Well, that was fast.
Although nothing would be more ideal to sum up the the current times than new episodes of Dear White People, the sharp minds over at the Netflix series have given us the next best thing: a pitch-perfect parody of that “I Take Responsibility ” video titled “Dear Us People.”
The original PSA showed a bunch of white celebrities including Sarah Paulson, Debra Messing, and Aaron Paul making somber platitudes to do…something about racism that's not entirely clear and was swiftly mocked online for being cringey and melodramatic.
Produced in partnership with the NAACP, “I Take Responsibility” was shot in a black-and-white format to let everyone know they were very serious, the people in the video, like Stanley Tucci, promised to “no longer allow racist hurtful jokes or words or stereotypes to be uttered in my presence,” raising the question of what took so long for him to come up with that idea. Aaron Paul looked like he was about to cry, giving full Jesse Pinkman vibes. It was well-intentioned, with a few moments of legitimately useful speech (“Sleeping in your own home should not be a death sentence,” Paulson said, invoking the Breonna Taylor case) but overall, it felt hollow and needless, especially when companies and individuals are performing acts of direct, purposeful action, like donating actual cash to organizations including Black Lives Matter, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and more.
Never the one to let an opportunity for a slick, sick socially relevant burn to slide by, Dear White People's clapback put the criticisms of “I Take Responsibility” into clear view. In it, the white students of the show's fictional Winchester University do their own weepy “I'm sowwys” for their obliviousness and microaggressions on campus, and in moments like poor Abigail's (Sheridan Peirce) mea culpa for discussing her love of cocoa butter, or Muffy Tuttle's (Caitlin Carver) apology for “not posting the black square soon enough but leaving it up far too long” Dear White People proves again how it's one of the smartest and most relevant shows on TV, period. “I Take Responsibility” had it coming, and boy, it got it, good.
— Dear White People (@DearWhitePeople) June 12, 2020
Season 4 will sadly be its last, but man, we can only imagine how savage those episodes are gonna be when they finally drop.
Dear White People Seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix.