Why Did MTV Make A Documentary Called White People?

MTV just released a new trailer for its latest documentary, White People, which will air on July 22. In the film, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas travels across the country to speak with white teenagers and young adults about their experience with topics such as affirmative action, white privilege, frustration, guilt, and racial identity. The documentary focuses on five main characters, "All with the goal of starting some real and honest conversations in a thoughtful, judgment-free environment," according to MTV.com.

The film is part of the network's Look Different campaign. Viewers can log onto the initiative's site to further explore racial bias and whitness. "Whiteness often remains unexamined in conversations about race in this country, even as it acts as the implicit norm against which other racial identities are judged. By shining a spotlight on whiteness, we hope White People will serve as a powerful conversation starter that encourages our audience to address racial bias through honest, judgment-free dialogue," MTV's president Stephen Friedman told The Wrap.

The discussions in White People are bound to make some viewers uncomfortable. The tension involved in racial dialogues is apparent even in the trailer. The documentary promises to change the way you think about white history, white privilege, and white frustration. Watch it on July 22 to see if it achieves its mission.

Advertisement