Dear White People

Synopsis: A campus culture war between blacks and whites at a predominantly white school comes to a head when the staff of a humor magazine stages an offensive Halloween party.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
Production: Roadside Attractions
  14 wins & 26 nominations.
 
IMDB:
6.2
Metacritic:
79
Rotten Tomatoes:
91%
R
Year:
2014
108 min
Website
2,474 Views


1 NEWS BROADCAST - VARIOUS SCREENS, VARIOUS PLACES 1

ANCHOR:

A “race war” has erupted at one of

the nation’s oldest and most

prestigious institutions.

Glued to this are our story’s subjects, who we meet in...

2 A SERIES OF SHOTS 2

TROY FAIRBANKS, 21, Black. He drags a brush through hisfinger waves anxiously. The look of guilt is the only markof imperfection in his privileged and chiseled demeanor.

ANCHOR (O.S.)

Outrage over an “African American

Themed” party organized by

predominately white students ofManchester University has resultedin rioting and property damages.

2A KURT FLETCHER, 21, white. No sympathy in his jaded blueeyes as he watches on an iPad in a lavish parlor room.

2A

ANCHOR (O.S.) (CONT’D)

Guests were invited to “liberate

their inner Negro, fry up chicken,

enjoy a sugar water concoctionknown as Purple drank and wearoversized Barack Obama T-shirts.”

2B COLANDREA CONNERS (COCO), 20, Black with blue contactsadjusts the straight bangs of her weave to better see thesmall TV in her dorm. A smirk on her glossy pink lips.

2B

*

ANCHOR (CONT’D)

Officials claim an investigation isunderway to find those responsiblefor the event and subsequent riot.

2C SAMANTHA WHITE (SAM) 21, records the broadcast in an 2C

edit bay. Despite her light skin, the Afro pick in her fropompadour leaves little doubt she identifies as Black.

ANCHOR (CONT’D)

In an effort to address diversityissues, the school appointedAfrican American scholar Dr. Walter

Fairbanks as Dean of Students.

2D LIONEL HIGGINS, 20, Black, watches through dark rimmed 2D

glasses in a bustling indifferent Dining Hall. A guilt painshis otherwise boyish face.

2.

ANCHOR (CONT’D)

Last year the Dean’s office

celebrated slight gains in diverse

applicants but with many now

calling for Fairbanks' resignation,

that may have been pre-mature.

2E

DEAN WALTER FAIRBANKS, a well adorned Black man in his 2E

50’s fights a panic as he watches in a stately office.

ANCHOR (CONT’D)

Up next, a cat that loves to water

ski? That and more after the break.

DEAN FAIRBANKS:

How could this happen?

TITLE CARD:
FIVE WEEKS AGO

3

EXT. MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY - DAY 3

This sprawling impressive mix of Colonial, Gothic and Modern

architecture is presented like a living brochure.

SUPERIMPOSE:
MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY - “NOSCE TE IPSUM”

As we cut through the living brochure, we’re presented with

groups and programs. Their CRESTS and titles SUPERIMPOSED.

SERIES OF SHOTS - TOP ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

3A

White kids with “Trump” blazers and glares - DESMOND 3A

SCHOOL OF BUSINESS.

3B

Kids with dark eye circles and unkempt hair stand before 3B

the BING SCHOOL OF HISTORY.

3C

A cluster of skinny jeans and expressive hands before the 3C

GOODMAN MEDIA SCHOOL. ONE BLACK KID stands in the back.

SAM (V.O.)

Dear White People. The minimum

requirement of Black friends needed

to not seem racist has just been

raised to two.

4

INT. STUDIO BOOTH - DAY 4

Samantha White (Sam) watches the campus through a one way

window with the cool but knowing gaze of someone much older.

She gets off on sensing and pushing buttons - with a

subversive delivery style that boarders on deadpan.

SUPERIMPOSE:
SAMANTHA WHITE, SENIOR, VISUAL AND NEW MEDIA

3.

SAM (CONT’D)

Sorry, but your weed man Tyrone

does not count.

She fades in JAZZ on her control board and leans back to

address a box of pamphlet sized books bearing the title

“EBONY AND IVY: A SURVIVAL GUIDE.” One by one she scribbles

her autograph on the books.

5

EXT. ELLINGTON LIBRARY - DAY 5

SERIES OF SHOTS - NATIONALLY RENOWNED STUDENT GROUPS

Disheveled caffeinated writers of the MANCHESTER BUGLE.

5A

Casual Prepsters shoot us the finger - PASTICHE HUMOR INC.5A

5B

Hopping out of a taxi is Lionel Higgins. His sweet but 5B

insecure nature as plain as the unkempt fro on his head.

SUPERIMPOSE:
LIONEL HIGGINS, JUNIOR, PHILOSOPHY UNDECLARED

STUDENTS shove past him - one even slaps a flyer into his

already full hands. Lionel’s a guppy. The kind that gets

eaten alive in a tank of sharks.

As Lionel gets to the door of a large Colonial style home he

checks his pockets. He’s missing something. Sh*t.

LIONEL:

(knocking)

Kurt! You home?

Lionel dials on his cell and we hear the PHONE RING from

inside. Voicemail pops on with a voice other than Lionel’s.

ANSWERING MACHINE

Hey boyssss, you’ve reached Lionel

Higginsss, the only b*tch on

campussss who’ll give you a

dickssscount. That’s right hunty,

the bigger the dick the less you’ll

have to pay me to ssssuck it.

The beep sounds. Lionel’s in shock. Should he hang up? Or...

LIONEL:

Kurt. It’s Lionel. I’m locked out.

As Lionel slides down the length of the door into a sit he

unfolds the flyer he was just handed. It’s a rendering of Sam

White on a carton of milk with the caption:

“MISSING BLACK CULTURE -SAM WHITE TO BRING IT BLACK”

4.

6

EXT. MANCHESTER ROW - DAY 6

Signs scream out “ORIENTATION” as jazz music wafts from the

laptops of a group of NEO BEATNIKS. As the music fades...

SAM (O.S.)

Dear White People, apparently

Morgan Freeman in “Deep Impact”

wasn’t enough. Despite two terms

Obama could cure Cancer and

somewhere White folks will be

embroiled in protest. And he’s only

half Black.

GABE, 24, white and ruggedly handsome in spite of his shaggy

hair and “laundry day” flip flop clad ensemble, catches the

end of this as he passes - grabs his cell phone and dials...

Rate this script:4.0 / 4 votes

Justin Simien

Justin Simien is an American filmmaker, actor, and author. His first feature film, Dear White People, won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. more…

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    "Dear White People" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 16 Jun 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/dear_white_people_565>.

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