Dear White People (2017) s01e01 Episode Script

Episode 1

1 [drumroll] [narrator] Ah, Winchester University.
Hello.
The writers of this program are depending on my ethnic but nonthreatening voice to explain things they are too lazy to set up traditionally.
Only two months into the semester, and already the ninth Ivy League's quads buzz with future Olympians and presidents, with innovators trying to crack the next Facebook, with diverse students being forced into group shots - for the admissions brochure.
- [camera shutter clicks] One of Winchester's most well-known groups is the humor magazine Pastiche, whose members have left their mark as satirists, television writers, and most recently hosts of a blackface party.
[man] Yeah! [narrator] Ah, look, Serena Williams.
- That's an actual black person.
- [cell phone camera shutter clicks] That's I guess Nicki Minaj? I'm not sure.
Even more blackface.
Apparently this is a thing that white children are into.
Google it.
If you couldn't tell, there's lots more going on at this party [thudding] - [cheering] - [narrator] than meets the eye.
Oh, more actual black people.
I wonder if they'll find this amusing.
- [woman] How dare you? - [man] This is bullshit.
- [man] What the hell is this? - [woman] You are not Beyoncé.
- [screaming] - [glass shatters] [narrator] They do not.
[siren wailing] [man] Everyone back in the house right now! Drinks down! [narrator] Unpacking this egregious event will take some time, but an excellent place to begin our saga is with Samantha White, a junior media studies major and local provocateur.
Slavery in America.
Anybody like to volunteer to lead the discussion? [narrator] As one of the few black faces in this mostly white place - [man] Anyone? - [narrator] Sam had become used to episodes like this [man] Anyone with some special connection to the material? [narrator] and run-ins like these.
You look like Beyoncé.
Storm from the X-Men.
Wait, what are you? [narrator] Sam had enough and took to Winchester's syndicated student radio station.
Dear white people, here's a little tip.
When you ask someone who looks ethnically different, "What are you?" the answer is usually, "A person about to slap the shit out of you.
" [narrator] While Sam's show, aptly titled Dear White People, garnered a diverse set of listeners Who is this chick? [narrator]others was butthurt.
Keeping with its vow to mock anyone deemed too self-important, Pastiche set out to take down Samantha White by throwing a politically incorrect party for all those burdened by her demands for racial sensitivity.
However, after pressure from the administration, - the party was canceled.
- [electronic beep] But somehow, unbeknownst to Pastiche, an invite went out anyway.
And it is here we find Sam and her camera, at the epicenter of one of the biggest scandals to hit Winchester so far.
And like most parties, the hangover from this one is a motherfucker.
[percussive music] [woman scatting] All these people poppin' round I swear I need an Adderall But I won't let them witness What's in close with what I think Dear white people, here's a list of acceptable Halloween costumes: a pirate, slutty nurse, any of our first 43 presidents.
Top of the list of unacceptable costumes: me.
Winchester couldn't get through 2017 without blackface? 'Cause I really don't care And I'm still kinda young Oh, I'm sorry.
Am I being too loud for you? You know I stay woke, Sam, but right now, I'm getting the tea on how to be waist thin and ass thick from this white bitch in Texas.
Okay, one, you're gorge.
And, two, is "white bitch in Texas" her government name? Her name's Marian Updike, and she's the founder of the Think Slim online course, and she be dropping the knowledge I need to drop my sophomore 16.
- [cell phone buzzes] - Not a thing.
[woman] I'm learning how to enjoy a decadent McRib.
Miss Updike told me to cut it into fourths and count my chews.
Thirty, by the way.
[Sam] I can't with you, and what's more, I won't.
- [woman chuckles] - Look.
For those of you who thought our ivory tower was immune to this type of shit - [alarm ringing] - [man] Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Okay, I'm pretty sure the McRib was invented by Republicans in the '80s to destroy black communities, along with crack and Jerry Springer.
Suck it, Reagan.
I'm still here.
And please know that I will be showing up on McRib day in a Shirley Chisholm T-shirt sans internal conflict.
Is McRib day a thing? Where are you getting these Shirley Chisholm T-shirts? Forever 21.
Girl, you know I have no shame.
- Well - [cell phone buzzing] - Aside from my one secret shame.
- Only one? Sam, I've been secretly streaming The Cosby Show.
My conscience? Riddled with guilt.
[Sam] It's just really convenient that this all came out once white people realized he was rich enough to buy NBC.
I mean, he probably did that shit.
I'm just saying.
Yeah, probably.
[woman vocalizing] All right, y'all.
Five minutes left for call-ins.
Give me your worst.
[man] I find your show offensive and highly divisive.
We need to come together at times like this.
[Sam] Are you a white male? [man] Why? Race is a social construct.
[Sam] I'll take that as a yes.
Look, I didn't create the divide.
I'm just calling attention to it.
[woman] "Dear White People"? Even you have to admit your show comes off aggressive.
[Sam] Dear White People is a misnomer.
My show is meant to articulate the feelings of a misrepresented group outside the majority.
I get it.
The realization that you contribute to a racist society can be unsettling, but you sound like a grown-ass woman to me.
Next.
Listen, the man could take an episode about Rudy getting a B-minus and stretch it into a half hour of comedic gold.
Oh, God, I pray he didn't stretch little Rudy out in any other way.
- Bitch, you going to hell.
- I'll save you a seat.
[man] Thanks for saying what we're all thinking.
Sometimes, I feel like I don't belong on my own campus.
[Sam] Right? They too busy patting themselves on the back for letting us in.
Hey, thanks for hanging out during the show.
You give me shit, but if I wasn't there to talk about the McRib Shit would get way too real for a Monday morning.
[chuckles] I got you, always.
We chilling before Black Caucus? - I got plans.
- Hmm.
Dick-related plans? Ain't nobody got time for no dick.
Not even Reggie's? Shh.
He's coming over here.
Anyway, I gotta cut my footage for doc class.
Just text me when you're going down.
Hmm, how about you text me when you're done going down, mm-kay? You [both laugh] - What's up, Sam? - Hey.
'Sup, Reggie? So, uh, what you up to? [heavy breathing] [Sam giggles] [moaning] [man grunting and Sam moaning] [Sam giggles] [moaning] [gasping] [both panting] [sighing] Did you, uh [Sam] Mm-hmm.
[laughs] Twice.
What? [laughs] That's such an unfair advantage.
[chuckles] What are you doing? Uh, crushing candy.
- Right after? - Mm-hmm.
[man grunting] [slide whistle plays on phone] What level are you on? [slide whistle playing on phone] No, no, no, no, no.
- Absolutely not.
- What? You're supposed to spread all this jelly, you know.
- Ew.
- It's not "ew.
" It's imperative to the game.
Look.
- Come here.
Okay.
- [clears throat] Look, this is why you're still stuck on level 20.
Yeah? Spreading this digital goo.
This is one of the most pressing issues of our time.
Okay, you gonna give me my phone back, though.
What? No.
- Gabe.
- What? Give me my phone back.
I don't know what you're talking about.
- Give - No.
- Gabe.
- No.
[Gabe] You're so silly.
[Sam] Gabe? What? You want this? - You don't want it? - Mnh-mnh.
- No? - [laughing] [Gabe] You think you're so slick.
Okay, no, no, no, no.
- No, no.
- What? What? Stop, you're gonna mess up my hair.
- Huh? - Like, more.
Yeah, I am.
I'm gonna mess up that hair like a light drizzle on a much too humid day.
- [phone buzzing] - [laughing] [clears throat] Reggie wants you.
[groans] Shit.
I'm supposed to represent for the BSU at this caucus.
Mm.
[Sam] Oh.
Reggie's a Reggie's a cool guy.
Yeah, except for when he corners you with a "'Sup?" Or a "So" Ellipses implied.
You guys gonna talk about the party? What else? Man, it's just so fucked.
You know I could, uh I could come with.
Oh.
No, it's cool.
It's, um It's members only.
[clears throat] So you're a shark.
- That's cool.
I get that.
- [chuckles] You know, you're always moving, and you only slow down to kill Gabe, I know how analogies work.
[both laugh] I guess what I'm saying is, you know, it's, uh You know, romance in a place like this, it's been reduced to, like, hooking up, you know? Mm, romance.
[Gabe] It doesn't exist here.
I want to be more than just a hot lay for you, Sam.
[laughing] Yeah.
All right.
What CW show are we in? You know what I'm trying to say.
You want more.
Yeah.
Oh.
Um I gotta go get a shower.
So - Later, gator.
- [chuckles] [sighs] [Sam] Lionel Higgins, right? Um, yes.
From the Winchester Independent.
Covering this meeting.
I just need someone to give me the lay of the land.
[Sam] Sure.
You did that article about breaking up the party.
Yeah.
Why haven't we heard of you before? [Lionel] I'm not that notable.
Something tells me that's not true.
[chattering] Well, generally speaking, Black Caucus is when the different black student unions at Winchester get together for a completely masturbatory and pointless pissing contest under the guise of unity.
Held during lunchtime at Armstrong Parker once a month because nobody wants to make room on their schedule.
- And we already eat here.
- Is this off the record? [Sam] You can quote us all you want.
We got the Black Student Union, headed by me, Winchester's first and only relevant group fighting for black causes on campus.
We got the African-American Student Union, or AASU, which basically does nothing and takes credit for the work of the BSU.
They claim mac and cheese Wednesdays, but we made that shit happen.
Yes.
We got Black American Forum or Black AF.
Mostly mediocre slam poets.
They make hashtags and T-shirts.
- And throw dope parties.
- Mm-hmm.
- And then there's - [Troy] CORE.
The Coalition of Racial Equality.
And the only group here invited to sit at the dean's quarterly student council.
Don't say "the dean" like he's not your father.
- Hi, Lionel.
- Hi, Troy.
I trust your story's portrayal of these fine groups will go unbiased.
- You got it, Troy.
- [chuckles] Some things never change.
Some things do.
Coco.
CORE's new treasurer.
Real name: Colandrea.
C-o-l-a-n-d-r-e-a.
For accuracy.
Don't do it with that mess atop your head you like to pass off as natural, held together by bobby pins and prayer? - Lord.
- You want to go there? With half of India's GDP atop your head? - Oh.
- They kinda got beef.
- Picked that up.
- We have nothing, sweets.
I happen to find her viewpoints to be little more than self-serving, blacker-than-thou propaganda.
Feel free to quote me, Lionel.
Yo, fam, can we cut the Love & Hip Hop auditions and get to it? [man] Post-racial my ass.
Everyone said we were crying wolf, but this is our proof.
A bunch of white kids dressing up like us? I mean, this is some real shit.
Yeah, guys, you know what this is? - This is racism.
- What a revelation, Kelsey.
Somebody should write this down.
Paper boy, you got that? [Kelsey] I thought this kind of thing only happened in the '50s or in BuzzFeed articles.
I don't feel safe.
I'd like to use this meeting to cull some thoughts that CORE can actually take to the dean.
What the hell's the Coalish gonna do? Y'all should let the BSU take lead because we've been fighting these issues since jump.
[man] We need a march on campus, fam.
- Sinchester.
- [man] Uh-huh.
- BlackFarceParty.
- [woman] Yeah, yeah.
- FuckThePolice! - [man] Uh-huh.
- [woman] Yeah.
- That one's evergreen.
Damn straight.
These kids amuse themselves by wearing black bodies as costumes, and we're the only ones upset? We got to bust this campus wide open.
[woman] Yes, Brother Malcolm.
Ma-ma-se, ma-ma-sa, ma-ma-ku-sa.
Just to play devs, all my white friends are talking about it.
- So all your friends? - [Kelsey] Yelling at people who are already on our side using hashtags and marches? [cell phone buzzes] Cathartic though it may be, it just makes us look angry.
We are angry, Kelsey.
So the AASU proposes we do nothing.
[Troy] That's not what she said.
[Kelsey] Pastiche are the bad guys.
- Let's go after them.
- [Sam] For what? - Their editor is Kurt Fletcher.
- [cell phones buzzing] Son of the president.
Nothing is going to happen to him or Pastiche.
You know, in the real world, kids are getting shot by cops for being black.
Voter rights are still being suppressed.
Our criminal justice system continues to propagate a new Jim Crow.
This isn't about a college magazine.
This is about a movement.
We're surrounded by the future leaders of this country, and we finally got their ear.
- So what do we want to say? - About what now? You just got tagged on this.
Miss Black Power over here dating white boys.
[chattering] [sighs] So what y'all talking 'bout? Pussy.
Bitches.
Sam, I was saying nothing, because it is none of my business what goes on behind your sheets.
It's "between your sheets," Rashid.
[Rashid] I speak five languages.
You speak one, barely.
Do not correct my English.
[man mockingly] "Do not correct my English.
" [Kelsey] Sam I'm happy if you're happy.
Okay? [Sam] What? Nothing.
Talking shit behind my back? You're fucking someone behind mine.
He's my TA from doc class.
We went for drinks once over the summer, and you know there ain't shit to do over the summer.
You know what? I'm happy for you, Sam.
Don't do that, Jo.
Not you.
I have to unpack my best friend having a secret bae.
Secret or white? Both.
You know I'm biracial, so technically Look, don't.
You're not Rashida Jones biracial.
You're Tracee Ellis Ross biracial.
People think of you as black.
[sighs] This is why I didn't say shit.
No, you didn't say shit because you stay talking about how we can't give up on our men.
Sam, we met in the comments section of that Medium article you wrote.
"Don't Fall in Love with Your Oppressor: A Black Girl's Guide to Love at Winchester.
" That one got so many likes.
What's crazy is you got guys like Reggie wanting to drink your bathwater.
He's literally Dap from School Daze, but darker, and you pass him up for Mackle-less? I thought I knew who I was.
I thought I knew what I wanted, but when I'm with him, I don't know.
I [sighs] It's like a respite from everything.
We're goofy.
We reference obscure movies.
We watch Game of Thrones.
That shit with dragons set in the world where no one's black except the slaves? I've tried to break it off before, but he sends one text, and I can't help but smile all day long.
You hate smiling.
[laughs] [sighs] [groans] So this is a thing? Yeah, this is a thing.
[Joelle laughs] He looks like the white dude in the picture that comes with the frame.
[both laughing] He does.
[phone chimes] Fuck.
What you got? It's just something I gotta handle.
[sighs] So when are we gonna meet him? Mm She's not afraid of the truth.
Why are you? [woman] Miss White, please take a seat.
[door clicks closed] [hip-hop music playing] So many showed.
[knock on door] Hey.
Don't want to bug, but I know you forget to eat.
Holy shit.
Is this the party? You okay? "Hate it when bae leaves"? [clears throat] Uh, yeah, I know.
But, you know, uh, in my defense, the use of "bae" was purely ironic.
You didn't think to ask before you posted that? Uh Um, I'm sorry.
Are you embarrassed? Gabe the best part of us is that it was just us.
Now I feel like I've got the entire Black Caucus in my bedroom.
Could be kinda hot.
Oh, okay.
You're joking.
[sighs] I'm only a Millennial on paper.
I didn't realize that an Instagram post was a relationship stage to be navigated.
- Well, it is.
- Okay.
We can go slow.
I just want to go somewhere.
[Gabe sighs] Don't.
I don't know what you're talking about.
Don't Gosling-eye me.
Who, this guy? What are you doing tomorrow night? What do you got? [Sam] What are you wearing? What are you talking about? We're gonna watch a TV show.
[Sam] Not just a TV show.
Defamation Wednesdays are the epicenter of black college life.
Okay.
- Don't you have some Js? - Oh.
Wait, are you trying to My Fair Lady me for your black friends? A little.
Oh, so in this instance, you want me to appropriate your culture.
No, I Mm.
[chuckles] - That's - Coming? Oh, God.
Since when do you even wear sweatpants? [Gabe] I wear them all the time.
You're always taking 'em off of me.
Well, shit, Sam, if I knew you liked 'em light, I woulda hollered.
Hey, I'm Gabe.
Joelle.
[light music playing on TV] You listen to me, and you listen very carefully.
Yes! Yes, coat.
And the boots.
[woman] You do not own me.
I am not your property.
You do not look.
You do not touch.
You do not grope.
And you definitely do not pinch my ass at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.
- [woman] Yes! - [indistinct chatter] [woman] He's cheating.
Well, you don't seem to mind any other time.
There were cameras there.
Roland Martin was a mere two feet away, and we all know how he loves to blast people on Twitter.
I'm still in therapy from the last time I was trending.
- But I'm in love with you.
- [man] You better tell him.
Mm-hmm.
You are the leader of the free world.
You don't get to fall in love.
And what about you? I'm in love with my job, which is to get little bitch babies like you to act like grown-ass men when the world needs them to do their job.
- [all exclaiming] - That's my girl.
'Cause she gotta say something to him, right? - I mean - Well, I've got a job for you.
Blow me.
Right here in the Oval Office.
On that eagle! [all jeering] Oh, hell no.
Yes, Mr.
President.
- No! - [all] Oh! [Joelle] What? Are you serious? I pledge allegiance to your cock.
- Wow.
Wow.
Wow.
- She nasty.
Daddy? [all groaning] - I can't.
- Okay, wait, wait.
- So who is that? - That's her father.
Well, actually a clone of her father who works undercover for the CIA after her real father's untimely death.
Provided the perfect cover.
That's a little, uh that's a little far-fetched.
[Rashid] Does every American show revolve around fellatio-related cliffhangers? Hey, it's in our Constitution.
Black lives are degraded without regard, and we in here watching TV.
This is how the revolution dies.
Hey, I was thinking we should have a sit-in.
Maybe in Bechet's dining hall? Where the white legacy kids live? [Sam] Exactly.
Engage the part of the student body that has the luxury of ignoring us.
Not everything we do has to be geared toward white people, Sam.
Hey, is this about the party? [Reggie] Nah.
We planning to protest the library.
Too many books in that motherfucker.
[both laughing] You know, in 2017, I can't believe something like this could happen.
Really? 'Cause I can.
I mean, it's almost like you and I attend two totally separate schools.
Hey, man, I'm just as pissed off as you are.
- Not possible.
- [Gabe] No, uh Look, that's not what I meant.
Bro, just because you got a black chick on your arm doesn't mean you get to Miley Cyrus our pain, a'ight? Reggie.
Chill.
[Gabe] No, no, no.
No, no, look.
You're absolutely right.
I have no idea how you feel.
But I want to.
Look, I'm Gabe.
Why are you even here? What are you gonna do, hit me? It might surprise you, but I don't use my fists to solve problems.
Hit you? Nigga, I should hit you for thinking that I would hit you.
You know what? It's not worth it.
Ga Sam I'm sorry.
Everything that's going Sam.
- [Joelle] Sam, you okay? - [woman] Turn it up.
[woman on TV] Daddy? But I buried you on Tuesday.
Holla if you need me, girl! Ooh, shit! Hey, are you all right? Yeah, I'm fine.
I'm sorry to embarrass you in front of all your friends.
Oh, so you felt like the odd man out for two minutes.
Guess what.
I feel like that every day on this campus.
Yes, society sucks, but I would never let my friends make you feel you didn't belong in my world.
Oh, and don't worry.
I'm gonna delete the post.
Sam? Can we talk? Wait, you hacked into Dean Fairbanks' computer? That's a thing that can happen? Some CS major ran a redirected shell script, analyzed the active network interface, and routed Yes, it's a thing that can happen.
What's this got to do with me? Sam we have hard evidence that someone broke into Pastiche's Facebook account and sent out an invite for the blackface party.
Shit.
My editor wants to run with the story as soon as possible, but if someone else breaks it before we do You know? You'd ruin your own scoop? I guess I just don't like the idea of telling someone else's truth.
[slow tempo] I've got a one-way ticket It's gonna take me out of here [rapping] Ooh, I'm black, and I'm proud I'm black, they can't keep me down I'm black in black with a smile A black Beemer to match Two Afro puffs in the back Sam! I'm so glad you're here.
I just need you to leave immediately.
What are you talking about? What's she doing here? Listen, I'm just filling your time slot with Dear Abigail until this whole blackface controversy blows over.
Dear Abigail? I'm getting complaints from all over.
I've had trolls since day one.
Okay, people just don't get how you can have a show called Dear White People and then complain about a party called Dear Black People.
If I hear "reverse racism" one more time Reverse racism? - Really? - Yeah.
[sighs] I get it.
- You were just doing your job.
- Thank you.
Well, would you mind if I read some of the complaints? Sure, yeah, yeah.
Come to my office.
I could not believe there's so many racists on this campus.
The more you know, right? I guess you know.
You must get this all the time.
- Hey, hey! - [Abigail] a very bad roommate my freshman year.
- [Sam] You? Out.
- Okay.
- Yeah, excuse me.
- Okay.
Sorry.
[exhales sharply] Dear white people, wow.
Y'all really trying it.
I get that being reduced to a race-based generalization is a new and devastating experience for some of you, but here's the difference.
My jokes don't incarcerate your youth at alarming rates or make it unsafe for you to walk around your own neighborhoods.
But yours do.
When you mock or belittle us, you enforce an existing system.
Cops everywhere staring down the barrel of a gun at a black man don't see a human being.
They see a caricature a thug a nigger.
A nigger.
A nigger.
So nah! You don't get to show up in a Halloween costume version of us and claim irony or ignorance, not anymore.
Before this party a POC on this campus couldn't even think the word "racism" without being accused of crying wolf.
But just like it took a Sandra Bland, a Trayvon Martin, and a Philando Castile to wake some folks up, this party is what it took to wake this campus up.
Look.
I sent the invite.
I wrote it.
Broke into Pastiche's account and sent it.
It was fascinating to see what was lurking beneath the surface when you were given an excuse to suspend your polite, passive liberalism.
I considered it a sociological experiment.
And guess what.
You proved my point.
Winchester, we got a problem.
Oh, one more thing.
To Gabe Mitchell, I'm sorry.
Please forgive me.
HateltWhen bae's mad.
- [woman] I should say that to my roommate? - [cell phone buzzes] All she did was leave a wet towel on my bed.
You know, I'll try it.
- Thanks, Abigail.
- [clicks] [cell phone buzzing] - [music playing] - [vocalizing] That's how the good Lord works That's how the good Lord works That's how the good Lord works That's how He works That's how the good Lord work s That's how the good Lord works That's how the good Lord works That's how He works We must not question the good Lord Have faith in God and trust His word We don't know how We don't know when To see His day, we shall stand We must not question the good Lord Have faith in God and trust His word We don't know how We don't know when To see His day, we shall stand [vocalizing]