Logan Browning - Unfolding Layers of Racism on "Dear White People"

May 31, 2017 - Logan Browning 05/31/2017 Views: 11,956

Logan Browning discusses her Netflix series "Dear White People," which examines the nuances of racism and colorism through the experiences of black college students. (5:31)

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Please welcome Logan Browning.

-♪ -(cheering, applause)

Thank you.

-Welcome to the show.-Wow. Thank you.

You've got a great crowd.

Oh, these guys are amazing.

-(cheering, applause)-These people are the best.

These people are the best!

(like Trump):I have the best crowds...

-(laughter)-Welcome to the show.

-Thank you.-Thank you for being here.

I am honestly one of the biggestfans of Dear White People.

I remember when the showwas first announced,

there were people onlinewho tried to make

a "boycott statement"about it, they're like,

"Oh, you can't watchthis Dear White People.

It's gonna be a racist show."But honestly, it has been

one of the most nuanced showsabout race.

Just working on it,has your perspective

on race and the conversationsaround it changed?

Yeah, it's a constantconversation, I feel like.

I mean... we talk about racein terms of our ethnicities,

but we all arejust the human race, right?

But we can't ignore colorand color-ism,

-Right. -and what Americais built on, it's slavery.

And... it's just constantlystarting conversations.

I'm constantly thinkingabout what people see me as

and how I view other people,

so it's been refreshingto have this kind of, um,

resurgence of interestin who we are as a people.

Because I feel likeAmericans are so...

We separate ourselvesfrom each other.

-Right.-We're not really unified.

And I think this showkind of does that for us.

It's a... it'san interesting journey.

And for those who haven'tseen it, you really should.

It's, um, it's a story

that is basedon a fictitious university,

and, uh, you are a character,Sam White,

and you have a radio showentitled Dear White People,

which, obviously, the whitepeople are not enthused by.


and it really is, it's, like,

in the show, they call it,you know,

-it's a woke radio show,-Right.

where you-you just call outwhat's happening on campus.

But it's not cut and dry,you know?

A lot of the timethere are mistakes

-that Sam's character makes...-A lot of them.

...in and aroundthe world of race.

I mean, like, one of those is,

one of my favorites, she callsout a character on the radio.

She says, "You're white,that's why you're privileged.

And he goes, "Oh, actually,I'm a black guy calling in."

-Yes. -And she goes,"Oh, sorry, brother."

-"Sorry, brother."-"Sorry about that, brother.

-Carry on fighting the fight."-Right.

Do you, do you thinksometimes that journey

is something that is mirroredin real life,

like, judging peoplebefore we know

the full extent of who they are?

That's, unfortunately,how we're all raised.

We're raised on our own biases,

or our parent's biasesin the world, you know.

Stereotypes that they've createdfor us.

So in that moment,someone like Sam is wrong.

And I think that's good to show,you know,

not everyone's perfect.

Not everyone has the same views.

I don't know. It's-- I'm stillfiguring it out, really, guys.

You know? Can I tell you? No.

That's what I liked aboutthe show is that it's messy.

So you have your character Sam,her best friend Coco,

who deals with racefrom a different side.

-She goes, "I'm dark skinned.-Mm-hmm.

-I face a different world."-Mm-hmm.

And she deals with yourcharacter in a different way,

because they're sisters,but every now and again

colorism is somethingthat comes up in their lives.

Yeah, I think when you havethe black caucus scenes,

which are scenes in thefictional school.

All of the black studentsare together,

and they're self-governing.

And what you get to see is thatwithin one community

not everyone has thesame opinions on anything.

And I think that'sa common misconception

within groups of people.

The thing about Coco and Samthat's so special

is these girls were connectedearly on in their relationship

just on a human level.

And when the ideasof colorism surfaced,

Sam realized she didn'tunderstand Coco.

She didn't really knowwho she was.

And I feel like the stories thatwe tell with Coco's character

is such an important onethat-that story

that doesn't get to be told

of this girl who has feltunheard and unseen.

And Sam's story of notunderstanding that about her.

That friendship is so special.

And I think this showdoes a great job

of showing relationshipsand friendships,

especially friendships of women.

There is the episode,I-I could be mistaken,

I think it'sepisode four or five,

when Reggie,one of the black students

who's in the black caucusgets accosted by the police.

And he's at a party.

Everyone is at fault.

And he has that showdownwith the police

where he feels like his lifeis in danger.

When filming that,

I mean, I-I don't know if itwas just great acting,

but it felt like the peoplefilming the scene

connected with that experiencedifferently to everything else.

-Was that a tough scene to make?-Oh, for sure.

So the scene that Trevoris talking about

is a Barry Jenkins scene, and--

-or Barry Jenkinsdirected that episode. -Right.

And it felt real.

It felt realbecause this is something

that we all actually experience.

And Marque, who plays Reggie,

-was so compelling inthat character. -He was.

There were jokes being toldright before that happened,

which is how life happens.

You're just going about yourday, having a great time,

and then all of a sudden, bam,a cop's got a gun in your face

'cause you're black andwon't show him your I.D.

Um, it was intense,we were crying,

even if our charactersweren't crying,

we were cryingand comforting each other.

And that was the middleof the season,

and that was really an integralpoint of us as a cast

to really connectand share in that moment.

It was, it's-- uh, honestly,I-I recommend it to everyone.

I go, watch it.It's fun, it's interesting.

It's messy, it's honest.

It's a,it's a really great show.

-Thank you so much for beinghere. -Thank you, Trevor.

We can't waitfor the next season.

Dear White People, currentlystreaming on Netflix.

Logan Browning, everybody.

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