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Dear White People creator talks 'bringing to the surface the things we'd rather keep hidden'

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Catch more of Justin Simien and Logan Browning in the full episode of Entertainment Weekly: The Show, available now on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.

Netflix is no stranger to controversial programming, as displayed by some of this year’s most talked about series, including the comedy, Dear White People. The show, which is based on the 2014 film by Justin Simien, elicited cries of suspected “reverse racism,” mainly because of the bold title. Simien, who created the series, and Logan Browning, who leads the cast as Samantha White, the “revolutionary on campus,” sat down to play a game of Entertainment Weekly: The Show‘s “Dear Curious People” and answer some questions about the striking series.

First and foremost, what is it about? “Well,” said Simien, “Dear White People is about a group of black kids at a mostly white Ivy League college, trying to figure out how to be themselves and also navigate this world where they’re not necessarily represented.”

How about the themes? “Racism, for one,” Browning said, causing Simeon to laugh and joke, “Racism comes up in this show?” He added, “Finding yourself, finding your own voice. Identity certainly comes up.”

Browning continued, “Gender, sexuality, relationships. A lot of relationships.”

Regarding how provocative or safe the show plays it, Simien laughed, “It’s very head on in dealing with controversial topics. Because listen, this is all, these are all the things that we’ve needed to talk about aloud for a long time, and that’s sort of what the show’s about is bringing to the surface the things we’d rather keep hidden.”

Dear White People is available to stream on Netflix.

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