May 20, 2017

Beefcake and Gay Characters in "Dear White People"

Dear White People (2014) was a comedy-drama about black students at an elite Ivy League school facing microaggressions, institutional racism, and "There's no racism here!"  Samantha White (Tessa Thompson) broadcasts a Dear White People program, which is lambasted for "reverse racism" by Kurt (Kyle Gallner), the president's son and head of the most prestigious fraternity on campus. In retaliation, Kurt hosts a Halloween party where the guests dress as black stereotypes.

The comedy-drama tv series Dear White People (2017), currently airing on Netflix, deals with the aftermath of the party.  There's an ongoing plot arc, but every episode centers on a different character.

Troy (Brandon P. Bell, left) finds his chances for becoming student body president jeopardized when Kurt films evidence of his affair with African-American Studies professor Neika.

Sam (Logan Browning) is incensed when her white boyfriend Gabe (John Patrick Amedori) reveals their relationship on Instagram.

Lionel (DeRon Horton), a nerdy journalism student, comes out and negotiates a crush on his roommate, Troy, and the unrequited attraction of fruity newspaper editor Silvio (D. J. Blickenstaff).

At a party, Reggie (Marque Richardson) is held at gunpoint by a police officer for being black.

The gay content is not done very well: there are two bisexual characters, both horndogs who grab at everything in sight, and three gay characters, Lionel and two flamboyant stereotypes.

And I'm not sure about Troy -- is the guy stupid, or deliberately leading Lionel on with statements like "I need something, and you're the only one who can give it to me" and "I want you to do something for me in the bathroom."

But tv series most often present the myth that racism doesn't exist, or exists only among alt-right bigots, so it's interesting to see institutional racism being played out.

And there's a tremendous amount of beefcake.

Kurt (Wyatt Nash), who happens to be Troy's childhood best friend.

Al (Jemar Michael, who posted this underwear pic in real life.  Interesting that his right nipple sits below his pec).

Kordell (Brandon Black)

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