There are times, many in fact, when I sit back, look at what I’ve accomplished in my years coming up in the culture writing biz, and think to myself, “Yeah. That’s pretty good.” (Okay: “Many” is putting it strongly. I do not routinely bask in my own output. It happens only as often as Donald Trump says a true thing.)
My recent conversation with Justin Simien, the bright, enthusiastic, thoughtful, and most of all warm creator of the Netflix series Dear White People is one of those times. I never know what to expect when I get on the phone (or, god forbid, in the room) with the talent, and that state of not knowing usually puts my anxiety on red alert. But Justin is a great person, so my nerves dissipate immediately as we discussed the show’s new season (now streaming, and if you aren’t watching it, well, what the hell, guys), the creative constraints of art as a lens for talking about racism, and more.
You can read the feature I wove out of our talk over at Thrillist, if you’re so inclined (and you should be, and I shouldn’t have to keep saying it, either, y’know). Also, if you have any racist comments to make along the lines of, “Hey, what if I made a show called Dear Black People, I bet you’d call me a white supremacist if I did that,” you can keep ’em.