when you take a group of marginalized people any group or a group of oppressed people and they speak up about what's. Bothering emerges and general lively hey this is just how I live and it's it's a complicated way of life and just expressing it. Why is it that the other feels it necessary to defend themselves why do you feel in need to. Defend no one's attacking new and I think that's where in the misconception is that your white people not attacking. Anybody is really expressing hey it's a love letter to wake people this is just Powell my life. I can yearly amend the assumption that it's going to be a show of finger wagging or blaming. I think that Bure really boring show into the question you know whether there is either by fuel went public RB Oscars. Circle of their like fuel and it was as though it was a show in her arms and rotten tomatoes are probably want to. But you know it's. The entirety of American calls has been duplicate people we have no choice but to face with the majority Colton thinks of us everyday lives. I would say you know come down to cool. I think anybody coming for you like that. The year here. You. If there there. Oh. Yeah. That the deer black. Current and it. It. Away. That would have been it. He apologized to to. Lower. The it. Lower. It. Yeah well. Well you know my answer to I want people to imprint themselves in these cares whether or not you were Sam or cocoa or Troy airline knowing your real life. I wanted you to see you cells and these people. Black people particularly the ones in the show who often are not in television shows in the each character is sort of a different kind of person he normally see in things like there's. I wanted the people who felt like tempted to feel scene but I also wanted people to see that. We can be the Everyman to you know as black folks we are chores went to look up in Indiana Jones see ourselves and white characters we don't have a choice. But the reverse can also be really rewarding for people. And was so cool is that like you know we were getting fan letters and tweets from people all over the world. It is so satisfying way here like a guards gambler grossly you know what thank you for putting me on the screen but I also love it when Michael White conservative man twins you know the show's gritty and I learned something like. That I love both of those things and that was my expectation is that we could do that for somebody and the fact that it's it's happening for a lot of people is just an exercise in case. I think she's extremely. Menacing. Backers she's okay she's real she's. But it's different had a lot of different things out. His question but I'll see your question to question as well is that our idea. Who once before you. Now having played error what is your vision. Well. I definitely had a free disposition and was based on the film like that it's I can't a race. Test his performance as its new to me it's it's impossible to erase and the film. But I was really figuring it out which I was 100% OK when. Beacon is as low in I promise you I was figuring out who I was that while locked in the district and I am constantly. Doing that and I feel like Sam is similar. In that way and I feel like it's okay for someone to constantly be. Trying different personalities out with people you know she's testing the waters obviously she's super radical in she's very comfortable doing that. But she's also navigating these friendships that these. Different. Races differ ends. Interests. And just didn't saying it in ice in I suppose you're MI music look in this you know mr. instinct she does Wear these different masks and different hats now. I think of Logan has is she its. Here's what I needed for Stan. I needed somebody that no matter what they were saying there were so you could see the wheels spinning. You could see you like there's an intelligence behind. Whatever she saying or doing and that's just an eight to Logan you know and a lot of times on set he really was about just encouraging you honestly to. To really be yourself in the role because you know my job as storytellers not to fit people into the way I see things my job is to. You try to put fort something within be open to life and experiences and the reason why Logan was sore arresting to me in the addition prices because you just had that like you came in the door with that. You know and it was. You know it was just a joy to work review watches and watch you mold this character have. Yes you. True mystery. Mountain you know again I with us. In complete. Like it will. He needed the might well at the back we see it like. You're going to get mad at the can talk a little bit about just. Could again in my office is conducting its have to continue because there have to be ease these conversations. Continue could continuing to happen. I think it's very high. This is from. Your own personal experience. Looking a little bit now. Where. Justin is suggesting that today's. That is. 882 it two different parts of your life but yet ignorant interconnect. Yeah that's a great question I mean I think when I began this journey I was. Trying to figure out you know I've felt I. Phil bifurcated as a person and I felt like. I had a black version of me for my black friends that like sort of like more of white issue whitewashed version of me. From my wife Fran that a version of me for my coworkers other version of me from my family. And you know as a gave like born in the south you're kind talk to survive by being of people think you should be. And all of that has got to be alive and I think. I think part of what I was doing with this show in movie subconsciously was I was trying to excise all of that and integrate. Mean and being the no matter who was in recognize there's a part of me that I have to play in order to get and society. But there's a part of me this is media should protect that and I have to work through that you know I'm still working through but the show was away from me to explore all of those intricacies. And also you know is part of my mission to put voices and sores in the culture there aren't there. You know when I was growing up if I had Lional when I was twelve or thirteen that would simulate. So you though it's important representation is important and so. Not only was I finding myself but I was hearing stories from people and I just couldn't help but pour their hearts into I was saying two's so. You know I think at the beginning of mystery I was an artist. Looking for Tom answers and China -- what my voices alerts from the saying at the end of this I think I'm still that. But it. I feel like I'm I'm just pouring into the stories and pouring into these characters and its. It's so satisfying I have to say it really is that it's a joy there's so much more you talk about and I just feel like. I'm aka riff on the subject forever zone and keep the seasons come and Netflix. And and an on. About you know how to use because like. I've been able to gain something from that series. What have you been able to glean from BC. Rule and perspective on things changed. Yet this is this show has come and really special time in my life and I'm an agreement I think. Just research that I mean. Proposition at them in terms. Making sure I know as much as I want to do and Charlotte about my own culture I think that. As a young black woman I just had things. Here in new south and about black women by I don't think I was searching as much about. African and African American cultures specifically. And and really he just. Cell soul searching and really figuring out who went in is is this show is towns to figure out. Who I think I am and do I have to present a certain version adds up to the world are due I just get to live injuries and it's kind of psychological warfare in good why. I feel like there's going to be some times seven years now go back and what energies from now and I'm and it being. While you were really trying to figure your and stuff Al. It's an interesting place. Part. After. EI. It. Up. Actually rules. I. You. Hear me. OK. You. You. I'm not. Need. Looking. Found hiding and the space between us doing seasons I would love to be to being. Found. IA it other than that it's just going to school Lila I really do lake. So because I started acting so young and IN and I've gone back and forth between school and work. I've dismissed I kind of miss that going to school for four years. Experience so I search a lot heard that education setting so that's kind of what I'm doing now. Scholar on yes go. The baby this everything. The other thing that you're dabbling in your or Atlanta via I got a lot of babies. The god the end of the. I got all of our got some biological insurance. No I yeah I'm like Logan and and trying to figure out you know how to stay active in the feature world. I've got to a few projects in development and I think we're close to being a talk about some room. Yes this account. If there. Rapid if you can dateline. Message one line and one liners you gave people's message from. Something you feel like maybe can be. People. Anybody Arab American. Tear. Anyone here has a Netflix subscription art doesn't they show will gave you a break from at all we need a break from Al. Yeah the feel I was say you know dear anybody who has an effort subscription. Listen if you feel like a stranger in your own land the show history. Oh on the note you all very much mark families who think that this theories here at fairway people available now. Please please check had a happily work. Thank you time and your energy it's amazing and think he might bring your radio thank you William signing off. Thanks. 88. Instead of the American people please. Thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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