Plus: Find out what creator Justin Simien is reading to prepare for the new season
Dear White People will not be a one-season wonder: Netflix has renewed the hilarious college comedy for a 10-episode second season, creator Justin Simien and the cast announced at Essence Festival Friday.
Picking up where Simien’s 2014 film of the same name left off, the satire follows the black students at a fictional, predominantly white Ivy League university after a blackface party forces long-simmering racial tensions to the surface. It chronicles their attempts to engage in meaningful activism, effect change on campus, and to simply figure their identity both as individuals and as part of a movement.
Although the show debuted to widespread critical acclaim, there was definitely reason to be concerned that it wouldn’t be picked up for another season given Netflix’s recent cancellation spree. In the past month, the streaming service, which has rarely axed shows in the past, canceled The Get Down, Sense8, and Girlboss.
While details about the upcoming season are scarce, Simien previously told EW that the “Trump era” has inspired what he wants to do in season 2, which will also explore both this “era of mass misinformation” and what happens after a protest fails.
“I think the ramifications of the kind of failed attempt to protest what’s going on at school — everyone being in the aftermath of that failed attempt — that’s certainly a point of entry for me, because how many times have we rallied together to fight something and we’re still in the same place we were yesterday?” Simien told EW in May. “How do you keep on going after you’ve gone to the Women’s March and this dude is still in office? That pervasive feeling of, what is it all for, is certainly one that I think the characters are going to be dealing with in season 2.” (He also promised a deeper dive into fan-favorite character Joelle, played by Ashley Blaine Featherson).
To prepare for the new season, which will begin production later this year, Simien has been reading The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter, Paul Beatty’s “fantastic” novel The Sellout, and 2012’s Race-Baiter by Eric Deggans.
Cast members Logan Browning, Antoinette Robertson, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori, Marque Richardson, Brandon P. Bell, and Featherson are expected to return for the show’s next season, as well as showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser and executive producers Stephanie Allain and Julia Lebedev. Lionsgate — whose sister company Roadside Attractions released the film — will again produce for Netflix.