DEAR WHITE PEOPLE
August 21st, 2013
1 NEWS BROADCAST - VARIOUS SCREENS, VARIOUS PLACES 1
A "race war" has erupted at one of
the nation's oldest and most
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 his
finger waves anxiously. The look of guilt is the only mark
of imperfection in his privileged and chiseled demeanor.
Outrage over an "African American
Themed" party organized by
predominately white students of
Manchester University has resulted
in rioting and property damages.
2A KURT FLETCHER, 21, white. No sympathy in his jaded blue 2A
eyes as he watches on an iPad in a lavish parlor room.
ANCHOR (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Guests were invited to "liberate
their inner Negro, fry up chicken,
enjoy a sugar water concoction
known as Purple drank and wear
oversized Barack Obama T-shirts."
2B COLANDREA CONNERS (COCO), 20, Black with blue contacts 2B
adjusts the straight bangs of her weave to better see the
small TV in her dorm. A smirk on her glossy pink lips. *
Officials claim an investigation is
underway to find those responsible
for 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 fro
pompadour leaves little doubt she identifies as Black.
In an effort to address diversity
issues, the school appointed
African 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 pains
his otherwise boyish face.
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.
Up next, a cat that loves to water
ski? That and more after the break.
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.
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
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. Shit.
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.
Hey boyssss, you've reached Lionel
Higginsss, the only bitch 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...
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"
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...
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
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...
7 INT. STUDIO BOOTH - DAY 7
...Sam presses a button next to a red light on her controls.
Talk to me.
INTERCUT with Gabe walking about on campus.
What would you say if someone
started a Dear Black People?
(recognizing the voice)
No need. Mass media from Fox News
to reality tv on VH1 makes it clear
what white people think of us.
8 EXT. MANCHESTER COURT - DAY 8
SERIES OF SHOTS - POPULAR RESIDENCE HALLS
Manchester's white and rich elite before BECHET HOUSE.
8A Athletes of many disciplines before WEBSTER HOUSE. 8A
8B An eclectic group of Black students with some Latinos and 8B
a sprinkling of whites before ARMSTRONG / PARKER HOUSE.
I'm fucking pissed...
11 INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY 11
Colandrea Conners (Coco) trains her unnaturally blue eyes
right at us from a Youtube page pulled up on an iPad. She's
got an entitled air about her. Even her cusses sound erudite.
...I am! The whole point of
randomized housing is to mix shit
up. I'm out here trying to find the
Olivier to my Halle Berry, and
they've got me looking like an
extra on a Different World...
The video ends with a click. Looking up is HELMUT WEST, a
30's something Black man in dark rimmed glasses and trendy
everything. Too stylish for this place. If he's impressed,
it's barely perceptible.
You call your Youtube show "Doing
Time at an Ivy League?"
He stares right at Coco, there in the flesh.
In my second year of a four year
sentence. Wanted to go to New York.
SUPERIMPOSE: COLANDREA COCO CONNERS, SOPHOMORE, ECONOMICS
Yeah? And do what?
Things my mama taught me not to.
You know get in a lot of trouble
and become famous for it. But alas
I didn't get into Tisch...
Armstrong / Parker? That your
Traditionally it's where the
hopelessly Afrocentric gather to
process their guilt over not going
to an HBCU.
(off Helmut's look)
Where the Negros be at.
That's not where you want to be?
Bechet House is more my style.
With the rich white kids.
What part of Chicago you from?
Seventy Eighth and --
-- Seventy Eighth is Southside
sweetheart. And you know what they
say. You can take the girl out the
hood but --
-- Ain't nothing hood about me.
Thanks so much for coming in.
Coco gets up to leave. Tries to recover.
So what's this show about anyway?
Here's the way reality works
sweetheart, I'm the producer. I ask
the questions. Be in touch.
And with that Helmut hustles Coco out. He sits and ponders
before unmuting his iPad.
Dear White People I am here to
burst your post-racial little
SAM (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Yes Oprah may have her own network,
but Ann Coulter is still writing
best sellers, Black kids are still
getting shot for wearing hoodies,
and even here the few vestiges of
Black culture are under attack by
conservative groups, trustees and
yes our very own President
Helmut double checks his app fighting a genuine grin.
This is the school radio?
13 INT. ARMSTRONG / PARKER HALL - DAY 13
A pristine pair of Retro Jordans make their way through the
halls of Armstrong / Parker where Black students have lively
debates, flirt and bump the student radio.
Dear White People, thanks to the
new process of randomizing housing
assignments for Sophomores, some of
you may be jarred by an assignment
to Armstrong/Parker house.
The owner of the Jordans is revealed as Troy Fairbanks.
Someone turn that trash off.
SUPERIMPOSE: TROY FAIRBANKS, SENIOR, POLITICAL SCIENCE
Even with his post workout sweat he looks like the cover of
Jet. Troy exudes "approachable homie" as he spots a small
group of WHITE SOPHOMORES who walk timidly down the hall.
The white sophomores nod their heads yes.
Welcome to Armstrong / Parker, home
of the dopest dining hall in all of
Manchester. I'm Troy, Head of
What's up my brother?
When encountering a Black person
try and stay calm. Don't say things
like "what's up" and "my brotha"
That's not how you normally talk.
Ya'll take care. Nice Jordan's bro.
Coco and SOFIA FLETCHER, a dewy-eyed, pink lipped brunette
who exudes a kind of sexy boredom saunter down the halls.
Your hair is so cute B. T. Dubs.
You're so cute.
Is it weaved?
Coco's face is a battle between fury and polite surprise.
I saw "Good Hair" in Afro studies.
Hey what house did you get?
Huh? Oh Bechet bitch.
Of course. The mere thought of a
Fletcher anywhere else...
Easy, it was the luck of the draw.
Daddy had nothing to do with it.
Coco rolls her eyes behind a smile.
And honestly, if I had to pick
anywhere to be it'd be here.
Sofia eyes the delicious morsels of chocolate boys about.
I'm down to switch if you are. You
get your Denzel. I get my Gosling.
Oh I got mines. Want to meet him?
They turn the corner to spot Troy greeting more new
Sophomores. Coco's caught off guard by his looks.
(off Sofia's jealous
...for a Black boy.
Troy sees Sofia and flashes his trademark grin. They kiss.
Hey boo. This is my friend Coco.
She's new to the house.
Hey I'm Troy. Welcome to Armstrong
/ Parker, home of the dopest --
-- Are we on duty?
Head of House is always on duty.
Nice to meet you. I should get
settled. Thanks Sof!
Sofia and Troy smile as Coco turns to go - and continue down
the hallway. Coco sneaks one last glance at Troy's ass.
Think I got time for a quick cut?
You got it cut last week.
It's a Black thing babe.
Since when is OCD a Black thang?
Don't say "thang" like that.
Besides you've got a shift at the
Politicos booth, then a shift at
Orientation, then your advisor --
-- I'll just wear a hat.
Then a movie maybe? Just us?
Election night. Babe, come on.
Sofia holds her tongue. Troy ignores this as he spots...
Yo, Kurt my man.
14 DINING ROOM - CONTINUOUS 14
...Kurt Fletcher - flanked by guys who share his cynical
knowing glare. We recognize them from the "Pastiche" portrait
As they chow down on Mac & Cheese in the Dining Hall - Kurt's
glare burns particularly hot towards Troy who waves at him.
Sofia smiles at her brother Kurt. Troy covers the sting of
They both spot Sam's "Missing: Black culture" flyers.
Is she kidding with this?
You don't have to run again. Just
because it's her doesn't mean --
-- I can't let Sam and her wannabe
Black Panthers take the House. The
House needs me. This is who I am.
It's who he wants you to be.
Troy smiles over his irritation. This is an old fight.
Oh so you pick up a Psych class you
think you Freud or something? Huh?
A Freud reference. Sophisticated.
Fine Beck, Jung, Maslow...
Troy gets a kiss out of her as they pass a booth featuring
stacks of Sam's "EBONY & IVY." The booth is manned by REGGIE,
21, Black - his fro top and preppy punk attire is both
bohemian and radical.
Troy glares at Sam's picture on the book. It's on. There's a
history between Sam and Troy. Off Reggie's laptop we hear...
Dear White People, this just in.
Dating a Black person to piss off
your parents is a form of racism.
Sofia walks off as Troy hears snickers from around him.
Yo Troy I forget. Is your major in
shucking or was it jiving?
My major's in Jive. Minoring in
Shuck. You're still majoring in
trying to fuck my left overs right?
Troy walks off as Reggie and Kurt watch him join Sofia.
You need a shower.
15 INT. TROY'S BATHROOM - DAY 15
Water runs while Troy takes a hit of weed from a pipe over
the toilet. He blows the smoke out an open window through a
paper towel tube with a dryer sheet attached to its end. He
jots something down on a notepad as he whispers...
You went from ODB to Trey Songz...
16 INT. ARMSTRONG/PARKER DINING HALL - NIGHT 16
The hall is packed with STUDENTS - stylish and mostly Black.
Helmut West watches from the back.
Artie, you know your success ratio
with the ladies went up like thirty
percent after I started edging you
up dog, come on. You went from ODB
to Trey Songz!
The audience is in STITCHES at this last line. Everyone
except Sam, Reggie and their crew of afro'd bohemian
disciples (who we'll call the BOFROS). Sam records the
proceedings with a vintage Super 8 camera.
That's his platform? Haircuts?
Oofta is as Oofta does.
Coco, sneaks through the door. She's got the eyes of Helmut
on her. What is he doing here? As Coco breaks eye contact she
sits in the only open spot next to...
Just because we're colored don't
mean we run on colored people time.
Boycotting hot combs don't make you
an expert on "colored people" boo.
Coco wafts her silky hair over her shoulders and sits.
No but seriously, I care about you
guys. I care about this house. We
had a great year last year and if
it ain't broke...
Troy basks in his applause. Coco eats him up with her eyes.
Sam doesn't want to get up - her breathing gets heavier.
Just pretend like you're in the
booth. Just you and the mic.
Hate this shit.
As Sam gets up and passes Troy --
You really think you can take this
Troy we live in a world where
there's a Big Momma's House 3. I
don't have a chance in hell. Thank
Sam grabs the mic. Her voice shakes before the silent crowd.
Troy my brother, it's broke.
The BoFros cheer and make noise on each line.
Troy's a legacy kid. And yet it's
under his watch that Armstrong /
Parker, the bastion of Black
culture here was gutted. By the
Randomization of Housing Act.
Second years of color no longer
have a say in where they go. The
culture that's been fostered in
this house for two decades will be
wiped out in two years.
Troy looks to see if the speech is working. As Sam warms up --
This wasn't motivated by a desire
to mix things up. Bring about
racial and socioeconomic harmony.
No, the Black kids are sitting
together in the proverbial
cafeteria and they must be up to no
Coco's eyes are in the back of her head.
We sit together to protect
ourselves. Over a century of houses
grouped by sports affiliations,
political leanings, majors, you
name it. Black folks get their own
house, suddenly we got a problem?
Students look at each other stunned. Are they turning? Sam
delivers the next one directly at Sofia and Troy.
This Act doesn't affect the other
houses like it does ours. There are
plenty of trustees, former coaches,
and presidents watching out for the
others. All we have is a Dean who'd
rather please his massa --
-- Yo that's enough of that Sam --
-- then stand up for his own. Look,
I know ya'll ain't voting for me.
Ya'll ain't ready and I didn't come
here for that. The Black Student
Union and I have brought a petition
to repeal the Randomization of
Housing Act. I plan on bringing it
to the President and together we
can bring Black back to Manchester.
It'll be by the door.
Sam sits as claps trickle from the crowd. The BoFros go crazy
- give her daps and all sorts of praise.
MARTIN, 20, a gentle erudite giant of a football player with
neat braids tucked under a Fedora raises a hand.
I assume everyone has the app I
created by now?
It's a child's app...
Good. Voting may commence.
Everyone takes out smart phones. Reggie hides his from view
as he punches something in.
Troy spots the white Sophomores he greeted from before who
give him a head nod. Troy's got this. After a moment...
Okay. Looks like we've got
ourselves a winner.
The blood drains from Sam's face and Troy's smile plummets
into the floor as the two turn to look at each other.
TROY & SAM
Reggie's grin is from ear to ear as Helmut walks over and
slips a card to a still stunned Sam. Coco watches him go.
17 INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT 17
Right on the heels of Helmut's exit is...
So that's what you're looking for?
I'm looking for good TV sister.
I think I'd be good TV.
You're at a great school, getting a
great education. Be good at that.
I am. And when I graduate early
with an Economics degree from
Manchester it will be the crowning
achievement of my Black middle
class parents' ambitions.
Conflict is a commodity in my
industry. Sam's got it. Do you?
So you want me to start a fight.
I don't want you to do anything you
wouldn't otherwise do.
Helmut hands her his card. A fire sparks in Coco as he exits.
He contemplates her. Fights a growing smile.
18 INT. DEAN'S OFFICE - DAY 18
A fireplace rages behind Lionel who stares at the floor while
the message plays over speaker phone.
...bigger the dick the less you'll
have to pay me to ssssuck it.
Dean Fairbank's mind ticks away behind a concerned glare.
Most everything's locked up, but
we'll find another residence to
move you to. Third time's a charm.
(off Lionel's sigh)
What about Armstrong / Parker?
I don't know...
I might have an opening. Maybe it'd
be good to be around...you know.
Dean. The worst thing about high
school, and believe me it was a
long list, were the Black kids.
Maybe it's in your head. Sure,
sometimes our folks can be
intolerant around people like you.
-- I don't believe in labels.
Fairbanks just smiles. This is a sore spot and he backs off.
Lionel glares up at a poster above Fairbank's desk: Students
of all races on the steps of Ellington Library including Troy
with the phrase "MANCHESTER: WHERE YOU BELONG" printed below.
Troy's huge smile seems to mock him.
You like jazz Lionel? Manchester's
like jazz you know.
This is a research school.
And jazz is tension. The interplay
of improvised solos all creating
one song. Your problem is you've
got no instrument. No major, no
affiliations, no solo son.
I submit articles to the
No one reads the Independent
Observer, my point is are you
playing swing or bebop?
You're mixing metaphors.
Are you a sax or are you a trumpet?
I hate jazz.
Fairbanks checks his watch. All out of ideas.
I'll do what I can. Not a word of
this in the Observer okay?
What's it matter? No one reads it.
19 EXT. MANCHESTER - DAY 19
Lionel walks alone through the buzzing campus. He looks out
...a group of BLACK KIDS. He sees a version of himself
amongst them - his hair a finger waved Ceasar fade, as he
trades "No Homo's" with the others.
Lionel shakes it off. Peers over to a group of out and proud
gay kids and sees a version of himself amongst them - his
hair straightened and coifed in a fitted shirt laughing.
Not right either. Where does he fit? By surprise...
GEORGE PIERCE, 24, an intellectual whose tattooed quotes from
Nietzsche peek out seductively from under his button up.
George. We had Civ last semester?
How you doing?
Fan of your stuff. In the Observer?
No one reads the Observer.
You seen this?
George hands Lionel Sam's "Missing Black Culture" flyer.
The residents of Armstrong / Parker
just made her head of house. Am I
crazy or is there a there there?
What made you come over here?
George holds up Sam's "Ebony & Ivy." Lionel takes it.
I mean I'm glad you came --
-- My staff? God bless them.
They're whiter than Michael
Jackson's kids. We're fucked if
anyone of them writes this story
and I will not let the transfers at
the Gazette do it first.
The oldest one has his face.
You're in the Black Student Union.
You probably know Sam.
Lionel shakes his head "yes" and "no" at the same time.
You come up with a good angle? I
want it in the Bugle.
Lionel eyes the bold "Bugle" logo on George's shirt.
Bugle. Focus. The only paper on
campus with a national subscription
base and an Advisor from the New
York Times? Only so many ways a
person can distinguish themselves
at a place like this Lionel. You're
good. You belong with us.
The way Lionel fights the smile creeping up his face - we
know he's never heard these words. Never belonged any place.
Doesn't hurt there's a handsome boy smiling at him either.
20 INT. ARMSTRONG/PARKER DINING HALL - DAY 20
Troy and Sam sit across from each other at a table. Their
opposite facing laptops and a world of tension put a wall
Get it yet?
Sam shakes her head yes.
Good. You've now got the shared
calendar, contacts, and official
Troy throws a smirk her way before pulling out a thick stack
Oh and before I forget.
Event requests for the year?
Just this month. They need your
approval. Also don't forget to pick
your office hours. At least 20 per
You're in charge of a hundred
residents now. And they need time
to complain to your face. About
noise. Leaky pipes. Gluten free
options in the cafeteria. Etcetera.
Troy. I didn't think I was going to
And by the way petitioning the
President on the Randomization of
Housing Act isn't gonna do shit.
None of the other houses are
Because they all have a legacy of
rich and powerful allies on the
board who will make sure that
"random" works out to their
And you think a petition is going
to change that?
Troy gets up to leave as Reggie sits - suspicious. Sam's
phone buzzes: "MOM." The letters chill Sam to the core.
21 INT. ARMSTRONG / PARKER - DAY 21
Lionel steps his way through the hall, a deer in headlights
with a notepad. He flips through Sam's "EBONY & IVY" book...
The Armstrong / Parker dining hall
is the epicenter of Black culture
as it stands at Manchester. Only
here can you commiserate, celebrate
and discuss everything from Kanye
West lyrics to theoretical
relativism all in one sitting. Not
to mention find someone who can
actually do your hair.
ARMSTRONG / PARKER DINING HALL - CONTINUOUS
Lionel enters and takes a place in a line. He absorbs this
lively and somewhat alien dining hall.
Troy now holds court near the windows at a table of eight or
so friends including Martin and SUNGMI, a lip ringed Korean
"We wuz robbed." That election was
Martin glares at Reggie and his giant souped-up Laptop. Sam
breaks this by sitting back down - her phone call ending.
You call me the minute there's an
update. Love you too mom.
Sam hangs up. The call's really put her in a bad place. She
sits at a table of her Bofros - who we'll name by their hair.
There is one other sister in my
Relativity class, I'll be damned if
our professor doesn't call me
Laretta every God damn time.
We all look the same.
Programming professor gets me and
Martin here mixed up constantly.
You should be so lucky.
Reggie glances over at Martin's Mac Air.
Cute. You get that at Toys R Us?
Sam pulls out her Mac and her student ID card.
You still using your ID number?
I always forget passwords.
You are begging to get hacked.
Good thing the one evil techno-
genius thinking like that is on my
Sam pushes aside all the paperwork on her table.
So this is what the revolution
looks like? Office hours and
Sam pulls her camera out - starts to shoot the room.
Winning was a happy accident. We
want the reform repealed right?
Means to an end, sister.
Sam feels the heat of her disciples' eyes on her as the topic
of the day rages on with the entrance of Coco, who sits with
a group of well manicured hot-ironed group of girls, white
The talented tenth always has to
bust its ass a little bit harder,
but I don't see the benefit in
blaming white folks for everything.
I don't see the issue. I never had
one. Never ran into any lynch mobs.
Lionel takes a seat alone facing the action.
Kurt and crew enter with plates of mac and cheese and sit in
the heart of the conversation. Lionel avoids eye contact.
Lynch mob is still there. Just re-
As what pray tell?
The Republican party.
Want to know how this world sees
you? Go to a Young Republican's
meeting and bring up Welfare.
Or gay equality.
I agree. Got something to add?
The biggest athletes, movie stars,
hell your president is Black.
Sometimes I think the hardest thing
to be in the American work force
right now is an educated white guy.
You're not serious.
You guys still got affirmative
action, you're set.
What are you doing in here?
Obama. Leader of the free world got
into Harvard on affirmative action.
Know who's not president right now?
The guy that didn't get in.
On behalf of the colored folks in
the room, let me apologize for all
the better qualified white students
whose place we're taking up.
Kurt chuckles - a bit turned on by the argument.
You get lost? Bechet is that way.
Yeah but what other dining hall
gives you chicken and waffles? Dear
White People right? Funny stuff.
How haven't we staffed you yet?
On Pastiche? Your uninspired humor
We're a lot more than a magazine
sweetie. SNL staff is basically
half Lampoon, half Pastiche. Just
like the network comedies.
A flash of envy comes over Troy and Coco.
What gives you Clubhouse kids the
right to come to our Dining Hall?
Kurt eats an exaggerated scoop of mac and cheese.
You don't live here.
Sam? What are you doing?
You can't eat here.
Kurt eyes this new adversary. Enjoys a good challenge.
Chill Sam damn. Let the man--
KURT & SAM
-- I got this.
Who are you to put me out?
I'm the Head of this house. And I'm
doing things my way.
Sam shoots this last one to Martin. Kurt rolls his eyes to
which Sam slams his tray to the ground.
Lionel scribbles down notes furiously on a notepad.
You got any idea who you're --
-- Yeah, I know who your daddy is.
The same one who's been pushing to
break up this House for a decade.
What's wrong? Is he scared letting
the Negroes gather in groups might
start a rebellion on the
plantation? You tell him from
me...he should be.
Kurt looks into Sam's eyes and then his crew. They want out.
Kurt leads his crew out of the dining hall drawing a slight
snicker from Lionel which draws Sam's eyes right to him.
Something sparks in Lionel. He takes out his phone and texts
to GEORGE: "I've got the angle. I'm in."
Is this your house?
Lionel sinks - the eyes of everyone in the room on him.
Sam sits back down as a trickle of claps grow to a steady
applause. Troy and his table look around baffled.
By the caution on Sam's face it seems the first time she's
ever heard this sound directed at her.
A slight envy boils in Coco.
One last look to the room from Lionel before he slips out.
Locked out again.
23 INT. COCO'S ROOM - DAY 23
Coco scrolls Sam's "Dear White People" Youtube page. 75K
Subscribers. She presses play on the latest video.
Dear White People, stop dancing.
Two seconds. 600K views.
Coco exits and opens her own "TIME AT AN IVY LEAGUE" page. 2K
subscribers. Her latest video is at 10K views. Alright... She
presses record. Let's the camera rest on her briefly...
Muffins. I hate to do it, but Imma
have to get real Black with you.
(comes to mind)
So the other day, a girl had the
nerve to fix her mouth and ask me
if my hair was weaved.
(after a moment)
Weaved. Weaved bitch?
First of all if you're going to fix
your mouth to ask me something like
that, say it right please? It's
weave. Noun. Present tense. Second
of all don't assume just because
you see a sister with some hair
it's a weave. Is it? Clearly. If a
bitch could grow straight Indian
hair directly out her own head I
wouldn't have just overdrafted my
account paying for this shit but
that ain't your business. Are those
your lips sweetie? Sweet heart is
that really your skin? These white
girls and these tans I swear to
God, they're starting to look
darker than me.
Coco pauses it. Her mouse hovers over the check box next to
"private." Instead she plays it back...and hits "publish."
She clicks back through to Sam's last video and hits "reply."
As the red light on her computer's web cam turns green...
Dear White People. What do I think
24 INT. SCREENING ROOM - DAY 24
Sam with arms folded watches as Gabe (Sam's caller from
earlier) presses play on a DVD. Horrified students watch...
...a Black and white 1920's style silent movie, complete with
Dialogue Cards and dramatic PIANO MUSIC.
SERIES OF SHOTS - ON THE SCREEN
A) OBAMA speaks at a debate
B) DIALOGUE CARD: "We are the change that we seek."
C) A FAMILY in white-face go ape-shit
D) DIALOGUE CARD: "HE'S READING OFF A TELEPROMPTER!!!!!!"
E) More intercut footage of Obama speaking with actors in
white-face reacting. Until...
F) DIALOGUE CARD: OBAMA WINS A SECOND TERM!
G) A WHITE-FACE CROWD goes nuts in the streets - scream into
camera - loot buildings and shoot themselves in the head.
H) Dialogue Card: "FIN"
PROFESSOR BODKIN, late 40s, with a "seen it all before"
demeanor hides a grin and lets the room settle.
Okay. Does anyone have any comments
for Sam's "Rebirth of a Nation?"
All of the kids are too scared to comment. Except...
PROFESSOR BODKIN (CONT'D)
Gabe, go ahead.
I dig the "silent movie" thing, but
it's a little self-congratulatory.
Light on story and frankly
Okay. Anybody else?
SAME PLACE - MOMENTS LATER
As students filter out of the class...
Before you say anything might I
remind you that I sat through Birth
of A Nation, Gone With The Wind,
and Tarantino week without protest.
And might I remind you that I read
all fifteen pages of your
unsolicited essay on why Gremlins
is actually about suburban white
fear of Black culture.
The Gremlins are loud, talk in
slang, are addicted to fried
chicken and freak out when you get
their hair wet.
My only problem with your movie is
that it was late. The silent
projects were last semester Sam.
You were supposed to have emailed
your sound treatment over Summer.
I've been getting footage.
This is your senior thesis Sam,
where the hell is your head at?
I've got Radio, BSU, this Head of
House thing --
-- Do you want this? Cause if not,
don't waste my time here --
Sam pulls out the Super 8 camera from her satchel.
-- Look this thing might as well be
my right hand Professor. I was busy
this summer that's all.
With everything but your major?
While your peers are taking
internships, making short films...
My dad. He's sick. Had to go home.
If you need some time off, take it.
But if you want to make it to next
-- I do --
-- Pull it together. This is
Sam wants this. It's in her eyes as she holds her tongue.
25 EXT. MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY - DAY 25
Sam exits the theater and spots Gabe talking to some guys.
Well what was that supposed to be
You're thematically dubious!
Gabe rolls his eyes and catches up with her.
Since when do TA's give critiques?
You invoke Minstrelsy for shock
value, but to what end?
To invoke the same feeling I get
when I turn on the TV and see some
so-called reality star shuck and
jive for ratings egged on by no
doubt white producers. Or the sassy
Black secretary with no backstory
or character development aside from
their skin color.
So it's a tit for tat? *
EXT. GOODMAN MEDIA SCHOOL 2 - DAY *
You're honestly saying that art *
can't be reactionary? *
You're reacting to a work made *
almost a hundred years ago. *
Yes because fear of Black men being *
involved in the United States *
Government is a completely *
antiquated concept. No social *
relevance whatsoever today. *
Frankly I just think sometimes its *
better to hold a mirror up to your *
audience than to drop an *
ideological piano over their head. *
Frankly I just think works that *
deal with the African Diaspora *
through a post-modern lens are *
outright rejected unless they're *
handled by a white artist. *
African Diaspora? Really? *
26 INT. DAVIS HOUSE - DAY 26
The war rages as the two continue up a fleet of stairs.
Blackface is alive and well in our
culture. Who primarily buys hip
hop? Watches Housewives of Atlanta?
The same homogenized images of
Black people over and over again?
White people Gabe.
Who goes to see Tyler Perry movies?
We're an underfed community. None
of this changes the fact that the
vibrancy, the complexity of Black
culture has been distilled into
commodities and marketing schemes
to be bought and sold--
--to the detriment of the so called
"real thing." Got it.
And into a room...
INT. GABE'S ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Gabe slams the door.
I am indistinguishable from the so
called "urban" images used to amuse
and market to white America.
And the commodification of culture
is uniquely oppressive to Black
Sam nods fervently as Gabe grabs and unbuttons her jeans.
So when Kanye raps about Louis V
and Rolexes and Classical Art,
exactly what exploited pocket of
Black America are those references
being mined from?
Sam can't get her shirt off fast enough.
On your knees.
Gabe kneels below frame as Sam closes her eyes in ecstacy.
CUT TO BLACK.
27A INT. GABE'S ROOM - EVENING 27A
Sam's eyes pop open - a startled scream escapes her lips.
She's surprised at first to see Gabe beside her in bed, the
outside spoon. They're both naked. Her pompadour frayed.
What? You dream in "Cosby" again?
My hair was so straight. My sweater
so big. I told you about that?
Sam's phone buzzes. Gabe grabs it and sees Reggie's photo pop
up. He swallows his envy and hands it to Sam. She doesn't
answer. Silence as it hits her voicemail.
Hey so...this whole "Head of House"
Weird, right? Never took you as a
Reggie's photo again - New Voicemail. A regret in Sam's eyes.
Sam rolls out of bed. Gabe thinks twice before he asks it.
Sam? What are we doing?
She badly wants to give him the answer he wants. Instead...
28 INT. STUDIO BOOTH - DAY 28
Reggie stares at Sam with stars in his eyes as she
effortlessly addresses the campus in between bits of jazz.
Dear White People. Please stop
touching my hair.
29 INT. GARMIN CLUB HOUSE - DAY 29
Lionel at an ancient oak dining room table listens to the
broadcast over his laptop. Makes studious notations...
Does this look like a petting zoo
Lionel gets an IM: "George: Hey handsome, how's the story?"
To which Lionel writes: "Going great sexy." Lionel deletes
"sexy" and replaces it with ":)" before hitting send.
29A BAR DIVIDE 29A
Across from Lionel is Kurt flanked by his eager but self
conscious right hand GORDON - and MITCH, swagged out varsity
crew captain and connoisseur of all things Black culture.
They wear "PASTICHE" gear, hunch over a glowing iPad and
scroll through a series of student group photos in the
Yearbook. Kurt stares off into space, turns up the GANGSTA
RAP playing from a nearby blue tooth speaker.
Kurt pours shots of Jack which Gordon eyes with caution.
Kurt it's three.
Y.O.L.O. my nigga!
Everyone takes the shot.
We don't even have our new staff
yet. Why are we planning this?
Everyone wants to be on our staff
that's the easy part.
We're going to make staff bids on
Game Night, and the RSVP's are
through the roof for that.
Yeah but Halloween is our premiere
party. The waitlist is already a
hundred deep and it's going to take
a lot to outdo this summer.
Cinco de Mayo was epic.
A black and white photo of Kurt and crew dressed in Sombreros
and Mexican stereotypes at a wild pool party. The title
reads... PASTICHE PRESENTS "WETBACK"
How about the Young Republicans?
Too close to the Tea-Party.
Photo of Kurt and crew dressed as famous female political
conservatives - brandishing rally signs with misspellings and
cups of tea. The title reads... "PASTICHE'S TEA PARTY"
Yo we need an East vs West hip hop
party. Get the honeys in here.
"The honeys?" You're from Vermont.
Guys what's the Pastiche motto?
"Sharpen thy sword."
Our motto is a euphemism for
It's a reminder that satire is the
weapon of reason. So who on campus
is being unreasonable?
Sounds like a reminder of how gay
Was that even a reasonable attempt
at a quip Mitch?
Hey Gordon, say reasonable again.
Dear White People, knowing Lil'
Wayne lyrics no longer earns you an
Honorary Black Card. It just
reminds me how often you say the
word "nigga" when no one Black is
around as is required in reciting
Kurt turns up his music and shoots Lionel a look, who plugs
headphones into his computer and looks down.
The hell does Sam think she is?
Like Spike Lee and Oprah had a
pissed off baby.
Kurt shares a glance with Mitch and Gordon - they're leaning
towards the same idea.
Kurt turns his heat towards Lionel - has a bone to pick.
Hey Lionel. Talked to the Dean
We had a very enlightening
conversation. I just want to say...
I'm sorry about the voice message.
29B DINING ROOM 29B
Kurt and his crew cross over to Lionel's table. Kurt unzips
his pants silently.
Do you accept?
Lionel removes the headphones and turns to Kurt, just as he
starts flopping his dick around off screen. Lionel quickly
looks in the other direction. Kurt's friends crack up.
Please put that away.
You got to talk to these people in
a language they'll understand.
Lionel shoves his headphones back on over his fro.
Wherever he ships you off to, be
sure to pack a sense of humor with
you, kay bro?
Lionel drowns them out. He flips through Sam's "Ebony & Ivy"
book to a section called...
The Paper Bag Tests.
As Lionel reads we swish pan to...
30 DREAM DINER 30
...an abstract Diner set. Sam at the counter addresses us.
SUPERIMPOSE: THE TIP TEST
The Tip Test. You hit up Jelly's
for a snack. Your waitress mistakes
you for someone who looks like you
(Black) who once ran up a thirty
dollar bill and left a dollar tip.
WAITRESS, over it, crosses frame and glares coldly at us.
Lionel takes a seat at a booth with Sam across from him.
You watch all the other customers
order before you do...
Waitress huffs her way over to Lionel.
Pastrami sandwich on rye.
...then proceed to wait no less
than forty minutes for your food.
A wall-clock advances forty, before the food and check come.
How do you tip? A...
Forty minutes? Man she's lucky I
leave her forty cents. You do a
good job, maybe you'll see a tip.
Doris was tripping, but fifteen
percent is the least I can do.
I reject the stereotype that
African American's don't tip. I'm
leaving her twenty, no twenty five,
just to prove I can!
Lionel's back in reality. He ponders the scenario.
He turns the book upside down and reads the small print on
the bottom of the page. "A) ONE HUNDRED" "B) OOFTA" and his
answer "C) NOSE-JOB."
31 EXT. MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY - DAY 31
The campus has settled into the semester as students trudge
back and forth to class.
Dear White People in a shocking
reversal using the term "African
American" is borderline racist now.
32 INT. DEAN FAIRBANKS OFFICE - DAY 32
Dean Fairbanks and PRESIDENT HERBERT FLETCHER, 50's in an
even better suit than Fairbanks listen to the radio.
Fairbanks eyeballs Fletcher - tension between the two.
Turns out if you're too worried
about Political Correctness to say
"Black", odds are you secretly just
want to call us niggers anyway and
truth be told I'd rather you just
be honest about it.
Free speech my ass.
Stalin quotes for two hundred?
You're joking about this?
I'm sorry, was I supposed to take
"Free speech my ass" as a
This is your office's issue Walter.
Especially after that episode with
Kurt in the dining hall.
Every race issue is my issue.
It's a student issue. You are the
Dean of students aren't you?
The two share an old and heated glare.
PRESIDENT FLETCHER (CONT'D)
The Times has been watching us like
a hawk. Last thing we need is some
"race war" on newspapers across the
country. How do you think our donor
base will feel about that? Our fund-
raiser is four weeks away.
How bad is this deficit of yours?
Worse. But let me tell you
something. If this blows up any
further? It's on you Walter. Racism
is over in America. And if anyone's
still dealing with it, it's the --
I don't know Mexicans probably.
Troy pokes his head in. Fairbanks cuts the radio off.
PRESIDENT FLETCHER (CONT'D)
Come on in.
Son, call me Herb.
Fairbanks grits his teeth as Fletcher exits and Troy sits.
President Fletcher tells me his son
got his ass handed to him.
Troy hates this game.
DEAN FAIRBANKS (CONT'D)
Bout time. Can't tell you how many
instances I had to defend Armstrong
/ Parker when I was Head of House.
Sam's out of line. Kurt's alright.
But you're supposed to be better
than alright. Since when do we lose
The Housing Act passing without a
fight didn't help.
What have I told you about excuses?
Pops my course load is full anyway.
I'm head of Econ Board, I'm
thinking about Pastiche.
Pastiche? On Kurt Fletcher's staff?
You know to round out the res?
I'll be God damned if twenty years
from now you have to end up working
for that dumb asses son.
(put in his place)
Fletcher and I graduated a year
apart. He barely made it through. I
graduated Summa cum Laude. Now look
who's President and who's Dean.
What's the difference?
A couple hundred grand a year.
Understand what I'm saying? Now
what happened between you and Sam
to make her come after you anyway?
Sofia. You remember Sofia? Daughter
of the President. Psych major. "Has
the world ahead of her Troy."
I don't like your tone boy.
So you lost the House. On to the
school presidency then.
The light in Troy's eyes dims a bit.
DEAN FAIRBANKS (CONT'D)
It'll be good to show this campus
is capable of electing someone like
you as school president.
Someone like me?
33 INT. TROY'S BATHROOM - NIGHT 33
Troy hovers over the toilet - smokes weed while the shower
runs - exhales through his paper towel / dryer sheet
apparatus. He jots down on a notepad and LAUGHS to himself.
TROY'S APARTMENT - SAME TIME
Sofia has her face to the floor - peering underneath the
bathroom door. She can see Troy's feet. What the hell?
Off the SQUEAK of the shower being cut Sofia jumps up.
Troy bounds out the bathroom in his undies. Sofia on the
couch pretends to have been watching television.
Babe. Hat or no hat?
Troy stands before her in his undies holding a Kangol. He
eyes her oversized T-shirt.
Are you wearing that?
I don't have to be.
Sofia yanks Troy to her by his underwear to kiss his navel.
Hey boo...why don't we put some of
your new found free time to good
use? It's been a while since...
What's with all this boo stuff?
...since you fucked me with your
big Black cock.
Troy pulls away.
It used to turn you on when I
talked like that. Is it me?
I love you.
Is it Sam?
Can we please just, get ready?
Why? I hate my brother's friends.
Troy thinks over his next words carefully.
You're not going to go with me?
You'd go without me?
Troy tries to flash a charming shrug.
You're my guest!
Sofia gathers some books and heads for the door.
You can hang out while I'm --
-- Okay, what's with you and my
brother? Are you in love with him?
Is this like, some DL shit?
Sofia storms out.
34 INT. FOREST - NIGHT 34
Lionel walks up the darkly lit stairs of a very old building.
He reaches a door marked "Newsroom."
35 INT. NEWSROOM - NIGHT 35
Lionel looks around the dimmed office. There is music and
light coming from a room past all the cubicles...
36 INT. BULLPEN - NIGHT 36
...An office filled with computers. George and a few other
EDITORS scream with laughter - beers and pizza in hand.
GEORGE does a beat on his desk while...
I keeps it clean
Ya know what I mean.
I drinks my Vodka straight,
like I'm a fiend.
ANNIE, a strawberry blonde laughs in George's lap. Lionel's
Wait, quiet I want to hear this.
Annie turns up a Youtube video of...
If I could grow straight Indian
hair out my head --
Ohmigod, this is going on Facebook.
Annie swivels in her chair only to SCREAM BLOODY MURDER at
the sight of Lionel.
Relax the Negro at the door is not
here to rape you.
Annie laughs. The mood is drunk and light.
So this is what editors do?
We're taking a break, what are you
You wanted me to drop in and tell
you how the story was coming?
Yeah like this week. It's Saturday
night. You got nowhere else to be?
It was this or the new Madea movie.
Dear God. Where does Madea go this
37 EXT. MOVIE THEATER - NIGHT 37
Sam, flanked by Reggie and the BoFros are in mid rant.
Man fuck Tyler Perry.
Like, can we have a movie with, you
know characters in them? `Stead of
stereotypes wrapped in Christian
Why is every educated person
inherently evil? Why this Nigga
gotta be in a mutha fucking dress
all the mutha fucking time?
How come the only Black movies
Hollywood wants to make are ones
with mammies in fat suits or Black
women in pain man?
All of this is directed at a TEENAGER in the box office.
Most people are here to see Fang 9.
(after a beat)
Kelly Rowland's in it?
The group throw up their hands and groan in protest.
38 INT. KURT'S HOUSE - NIGHT 38
Game Night and Kurt's house is filled with smoke, music, and
rich kids who play cards at various tables.
Coco, in a banging jumpsuit scans the room for prospects. A
few eyes from the WHITE BOYS start to flicker her way. This
perks her up, as she arches her back slightly...
...only to see their eyes follow the WHITE BRUNETTE HIPSTER
GIRL who has entered behind her.
Coco catches herself in the mirror. What don't they see?
38A CARD TABLE 38A
Troy deals cards at a table - the game is Texas Hold Em. Troy
holds court - much to Kurt's chagrin. The mood is playful.
There's a brief eye contact between Troy and Coco.
39 INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 39
A huge "Boycott Sal's Pizzeria" poster hangs on the walls of
Sam's chic dorm surrounded by other street art. The BoFros
and a few cool residents of Armstrong / Parker hang about.
Underground hip hop permeates the room. Sam refuses a joint
coldly from Reggie - her eyes fixed on "SCHOOL DAZE" which
plays on her 36' flatscreen.
How `bout you stop stereotyping
yourself and put that shit out?
This ain't "Friday."
Yo Sam. We got to talk about the
protest. When are we are bringing
the Housing fight to the prez?
Sungmi takes a seat next to Sam. Some kids hop up and start
grooving it out when a new song pops up on the playlist.
The House voted down sponsoring the
What do we need it sponsored for?
Demonstrations can get shut down if
a House doesn't sponsor them.
Like the House you're head of?
Sam shoots Reggie a glare. He backs off.
Hey Sam, I read "Ebony and Ivy."
What's with the Oofta, Nose-Jobs,
One Hundred stuff? I miss
You want me to break it down?
40 INT. KURT'S HOUSE - NIGHT 40
Troy deals another hand with Kurt, Mitch and Gordon. Troy's
homeboy swag is thicker than usual.
Yo my perfect Friday night is
whiskey and my T-Bone Walker
records, real talk.
Who the fuck is T-Bone Walker?
40A INTERCUT WITH SAM'S APARTMENT: 40A
Only a few ways colored folks
survive at a place like this.
Uh only a pioneer of electric and
jump blues bro. Know your roots.
White folks always be on stuff like
decades too late and act like they
discovered some shit.
"Oofta" is the jazz age term for
Bojangle types who Blacked it up
for White audiences.
Don't sleep on T-Bone man.
Rock, Jazz, Blues - Nigga whatchu
got on right now?
Public Enemy my Nig--
--Yo watch that man.
You just called him --
-- Ya'll get Country Clubs we get
to say Nigga.
Everyone at the table erupts in laughter. Except Kurt.
And golf? And all our girls?
Whatchu mean all your girls?
Dude, between OJ, Tiger, Wesley
Snipes and uh, Troy over here...
Yo. It's a word for that.
More Kurt-less laughter from the table.
Forty white bitches and a mule.
Perfectly executed. Troy grins as the table erupts.
An Oofta modulates his Blackness up
or down depending on the crowd and
what he wants from them.
Troy watches this exchange closely.
Troy. You thinking about Pastiche?
That's the magazine right?
What other "magazine" you know has
a first look deal at NBC? The third
biggest Youtube channel. Talk show.
Platinum comedy record homie!
Couldn't you see him on the talk
Kurt looks at his cards.
41 INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 41
A small crowd's formed around Sam.
Okay, and a nose-job is a wannabe?
42 INT. KURT'S HOUSE - NIGHT 42
Coco finishes her drink and catches Mitch and Gordon as they
start up a Youtube video on their iPad. The previous game is
over. They watch "Dear White People - 1,378,480 views."
42A INTERCUT WITH SAM'S APARTMENT: 42A
Sort of. Nose-jobs smooth their
Black edges and try to blend.
Coco runs her fingers through her straight hair.
You seen this one?
Dear White People using Instagram.
You have an iPhone and go on hikes.
I get it.
Gordon and Mitch turn and notice Coco. Mitch eyes her curves.
Not a fan?
Coco makes a "no" face.
Don't talk like that.
Hey I know you...
Coco is taken aback as Gordon punches up her video and plays
it back. She hovers over them.
Muffins. I hate to do it, but Imma
have to get real Black with you.
Coco a bit embarrassed scans the view count.
A Nose-job's worst fear is that
their "Blackness" might cause a
fuss or draw undue attention so
they apologize for it or use it to
Forty thousand views already?
Looks like someone submitted you to
Buzzfeed. Taking off...
Coco leans over them and scrolls down. The first comment is
from a HELMUT: "Much better..." Coco soaks this in.
You wan' a drink a sun'in?
Let me guess you're from Ohio?
What do you have against Dear White
Coco smiles and slyly clicks to her next video.
Dear White People. How do I feel
about it? Well for one it's Blacker
than thou propaganda from a bougie
Lisa Bonet wannabe who smells like
patchouli and frankly I can't
believe we're letting Sam get away
Mitch and Gordon's mouths are ajar. Coco studies the view
count...26,758. A pride strikes Coco.
43 INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 43
As the impromptu party dies down...
Okay and One Hundred?
Keeping it One-Hundred! Being Black
as hell just cause.
Sam rolls her eyes.
But what about just being you?
Like I said...
44 INT. NEWSROOM - NIGHT 44
Lionel's got the eyes of the Bullpen on him. Annie's really
warmed to him - her hands play with his afro.
You don't mind do you?
There's only a few ways a person of
a color can survive at a place like
Of course not.
Alright so then what?
So then Sam says "What, is your
daddy scared the Negroes are gonna
start a rebellion on the
George goes CRAZY at this.
To Kurt Fletcher!?
Yeah. Yes. Yup.
We've got a news item but there's
something bigger here. It's a
profile piece on Armstrong / Parker
and Sam White's pseudo revolution.
What's the headline?
Outdated nationalist seeks purpose
starts race war?
Lionel's joke hits, but he feels gross for saying it.
The image of Sam shaking her head in the dinner FLASHES
before Lionel briefly.
Beers in the corner. Bang out the
news item tonight and we'll work on
the profile piece for next week.
Lionel grabs a beer and takes a seat at one of the open
computers. George starts up a beat on his desk as he and
Annie stare at Lionel expectantly.
What are you doing?
All Bugle staffer must freestyle.
You want to be a staffer right?
My name is Lionel
Kind of like a lion
King of the jungle
Indigenous to Africa...
The beat has long since stopped.
45 INT. KURT'S KITCHEN - NIGHT 45
Troy heads into the kitchen just as Kurt heads out.
Yo man, you know I wasn't talking
about Sof back there with whole
forty bitches thing. I was just --
-- trying to get on my staff?
I never really thought about --
-- Bullshit. Game Night is where we
make our bids for the new staff.
It's why everyone's here. You were
practically about to bust out a tap
I'm a Poly Sci major man. I just
came to hang out.
My staff likes you. A lot.
But you don't.
This thing with you and Sof...
I'm good to her.
Our dad's have been playing a game
of chess off and on since 1972.
What and Sof is the White queen?
You're a pawn. And I think it's
time you get off the board bro.
Troy takes this in.
Here's the deal. Every year we
throw a party. The point is to mock
the self important and moronic
entities of the campus. The way to
get staffed is to write an invite
for the party.
Our invites are legendary, we make
Gawker, the Post, tons of blogs
every year. If your invite is the
one that goes out, you're
guaranteed a spot on the staff. The
runners up are voted on by the rest
Troy catches eyes with Coco who gives him a seductive glance.
45A LIVING ROOM 45A
Coco turns back to her now enamored crowd. She's in her
element with these boys at her feet.
I just think having good hair and
carrying on with a degree of
sophistication doesn't make me a
traitor to the race.
Want to know why they used to call
me Black Mitch?
Absolutely not. No one called you that.
Just as Gordon, Mitch and Coco approach...
Okay. And what's this year's theme?
Kurt rolls his eyes instinctively.
Still working on that...
The party's a couple weeks away.
Yo Kurt. I want you to meet
You guys got a party coming up?
Coco smiles at Kurt, before flicking her eyes over Troy.
46 INT. SAM'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 46
Sungmi is one of the last to clear out of Sam's apartment as
the party winds down.
Hey, about the rally. You could
still get the permit anyway Sam and
go against the board. Most people
consider that political suicide
We got to rally Sam. Time is now.
Use your head Reggie. You think a
rally is going to change things?
It'll do a hell of a lot more than
a radio show or views on Youtube.
Everyone gets quiet. Sungmi takes this time to exit.
Look, we got power Sam and it's
time we used it. We earned it.
We? I didn't see you running for
The Bofros trade looks as Reggie storms out. Sam waits a beat
and rolls her eyes.
47 EXT. ARMSTRONG / PARKER QUAD - NIGHT 47
Sam walks after Reggie.
Don't "one word" me.
Why you got to snap at me all the
time? I'm around you like twenty
four seven. Like your lap dog. I
don't even usually get down like
that with no red bone chicks man.
Don't call me that.
Come on, I thought your ass was
Puerto Rican when I met you.
Sam turns to go.
Oh so you can dish it out but you
can't take it?
I'm taking my ass home.
Come on Sam. You know how I feel
How am I supposed to know how you
feel about me?
You know what? Forgive me if I see
something in you. Something
inspiring. Something folks like me
can get behind.
Reggie puts his hands on Sam's belt and pulls her in to a
kiss as a group walks by. Over Reggie's shoulder Sam sees...
...Gabe look back at her. He's heartbroken. She pretends not
to be affected and sinks into a kiss from Reggie.
Tell me you'll set up the rally.
I'll set up the rally.
48 INT. KURT'S KITCHEN - NIGHT 48
Kurt, Gordon, Mitch, Coco and Troy all trade glances.
Are we sure about this?
It's ironic. Bold. And don't tell
me I'm the only one who thinks Sam
White's little movement needs to
get cut down to size.
Agreement Coco's gaze. Uncertainty in Troy's.
Looks like you got your Hip Hop
`Bout time. It's going to be huge
man, fucking epic.
Kurt holds back a smile.
Boys, we've got a lot more mingling
to do. We'll be in touch. And Troy?
Get off the board bro.
Troy chews on this as Kurt leads his group out. Troy smiles,
goes to exit.
Nice seeing you.
I have no idea.
Trouble in paradise?
Troy shrugs and heads to the party.
Nothing. I'm sure you've got
something else fair and petite
and...fair lined up for that drink.
What's that supposed to mean?
It's fine. I'm not even really into
Black dudes anyway.
I'll have you know I'm an equal
opportunity employer, okay?
And what kind of jobs are you
hiring for mister?
Coco's stiletto rubs the side of Troy's calf.
Aren't you and Sofia --
-- I'm an accessory to Sofia. Can't
ever shake the feeling I'm an
assignment for that Afro Studies
Minor of hers.
Troy nervously glances out at the crowd and then back towards
this dangerous and tempting creature before him.
I'm sure you have no idea what I
49 EXT. MANCHESTER YARD - NIGHT 49
Lionel and George walk through the campus at night. George
waves goodbye to Annie as they pass Bechet House.
She seems really cool.
George just smiles.
Did we go too far? You're in
George I'm not exactly down with
Sam and I'm not in the BSU. I got
kicked out of Armstrong / Parker
same as Kurt. But I'm going to
write a good story, okay?
I hope so. I want a Bugle on your
chest by the end of the month.
Lionel fights a smile as his heart beats through his chest.
They reach the front of Lionel's house. George runs his hand
through Lionel's hair. Mitch, smoking on the porch with some
other kids - trade glances.
Your fro's so gnarly.
I'm growing it out.
Lionel heads up his stoop - past the snickers and glares of
Mitch and company.
Party's not over.
I live here.
Sorry bro. Invitation only.
It's two in the morning.
Mitch shrugs as humiliation floods over Lionel.
Lionel sighs and slumps on the steps outside the door. He
scrolls through his phone for a contact...OFFICE OF THE DEAN.
Starts an email.
50 INT. TROY'S BEDROOM - MORNING 50
Troy's Kangol sits in the ground, besides his undies, and
besides a bright pink thong.
Coco's pink painted finger nails travel through the creases
of Troy's immaculate abs.
Colandrea doesn't exactly pass the
resume test, you know? I mean
couldn't you fucking die? My
parents should've just named me
Coco fiddles in her purse - pulls out a joint.
It's ten am.
Coco lights it and takes a drag. She hands it to Troy.
I don't mess with that stuff.
Coco sees right through him as Troy hits it like a pro.
Sure about that?
Sure you don't like Black guys?
Girl like me is just a placeholder
for ya'll at a place like this.
I'm not like that.
I don't think Sam would agree.
That was different.
No it wasn't. Poor thing, she was
light skin-ded and everything.
Yo, it wasn't like that alright?
Troy's tone sobers Coco a bit. She places a hand on Troy's.
My pops. He wanted me with
Fletcher's daughter. They've been
in competition ever since they went
here. Pops hates that Fletcher
ended up President and he got stuck
as the Dean.
So your upbringing may have
actually fucked you up more than
mine? That's hot.
Troy laughs and takes the joint back.
The hell is the difference between
a Dean and a President anyway?
Apparently four hundred years of
He's not going to like you running
with the Pastiche boys is he?
If I even get tapped.
You will. And you should do it.
They all land somewhere big, some
before they even graduate. I've
seen you in front of a crowd Troy.
I bet you could be famous.
That what you want? To be famous?
I want people to know my name.
Coco's phone buzzes with a message. It's Kurt.
We want you. Come by Ellington
tomorrow at eight.
Troy checks his phone. Nothing. A decision weighs in Troy's
eyes as Coco throws on a shirt and gets up to go.
You're going to have to stand up to
him sooner or later Troy.
52 EXT. ARMSTRONG / PARKER QUAD - DAY 52
Troy and Sofia stand still amidst the bustle. Devastation
marks her pretty face.
You said you loved me.
I like you a lot.
Salt meet wound. She wants to go, but something nags at her.
What do you do in the bathroom?
When you leave the shower running?
Was it just to get away from me?
Troy wagers his answer and decides to confess.
I smoke weed and write jokes.
Puzzled by the man before her and too hurt for more, Sofia
just turns and walks away. Troy watches her go just as...
...Lionel passes by. The two share an awkward glance before
Troy turns to enter the house.
53 INT. ARMSTRONG / PARKER HALL - SAME TIME 53
Lionel shyly trudges down the hall of Armstrong / Parker. He
turns to see Troy behind him. The two avoid the other's gaze.
As they both head up the stairs, Troy notes it strange that
they're headed in the same direction.
53A UPSTAIRS 53A
Lionel heads to a door at the end of the hallway and opens it
with a key. Troy's already at the door when he looks up and
realizes Lionel's just entered his apartment.
54 INT. TROY'S APARTMENT - CONTINUOUS 54
The hell are you doing?
LIONEL & TROY
This is my apartment.
The hell it is.
The Dean said it was the only
Head of House doesn't share.
But you're not Head of House.
Still stings. Troy heads into his room and closes the door
leaving Lionel alone in the living room.
57 INT. ARMSTRONG/PARKER DINING HALL - DAY 57
Lionel sits alone in front of another bowl of soup. Eyes the
different cliques of mostly Black students. Dreads walks past
and shoots a head nod. Lionel uncomfortably shoots one back.
Stay Black, my brother.
Lionel watches as Kurt and Troy walk together towards the
entrance - suddenly chums. Troy's getting good news and
gladly shakes Kurt's hand.
Need your submission by Thursday.
You got it bro.
The two try and enter, when immediately Dreads slams a GONG
in the back of the hall - prompting the whole of the dining
hall to turn and throw paper balls at Kurt.
Sam grins from a table comprised of Martin, Sungmi and her
other support staff. Martin is visibly annoyed.
Troy takes some of the brunt of this and walks with the
humiliated Kurt back out of the Dining Hall.
Lionel watches with a smirk as Troy talks Kurt down on the
other side of the entrance. Lionel catches eyes with Sam
briefly who shares the same smirk.
He realizes Sam's actually looking at Reggie, perched behind
him at a table flanked by Curls and Dreads. They address him.
Finally made it in.
Been moved around a lot right?
You must have been terrified when
you saw "Armstrong/Parker" written
on your moving assignment.
I was just finishing up.
Do Black people scare you?
(realizing its true)
You're too scared to even ask
anyone for a cut.
I'm growing it out.
No. I'm growing it out. You're
fostering an ecosystem.
How come you don't come to BSU?
I listen to Mumford and Sons and
watch Robert Altman movies. You
honestly think I'm Black enough for
Yo, I love Robert Altman. Mutha
fucka goes in.
(after a beat)
We're not all homophobes you know.
Lionel's eyes dart around. How did she know?
I'm bumping Frank Ocean right now.
I don't give a fuck. Imma still eat
at Chik Fil A though. Them nuggets
good as hell.
I'm late for class.
You're the "Black voice" of the
Bugle now. We're just trying to
decide if you are friend or foe.
Reggie pulls a folded copy of the Bugle from under his arm.
Sam's on the front page with the headline "WHITE STUDENTS
TOLD TO `GET OUT' BY LIONEL HIGGINS."
We got to protect our girl.
Reggie motions over to a stressed out Sam as she argues over
something with Martin at another table.
I'm not on staff. Not until I make
good on my assignment, I'm just --
-- Assignment? What's the story?
They want me to do a profile piece
on Black culture at Manchester.
Of which you are so clearly an
Shame floods Lionel's face.
So what's harder man? Being Black
enough for the Black kids or the
Another GONG sounds with another shower of paper balls. This
time it's for...
...Gabe, who's stuck outside. He makes eye contact with...
Sam! Really Sam?
She just looks away. Reggie eyes him coolly.
58 INT. CLASSROOM - DAY 58
Professor Bodkin watches over a small class as the students
fill in essay questions. Sam's eyes are glued to a window...
Outside below the Brofros pull up in an SUV. They hop out and
start pulling out rally signs and bullhorns.
Sam's eyes dart back to the clock as Gabe watches her watch
59A EXT. MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY - DAY 59A
Sam bounds out of a building on her way to the parking lot.
From behind her...
Sam pauses and turns to see him.
DEAN FAIRBANKS (CONT'D)
For your little rally?
Forget your sign Dean?
Do you honestly think this is in
the spirit of Armstrong / Parker
The role of the counter culture is
to wake up the mainstream to --
-- I've got furniture older than
you. Counter culture? Is that what
you think this is? That show of
What about my show?
Your show is racist.
Black people can't be racist.
The Dean is rendered speechless at this statement.
Prejudice? Yes. But not racist.
Racism describes a system of
disadvantage based on race. Black
people can't be racist since they
don't benefit from such a system.
Do you read the school papers?
Is the New York Times a school
Your antics are making press Sam
and press like this keeps men like
President Fletcher up at night.
He's building a file on you.
It's not my fault your son couldn't
beat me in an election.
I'm sure it was hard growing up.
Wondering which side you fit into.
Feeling like you have to
If that's true, I'm not the only
Sam walks off in a half jog - Fairbank's last words resonate
more than she'd like.
Gabe, making his way outside just catches her exit.
59B EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY 59B
Huge canvas signs with the words "WHITES ONLY" are strewn
about the pavement, along with bullhorns and picket signs.
Sam takes these in while the Brofros feverishly unpack the
There you are! We supposed to start
I told you I had class.
There's a vibration in Sam's pocket. Her phone says "MOM."
She cuts it off and picks up a "white's only" sign.
Those are going up on Gillespie.
Sam shrugs in the affirmative but it's too much. Reggie sees
a doubt in her eyes.
Yo. What's that? You're not getting
cold feet are you?
No. I mean how long do I have to
You're kidding right? You're sort
of the keynote.
Yeah but...you know I think the
whole Malcolm X thing is your lane
Reg. I'm just not --
-- They came to hear you Sam. Grab
a bullhorn. Turn it on.
Sam is struck by the command. Stuck between wanting to curse
and comply another buzz in her pocket yanks her attention to
her phone. Sam checks: "IT'S ABOUT DAD. CALL ME"
Sam turns for some privacy. She makes eye contact with Gabe
who's just happened upon the parking lot.
What is all this?
Hey. In the middle of--
-- Okay. Okay. Okay.
Tears well up in Sam's eyes as she shakes her head no and
heads away from the parking lot and passed Gabe.
When Reggie looks up and catches eyes with Sam. His tilted
look of indignation asks her what she's doing.
Sam takes in the scene and decisively turns to go. Reggie's
heart sinks as a bewildered Gabe goes to chase after her.
60 INT. ARMSTRONG / PARKER HALL - DAY 60
Reggie flanked by the BoFros bangs on Sam's door.
Yo, what the hell Sam?
61 INT. SAM'S ROOM - DAY 61
The banging continues as Sam sits on the edge of her bed. The
tears have dried. Gabe paces behind the bed.
You want me to tell them to go?
You're so tough.
I want you to wait until they've
gone and then head home.
I'm trying to be here for you.
Can you be somewhere else for me?
61A HALLWAY 61A
Sam! I know you're home.
61B SAM'S ROOM 61B
What do you see in him?
The only eligible single brother on
I get it. Your parents owned in
Harlem or something? You watched
"Do The Right Thing" in high school
and you want to prove to the world
I want to be down? How long does it
take to get your hair like that?
Sam. We want to talk.
Reggie I will call you later damn!
You don't know what you're talking
about. Girls like me--
--what? Have to pick a side? I'm
sick of your tragic Mulatto
You can't say Mulatto.
Mulatto! Mulatto! Mulatto!
Window. Go out the window.
I'm sorry if I can't be your Nubian
prince on my Black horse ready to
take you back to fucking Zamunda!
That's not a real African country.
Can I please get some credit for a
solid "Coming to America"
Sam tries not laugh at this.
This isn't you Sam.
No? And who am I?
Who...likes to argue with me about
every fucking thing. And I hate it
because we both know you're smarter
than me. Your favorite director is
Bergman, but you tell people its
Spike Lee. You love bebop, but
you've got a thing for Taylor
Swift. I know because my Mac picks
up your Mac's library.
And I was so careful...
You like to use phrases from the
thirties and wear clothes from the
fifties and hairstyles from the
sixties. You like to watch me when
you think I'm sleeping. And trace
the outlines of my face.
Sam fights any signs of this moving her. Another BANG.
You're more "Banksy" than "Barack"
but you've been co-opted as some
sort of revolutionary leader or
something? But really you're an
anarchist. A beautiful writer,
artist, filmmaker, shit starter.
And beautiful, in general.
Sam's heart beats through her chest. Her phone rings: "Mom."
Yeah? Yeah? Yeah. It's okay. Get
Sam hangs up. A silence hangs - followed by a loud EXHALE
from Sam as she let's go of the tension she'd been holding.
His condition's stable.
Good. That's good Sam.
Gabe goes to exit just as Reggie BANGS again.
Gabe opens the door to the very shocked Bofros and Reggie...
...and brushes right past them. Sam gets up and stares down
the heartbroken looks on her disciples' faces.
And with that she closes the door right on Reggie.
62 EXT. ELLINGTON TERRACE - NIGHT 62
Coco and Helmut look out over the campus from the glowing
terrace atop the Library. They sip on coffee's.
New videos are picking up steam.
Told you I was good TV.
The show I'm scouting for... It's
called Black Face / White Place.
It's reality. Like a "True Life."
Each episode centers on a different
one of "us" in a sea of "them."
Interesting? You think they want
interesting? Dignified stories of
triumph and survival?
(off Coco's naive shrug)
They want the "authentic urban
experience" which is basically
network talk for bitching and weave
snatching. I'm telling you this
because the network is looking to
take one of the subjects to series.
I got one episode. One shot to find
that subject. So if we do this...
...we do it all the way. I'm
guessing Sam turned you down.
I think so. She called me a
Bojangling Oofta, whatever that
means. Everything else she said
would've been bleeped on tv.
(off Coco's laugh)
So look, forty thousand hits on
Youtube is good. It's not great.
I'm about to get a whole lot more.
63 INT. KURT'S HOUSE - DAY 63
Coco sits before a video camera. The room is dim.
We don't have anyone like you on
staff and you had a great idea. We
brought you here to --
-- I want to MC it. Your party.
We're here to tell you what we
You want me and in order to get me,
you have to let me MC.
And I want to do a live video blog
from my Youtube account.
64 EXT. ELLINGTON TERRACE - DAY 64
They'd let you do that?
They got no choice. They need me --
65 INT. KURT'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS 65
-- cause without me ya'll look like
a bunch of privileged assholes.
We don't let people video blog our
...You got a week to put this thing
together boo boo. What's it going
66 EXT. ELLINGTON TERRACE - DAY 66
Helmut looks at Coco with a shocked gleam in his eye.
You look surprised.
67 INT. TROY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 67
Troy and Lionel both type furiously at their computers in
their rooms. Troy on his invite - Lionel on his article. They
each look at the other in alternate intervals.
...not everyone is as camera ready
67A LIONEL'S ROOM 67A
Lionel pauses the episode of STAR TREK THE NEXT GENERATION on
his TV and heads to...
67B KITCHEN 67B
...bar divide. Pours a bowl of cereal. He glances into Troy's
room. He's also got Star Trek on. Could it be? Troy, feels
Lionel's eyes on him and quickly switches it to Basketball.
67C TROY'S ROOM 67C
Troy types in "KURT FLETCHER" in the "To" field and "PASTICHE
SUBMISSION" in the subject field. He hits "send" and swallows
the lump in his throat.
68 INT. DEANS OFFICE - DAY 68
Troy gingerly enters into the Dean's office. Martin and Dean
Fairbanks talk in hushed tones around Fairbanks' desk.
Martin, would you share with Troy
what you shared with me?
The server that processes the
voting results for House Elections
has shut down the A.P. database.
Saw it this morning. Apparently the
intermediary program is on a
I'm a Poly Sci major man.
Sam currently has 445 votes. That's
200 more than she had last week
during the actual election.
There's not even that many
residents in Armstrong / Parker.
She cheated. Hacked the system.
69 INT. PRESIDENT'S OFFICE - DAY 69
Sam sits before a giant fireplace - twice as large as the
Dean's. She faces President Fletcher and fights nerves.
I wouldn't even begin to know how
to do something like that.
Is your little war really this
Sam shifts gears slightly - he wants something from her.
PRESIDENT FLETCHER (CONT'D)
I understand the pressure to stand
for something at an institution
like this but you're barking up the
wrong tree okay?
70 INT. DEAN'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 70
Had to have been Reggie. Dude's in
my programing class. Good. Just
forgot to turn his program off.
You're the rightful Head of House.
Martin, let me talk to Troy for a
bit. I appreciate this.
71 INT. PRESIDENT'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 71
Sam glares at Fletcher.
Your advisor tells me you're
hanging on by a thread in you
major. Perhaps it's time to
You're trying to frighten me, but I
think you're the one who's scared.
And I think you long for the days
where Blacks were hanging from
trees and denied actual rights.
Then you'd actually have something
to fight against.
A swell of emotion behind Sam's steel eyes.
PRESIDENT FLETCHER (CONT'D)
You will be facing two hearings in
the coming weeks that could end in
either Probation or Suspension. One
on the merits of your show, the
other on your election to Head of
Sam is truly scared by this.
PRESIDENT FLETCHER (CONT'D)
Your responsibilities to your house
are suspended. Your show is done
for. And another one of your
illegal "demonstrations" will only
make matters worse. This is a
critical time for this school.
You damn right it is.
We don't have an intolerance
problem here. Except for the one
I'm looking at.
72 INT. DEAN'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 72
Troy and his father are alone.
You didn't tell me you and Sofia
had a misunderstanding.
Her father. She was very upset.
(off Troy's silence)
Troy. What sort of vision do you
have for yourself?
Get my degree. Then Law School and
--And what's that got to do with
partying with Kurt? With smoking
weed and writing jokes?
Panic flashes over Troy.
DEAN FAIRBANKS (CONT'D)
Okay, so what? Is it the spotlight
Kurt gets? You want to be on...tv
or something? You know how many
Black men waste their lives to get
on TV? Be rappers and ball players?
(wanting it to be true)
Dad no. I want what we always
talked about. Maybe have my own
firm someday? Run for office. Make
a difference. Wife. Kids. I want
all that. I really really do.
And the drugs? God damn it Troy I
taught you better than this. I have
been in academia a long time, I've
seen a lot of things. The men who
really run this world? You got no
idea what they see when they see
you. You are not going to be what
they all think you are. You will
not give them that satisfaction,
you hear me?
73 INT. PRESIDENT'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS 73
Sam steps out of Fletcher's office into the waiting room.
Kurt is there. He stands and the two silently stare the other
down as Kurt enters his father's office.
A SECRETARY picks up a ringing phone - prompts her to exit
the room. Sam watches her sign for a delivery outside through
Sam slips behind the office door - quietly pushes it open and
I know about the party. You picked
a hell of a time.
What party --
-- You're cancelling Kurt. End of
75 INT. BULLPEN - DAY 75
Lionel walks through the empty office - slows down as he over
Lionel's story on the would-be
protest outside of Gillespie is
running tomorrow and I'm also
having Lionel work on a profile
piece of Armstrong/Parker like you
suggested. Really break down what's
Lionel gingerly approaches the door to see George finish up a
Right. It's almost like they
recycle so much from their past -
Music, food, fashion, and now
This leaves a bitter taste in Lionel's mouth.
Thank you so much. Okay, take care.
George can't fight his grin as he looks to Annie.
That was our Times advisor. He said
it's stories like these that get
editors recommendation letters.
Lionel knocks on the door. Annie and George are startled but
reassured when they see who it is.
The Negro at the door didn't scare
you this time.
Annie smiles and heads for the door.
Lionel please. You're only
technically Black. G, going to
French. You want me to hold your
Annie smiles and walks out.
You need something? Saw your e-
Yeah, I need someone to do the
Donor's function on Saturday. Small
dinner for the school's big givers.
Administration wants a little
That's Halloween night.
Right, which is why no one else
will take it.
Ah. Thus the new guy.
George gathers his backpack and walks over to Lionel. Gets
On my way to class, but you can
stay and check out last year's
piece. You'll do fine.
I don't know. Are there going to be
any racially fueled outbursts at
Never know right?
It's clear Lionel wants to say something else. George too.
Am I a good writer?
You'll get better. And we need you
You're just a big recommendation
away from landing the Times.
God I hope so.
Lionel looks down. He is being used. Turns to go, just as --
-- George grabs Lionel unsure what he wants to say. So
instead he just kisses him.
I'm glad we finally got that Bugle
on your chest.
Lionel's all mixed up.
There's a big party the night of
the Donor's event. Call me after,
maybe we can hang?
Yeah. Sounds good.
George heads out - leaving Lionel perplexed.
76 INT. TROY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT 76
Troy stares at his reflection in a mirror as he lifts his du-
rag to reveal his perfectly curled finger waves. He's getting
ready for something.
His phone buzzes with a notification: "Message from:
Troy nervously clicks it open. As he reads...
Dear White People. Are you tired of
your hum drum, Wonderbread
existence of accidental racism and
wishing you could sip on Henny out
yo crunk cup without a Bitch giving
you the side-eye? Course you are.
As our subjects get ready for their evening.
Troy goes back to combing over his finger waves, finding and
correcting imperceptible imperfections.
For all those looking to unleash
their inner Negro from years of
bondage and oppression Pastiche
proudly presents "Dear White
People" our 89th annual Hallow's
Eve Costume Party - tonight at 10
Pacific Time or 5 Colored People
Time. Sorry for the short notice,
but let's keep it one hun-ed.
You've had us on your calendar for
76A Lionel stares into a mirror in an ill fitting suit 76A
combing out his unwieldy fro. He flinches in pain as he
fluffs out each section.
Dudes must rock FUBU, Ecko,
Rocawear, or Sean John. XXXL is the
smallest size T-Shirt you can wear,
preferably with a collage of Barack
Obama and Tupac on it. Stunner
Shades, chains, and Blue-Tooth
devices sticking out yo ears are
76B Coco pulls a blonde curly wig over her natural hair. She 76B
smooths her tendrils to frame her face, almost pale with
foundation. She begins on her eyes.
Ladies, we need to see huge hoop
earrings, long nails, and cheap
KURT (V.O.) (CONT'D)
A proper hood rat starts fights,
speaks loudly, and when she can't
think of the word she's trying to
say just makes one up, such as
"edumicated." Feel free to fry up
some chicken, bring Kool-Aid,
Watermelon, 40s, Henny, and of
course Dat Purple Drank. No bougie
76C Sam removes the pins and the black power Afro pic holding 76C
up her pompadour fro hair-do, and lets it fall flat around
her ears. She takes in her image in the mirror.
Naturally there will be a freestyle
rap competition so bring it, get yo
shine on and join us for the party
of the year! Oh and Nigga Nigga
Nigga Nigga. Boy that felt good.
77 EXT. GILLESPIE HALL - NIGHT 77
Laughter and music from the well to do event wafts outside
while Troy dressed in a slick Armani tux hangs by the
entrance. He smokes on Coco's one-hitter from before.
Lionel steps out in his ill fitted suit, a camera in hand.
The two are surprised to see each other.
Funny seeing you here.
Father likes to show me off at all
the Donor functions. The dessert
course is usually my cue to take a
breather while they talk shop.
The trick is to dazzle them into
forking over their estates just
before they kick the bucket.
Lionel could just leave. Instead he accepts the olive branch.
So...Picard or Kirk?
I saw you watching Star --
-- Yo what happens in the crib
stays in the crib. Not trying to
get my card revoked.
Hey, some could argue that a show
with Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Dorn
and Kunta Kinte himself is a pretty
Yeah? That work out for you?
No. No it did not. At least not in
High School. I bet there's a statue
of you at your High School.
I was beloved. Won't lie.
Did they know you were a trekker?
My pops left a paint by numbers
template for success at that High
School. All I had to do was fill in
the blanks. Football captain.
Valedictorian. Prom King.
Lionel sees a sadness in Troy.
So what? You're growing that out?
I think it's gaining sentience.
It's like a black hole for white
people's fingers. They're obsessed.
You know I cut hair. Why didn't you
You're I dunno...you?
Behind Lionel, George and Annie pass by the steps to
Li! You ready man?
No costumes? I got a tux for this.
We just got out of the staff room.
Yeah, we're going as overworked.
Where is it?
Garmin House. On third I think?
Third and Basin. I know it.
Before Lionel jets to join them.
Yo man. If I'd gone to your High
School, I'd have had your back.
Lionel smiles and heads after his new friends.
78 EXT. KURT'S HOUSE - NIGHT 78
Lionel pauses before his old home - now filled with the chaos
of a wild party. Lionel clears his throat and heads in.
79 INT. KURT'S HOUSE - NIGHT 79
The party is dark and rambunctious. Lots of white kids in
costume. Some as fairies or ninjas or Spiderman - but most as
pimps and thugs. As Blaxploitation characters. As Barack
Obama and Condi Rice. As Shaft, Ice Cube, and 2 Chainz.
It's a lot for Lionel. Cups are handed to them filled with
"Purple Drank." Everyone downs the stuff.
INT. GILLESPIE HALL - NIGHT
Troy is being appreciated by an ancient COUPLE.
...my own firm. Maybe run for
office. Make a difference you know?
The couple smile. A buzz draws Troy's eyes to his phone -
photos from "Dear White People" pop up in his news feed.
80 INT. KURT'S HOUSE - NIGHT 80
Lionel watches as Gordon and other Pastiche crew nervously
put up flyers and posters. They seem caught off guard. Lionel
glances at the posters - it's Kurt with a large Afro wig
mimicking Sam's "Missing Black Culture" flyers.
This is kind of fucked up. Right?
Pastiche. The world's most erudite
boneheads. Who wants another round?
Come on Lionel, help a brother out.
Kitchen's this way.
80A ENTRANCE - CONTINUOUS 80A
Coco enters the party - blinged out like Nicki Minaj. She's
feeling herself as she's handed a drink.
She's got eyes on her - for the first time like this at a
party. But she sees the same thing Lionel saw.
Her confidence starts to fight a shame that creeps up beneath
her party face. She switches her iPhone to video mode...
Hey there muffins. How do I look?
Why are white folks so obsessed
with being Black? And why are Black
folks so addicted to Blonde Barbie
doll weaves? Honeys it's a strange
symbiosis we're here to explore...
Coco's voice cracks as she stares into her own image on her
iPhone. She pauses it and takes a breath.
80B HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS 80B
Lionel leads George through the dense crowd towards the
kitchen - George pulls Lionel into a hallway and into...
80C BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS 80C
...the bathroom and up against the door. George inhales
Lionel's lips. Runs his fingers through Lionel's hair.
It's okay. Can't wait to cut all
Don't you dare.
George plunges his fingers into Lionel's fro once again.
Pulls a touch too hard.
I could eat you like a Hershey's.
This sets something off in Lionel.
I'll be right back.
Lionel breaks George's grasp and heads out the bathroom...
LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS
...and back out into the party. He's trapped in a nightmare
of caricatures and reveling students. Can't breathe.
EXT. KURT'S HOUSE - NIGHT
Lionel squeezes his way outside. Something goes off in his
head as he starts walking away from the party.
Just then Kurt arrives in front of the house with some
friends. Looks at Lionel then at the house.
What the hell?
81 INT. ARMSTRONG / PARKER - NIGHT 81
Lionel paces the halls. His mind churns as he passes the
dining hall. Sam and Reggie are engaged in something intense.
For a genius dude you're a fucking
I did it, we did it for you.
I didn't ask for it Reggie. I look
like I betrayed this house.
Yeah? Well you betrayed me.
Sam gets up and storms out - brushes past Lionel.
Sam? Can we talk?
Sam turns back around fiercely.
82 INT. KURT'S HOUSE - NIGHT 82
A turntable is uncovered and rolled out - as a DUDE DRESSED
LIKE SERENA WILLIAMS starts up a MYSTIKAL record.
The crowd starts to get live now.
Coco continues to make her way through the party - her face
visibly perturbed by the time she reaches the kitchen. She
continues out back...
83 EXT. KURT'S BACKYARD - NIGHT 83
...and sits pulling out a cigarette. She sees Annie put on a
long straight Black wig and brag to friends...
Hey who am I? "Bitch it's weave.
Noun. Present tense ho!"
Right in the gut. She's playing Coco. Coco grabs her phone...
84 INT. KURT'S HOUSE - CONTINUOUS 84
Kurt stumbles about the party in a daze. Drunk? Folks give
him props while he searches for and spots Gordon with the
others. His phone rings.
Kurt, it's me. I can't do this.
Okay, I'm fucking confused.
85 INT. SAM'S ROOM - NIGHT 85
Lionel sits across from Sam.
What do you want me to do? Go over
there and yell at them?
Have you heard you yelling?
This house is filled with folks
willing to take up after a cause
Lionel. Believe me. Never would
have guessed you'd be one of them
For the first time in my life, I
can't just sit around and do
nothing. How can you?
If I'm caught being a part of
anything like this...it wouldn't be
good for me right now okay?
Lionel gets up and walks towards the door.
I'm done being everybody's angry
Sam looks down as Lionel gets up and heads out.
Sam's focus shifts to her Super 8 resting by the door and
then to a bullhorn directly across from it. Her mind ticks.
86 INT. ARMSTRONG / PARKER HALL - NIGHT 86
Lionel exits and paces down the hall. He walks by the dining
room - taken over by Reggie, the BoFros, and a mix of other
students mostly from ARMSTRONG / PARKER.
86A DINING HALL - CONTINUOUS 86A
Lionel gingerly walks in the room. He's still an outsider
here - but something's changed in him.
Hey. How's it going. Hi.
No one answers him - just stay to their own conversations.
Lionel spots a familiar face...Sungmi.
Hey...what is this?
Black Student Union.
Lionel smiles shyly. He should've known that.
Reggie, Curls, Dreads and the Bofros hang out at the front.
Your call then man.
Alright ya'll - thanks for coming
out tonight. Looks like Sam's not
making it so...let's just call it.
The crowd starts to talk amongst themselves, get up and
leave. Just then Lionel stands and before he can think...
Uh. Excuse me. Hi. I'm Lionel. Some
of you...none of you probably know
me. I've never been to a meeting.
But I just came back from a party
on campus and I think you should
know about it.
Lionel's nerves can be heard in his voice now. He's got the
judging eyes of the room fixed silently on him. He sees an
open laptop on a desk.
Anybody mind if I?
Reggie shifts a bit as Lionel goes to the laptop and pulls up
the party on Facebook. The crowd gathers around as Lionel
browses through the photos.
I mean...I don't know. This is
fucked up right?
Alright brother. What's the plan?
Lionel realizes the eyes aren't judging. They're mobilizing.
Readying for action. Lionel steels himself.
We go over there. Now.
Think there's enough of us?
You know you don't have a monopoly
on being a pissed off minority.
Latino's United is meeting across
the hall. Asian American League
(off the stares)
You guys got better snacks.
87 INT. GILLESPIE HALL - NIGHT 87
Troy scrolls through an endless amount of Facebook uploads
from the party. Forties, bad Afro wigs, fake asses.
Shoved in between two RICH OLD WELL TO DOS at a long table
covered in empty plates and glasses - Troy looks across to
his father, in mid exaggerated guffaw with President
Not now Troy.
It's important. There's something
happening on campus. I might've...
You're being rude son.
Dean Fairbanks turns away. Troy ponders a moment and then--
Oh am I? How about I tell your
precious donors and anyone here
who'll listen about the kind of a
school it is they're giving to?
The Dean can feel the eyes of the Donors and the President on
him - an outrage comes over him as he pulls Troy aside.
I don't know who you think you are
young man but you don't get to talk
to your father any kind of way.
All I say to you is yes sir and no
sir! Look I should've brought this
up before but --
(off Fairbanks dismissal)
-- listen to me!
Dean Fairbanks tries to cover this moment with a smile.
88 INT. KURT'S KITCHEN - NIGHT 88
Kurt, still dazed, huddles with his core Pastiche group.
Yeah dude. We all got it. I mean,
everything's cool right?
A noise in the other room startles them...
88A LIVING ROOM 88A
...It's Reggie who knocks over a bowl of chips. Dreads argues
with a few people. Martin rips shades off a kid's face. The
party swarms with BSU kids and their Latino / Asian allies.
A SMASH yanks Kurt's attention back to the kitchen...
88B KITCHEN 88B
...where Lionel smashes bottles of liquor in the sink.
Kurt yanks the booze from Lionel and shoves him.
The fuck you think you're doing
Lionel shoves Kurt into the bar divide. A few of the BSU kids
flood into the kitchen and hold Kurt back.
That all you got?
We're putting an end to this Kurt.
Fuck you I'm calling the cops.
Half of this crowd is under 21.
A loud AMP sound alerts everyone to the DJ platform in the
88C LIVING ROOM 88C
Mitch has taken over the mic.
Gimme that mic
Before I slap ya
Looking for some dykes,
that wanna another chapta.
If you do me slow,
you can do me faster,
I'll pass you to the Nigga on my
right, he gets you after.
-- Why don't you tuck your tail
between your legs, run and tell the
Dean and get the fuck out.
Lionel sinks from this attack while his posse from BSU
watches helplessly as the party goes back into full swing.
Lionel turns to go and spots...
...George who joins Annie, fresh beer in hand. But right
behind George is...
...Sam, having just arrived with her camera in hand pointed
at the rap battle. She winks at Lionel.
Lionel turns around - summons something from deep inside.
Lionel steps onto the DJ platform and snatches the mic out of
one of the rapper's hands.
Heyyyy! Hoooo! Heyyy! Hooo!
The crowd is with it - thinks it's part of the show as Lionel
proceeds to freestyle terribly...
My name is Lionel,
Some people call me Li.
Lots of people think
that I talk kinda white.
Well that's alright.
Yeah that's cool.
I'd rather you think I'm white,
than tap dance for you.
With that Lionel takes the mic and SMASHES it on the wall. He
then takes the turntable by his hands and flips it over.
Sparks fly - the amp goes crazy - the crowd is in shock.
Lionel grabs a speaker tower and slams it to the ground.
Lionel's off the platform now. Kurt grabs him - Reggie pushes
Kurt away in his defense.
Gordon grabs Reggie - A FIGHT BREAKS OUT.
More equipment is slammed to the ground and stomped on as the
party disintegrates into chaos.
Sam dodges fights to capture it all with the camera.
Art is being ripped from the walls. Dishes being smashed on
the ground. Arguments come to physical blows.
The steel in Sam's gaze fades. Replaced by...heartbreak?
And then she spots...
...Coco squeezing her way through the crowd for the door.
Sam's camera and mic stay trained on Coco.
What? Say it. Come on.
Sam stays silent.
This may come as a shock, but these
people don't give a fuck about no
Harriet muthafuckin Tubman. They
pay millions of dollars on their
tans, their lips, their asses, Jay-
Z tickets, you name it, cause they
wanna be us.
So they got to be for a night.I'm
not about to go out into the
streets in protest of a Halloween
Sam keeps her mouth shut and her camera rolling as Coco
realizes it's herself she's trying to convince.
Coco storms off. Sam exhales and lowers her camera. This is
new for her. Keeping her mouth shut.
89 EXT. KURT'S HOUSE - NIGHT 89
Coco trudges down the side walk - yanks off her hair, her
lashes, her bling - shedding the shame of the night.
90 EXT. KURT'S YARD - NIGHT 90
Kurt hustles Lionel out into the yard. Kurt shoves him to the
Dude. I know you can't help it...
Lionel just gets back up again only to be slammed down.
...but why are you such a fag dude?
Lionel spits in Kurt's face and pops right back up again. We
see it in his eyes - he'll never give up.
Kurt's hand is on Lionel's collar. He pushes him down again.
Kids are all around - some from the BSU - some from Pastiche -
some from the Bugle. Everyone holds an opposite party back.
Lionel looks over at his audience and then into Kurt's eyes.
Lionel leans in and kisses Kurt on the mouth long and hard.
Finally got me where you want me.
Kurt's in shock. He looks at his crew who laugh at him.
Lionel sees the surprise in the eyes of his new supporters as
well. No time to soak this in though. Kurt's let up. For a
moment. Lionel turns back to Kurt and PUNCHES him in the
face. The BSU kids go CRAZY in support.
The shock gone - Kurt damn near knocks Lionel out.
The world goes all slow motion and out of focus. Lionel sort
of makes out that Kurt is yanked off him.
Kids run in different directions - Flashlights fill the yard -
One is shone directly on Lionel. CAMPUS SAFETY GUARDS and a
couple POLICE OFFICERS surround him.
91 INT. KURT'S HOUSE - NIGHT 91
The motor on Sam's Super 8 ticks away. The party is at a
Troy enters and looks around in disbelief. Makes eye contact
with Kurt who is being held by a Campus Safety Officer.
Dean Fairbanks enters and stands in the middle of the chaos.
Sam tip toes in for a close up and holds out a small mic.
What is all this?
92 INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT 92
A SERIES OF SHOTS FROM A MOVIE BEING PROJECTED ON A SCREEN
We see the Dean looking about the party with disappointment.
92A KURT looking bewildered outside his house after the 92A
party. We hear BOOS from a crowd. The carnage is devastating.
Windows are blown out - trash and destroyed furniture on the
lawn. Ash where fires were put out.
I didn't do this. Sam. I had
nothing to do with this.
92B MORNING NEWS 92B
What some are calling a "race war"
has erupted at one of the nation's
oldest and most prestigious --
92 GILLESPIE FORUM now filled with students who sit before 92
Dean Fairbanks and President Fletcher for a Town Hall.
Everyone wears a look of outrage.
We don't condone this egregious
event and are investigating its
origins. The president and I are
looking at ways to address issues
of Diversity at Manchester.
Applause breaks out amongst the crowd. But so do boos.
93 VARIOUS SPOTS AROUND CAMPUS. Students address the camera. 93
I'm sorry but it's bullshit. Yo
this is how we get down. If you
can't take a joke in this day and
age? The fact we can joke about it
proves we've moved on you feel me?
This is an attack on free speech!
We're the victims here!
93A A series of Busts have been PAINTED IN BLACK FACE outside 93A
of Armstrong / Parker where Lionel address the camera...
It's hard enough for us to even get
into a school like this. Let alone
succeed. Find our way. This is only
a debate because of who Kurt's dad
is, which just proves the point.
All you did was have a radio show
and look what happened to you.
93B COCO as she talks directly to camera. 93B
I know this may come as a shock,
but nobody gives a fuck about no
Harriet muthafuckin Tubman...they
wanna be us. So they got to be for
93C A POSTER featuring Troy rendered like the famous Shepard 93C
Fairy Obama posters with the words "A NEW HOPE" written at
the bottom as well as "TROY BROUSSARD FOR PRESIDENT." This
gets some more applause from the crowd watching.
Of course I got my dad involved. It
was the right thing to do. I didn't
mean for all this to happen. All
the posters and everything.
But you'd welcome it? A shot for
I think...I'd make more than few
people happy if I ran.
93D RADIO BOOTH - where Sam puts her headphones on. She 93D
Even though I'd been expressly
forbidden to do so, I wanted to do
one last show. Something to sum up
the moment. To savor in the pop of
the post racial bubble just burst.
Dear White People...
I wanted to react.
Sam takes in a thoughtful breath before...
...Know what? Nevermind.
She fades in a melancholy piece of Be-Bop before hanging her
headpones up as the title on the projected movie fades in:
"...BLACK FACES BY SAMANTHA WHITE"
Sam stares nervously at the screen as the lights come on,
when all at once the room BREAKS INTO APPLAUSE. Sam turns to
see that the entire room is on it's feet including Prof
Bodkin and Gabe.
94 INT. DEAN'S OFFICE - DAY 94
Dean Fairbanks loosens his tie, flanked by several SCHOOL
OFFICIALS. They've been here for hours listening to...
Once I heard what the group was
planning, I sent out an email to
the staff to cancel it. You have
the email printed in front of you.
Kurt turns to a SUITED MAN next to him.
94B We'll be cross cutting between several of these sessions. 94B
So when I got the invite and saw
everyone clicking "yes" I figured
it was back on.
You were hoping to make the staff?
At what point in time did you show
up to the event?
94C Sam sits with arms folded. 94C
DEAN FAIRBANKS (CONT'D)
Why am I even here?
94 Guys throw parties at the house all 94
We know you were planning this.
Your son tell you that?
94D Fairbanks stares down his son. Troy is silent and anxious.
"...wishing you could sip on Henny
out yo crunk cup without a Bitch
giving you the side-eye?"
You write this Troy?
Troy looks up at his father embarrassed.
No. Mine wasn't chosen.
But you wanted to be?
What I wanted didn't matter then.
Why should it matter now? I told
you about the party, remember?
94 The invite came from the Pastiche 94
I loathe Facebook.
An OFFICIAL whispers something in Fairbanks' ear.
You've got to believe me.
You've used that line on me before
this year Mr. Fletcher. When a
homophobic message mysteriously
appeared on a voice mail line you
shared with a roommate.
DEAN FAIRBANKS (CONT'D)
What were your intentions when you
went back the second time?
To stop it.
By any means necessary?
Someone once told me...Manchester
is like jazz. I don't know much
about jazz. But from what I can
tell, when your solo's up, you
Fairbanks fights a smile.
94C SAM 94C
All I did that night was hit record
The Dean takes a gulp from a glass of water. He stands and
looks out his huge windows onto the campus below.
94E The Dean has Facebook opened on his computer. Officials 94E
are taking a break. Drinking water. Discussing the day.
The Dean tries a few passwords.
94C DEAN FAIRBANKS 94C
Want to hear something strange?
The Dean turns from the window.
DEAN FAIRBANKS (CONT'D)
The Pastiche group page hadn't been
used for months, until the invite
94E The Dean tries a different password. Still invalid. 94E
94C SAM 94C
Well what's interesting is how easy
it was to access the group before
the note was sent. The password was
"Pa$tiche" spelled with a dollar
sign according to Kurt. Seems
recently it's been changed.
94E The Dean tries one more. It works. 94E
94C DEAN FAIRBANKS (CONT'D) 94C
Couldn't figure it out at first.
Then I thought to try something.
Five, seven, eight, three, five,
twenty six, one, nine, four, six.
Eleven numbers. Just like our
student ID numbers. Just like your
student ID number.
As much as you hate him, you will
stop at nothing to protect your
master and his boy.
Did you send out the invite Sam?
That invite, whoever sent it
should've been met with derision
and outrage. Instead, a hundred
people showed up and they pulled
out posters and decorations and
costumes they'd made for just such
Sam and Dean Fairbanks at a stalemate.
Silence falls in the room. The Dean's mind ticks.
95 EXT. MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY - DAY 95
A pack of EMERALD BUGLE newspapers hit the stand with the
headline: "INVESTIGATION INCONCLUSIVE! FLETCHER GOES FREE. NO
Next to it is another stack of papers from the INDEPENDENT
OBSERVER. The headline reads: "EBONY & IVY: CAN THERE BE
HARMONY? BY LIONEL HIGGINS."
George picks up a copy of the Observer and starts to read...
96 INT. TROY AND LIONEL'S APARTMENT - DAY 96
Lionel flips through his own article as well. A satisfied
grin on his face as a razor makes its way through his hair.
2 Chainz? Shaft? While endless
complex depictions of whites, white
men in particular exist - there
aren't that many versions of us in
His locks waft towards the ground as Troy styles a fresh and
fearless fro-hawk atop Lionel's head.
Culture has a powerful way of
telling people what they can and
can't be. For people of color the
options are rather limited.
Next James Baldwin up in here. Wait
hold on a sec.
Star Trek is back from commercial break. Troy and Lionel
watch in silence.
97 EXT. MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY - DAY 97
Gabe is just about finished with Lionel's article too. Looks
up just in time to see...
Sam sneers at his formalities.
Read about Armstrong / Parker.
Yeah. Prez made an executive
withdrawal. Armstrong stays Black.
(with a shrug)
Getting too dramatic man. Thinking
about getting an apartment off
campus. We'll see.
Sam going against the grain?
Shocked. How's papa White?
Gabe fights the urge to hug her.
We were actually on the phone last
night for hours. First time we
talked since the bypass. He was
putting up a strong front. Teasing
me about being so worried. Then
came the stories about me as a
little girl I'd heard a thousand
times. About how independent I was.
Gabe smiles politely. Senses she needs a moment.
Want to talk about it?
My mother worked nights so he would
take me to school. And it pissed me
off because he would follow me all
the way to homeroom. Every time he
tried to hold my hand I'd scream
and pull away. He thought I was
A hint of recognition in Gabe. Is this about them?
But it was the kids. And the
parents and the teachers. They'd
see this Black girl and this white
man and wonder what we were doing
together. Even at nine I could feel
their eyes on me. Especially at
nine. It brought tears to my eyes.
Gabe's stone face melts at this.
I was just a bratty girl, didn't
know any better but-- The thought
of losing him-- You know? I just
feel so bad. How awful am I to do
that to him? To anyone I love?
Gabe gets it. This is an explanation. An apology, to him. His
arm is on her shoulder now.
I'm sure he forgives you.
Gabe nods. Sam's normal defenses come back up lest she cries.
So anyway. I didn't mean to say all
of that. I don't know why I did.
Sam. Where are you going?
I don't know. Lunch?
Gabe starts to walk with her.
Isn't it Mac and Cheese day at
Think they'll let you in?
Gabe smiles. They walk a bit. Then he grabs her hand. Sam
lets the moment happen. Squeezes his back. They look into
each others' eyes.
Don't even notice as Reggie and the Bofros pass them by.
98 INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY 98
Coco sits across from Helmut. He's got his eyes on a Youtube
clip from Sam's movie featuring Coco.
I know this may come as a shock,
but they don't give a fuck about no
Harriet muthafuckin Tubman...
Two hundred thousand views. Look
they even auto-tuned it.
With a click Helmut pulls it up.
AUTOTUNED COCO (YOUTUBE)
Muthafuckin Tubman! Muthatfuckin
Tubman! Don't give a fuck about no
Coco's not sure what to think.
Couple months, that's how long
shooting for an episode takes. We
recommend you cut your course load
in half to accommodate the
Trust me it it'll read "full-time"
in the episode. If...once we go to
series, we might have to figure out
a summer schedule.
For uh...classes and stuff. Won't
be graduating early anymore
Helmut shifts a contract over to Coco.
Five grand for the episode. Twenty
each if you get picked up for
series. What do you say?
Coco stares at the contract and back at Helmut.
Trust me sweetie it's the same out
there as it is in here. Good news
is? Against all that damn white you
and I? We pop. Think I wanted to be
the go-to producer for all things
Tell you what's worse though. Being
that broke Nigga stuck on the south
side of Chicago. Hundred and
Coco takes a deep breath. Stares right into his eyes --
99 EXT. MANCHESTER - DAY 99
Coco exits a building and spots Troy up ahead. He's flanked
by his former enemies turned supporters, Reggie and the other
BoFros. They all carry Troy's "New Hope" posters.
Made some new friends?
Troy shrugs as Coco grabs for his hand. He pulls away and
shares a glance with Reggie, who doesn't approve.
Come on Coco.
Coco starts to walk ahead.
My dad saw your videos. He's a
little worried about --
-- how it'll look. With your
campaign and all. What's your best
friend Reggie think?
Troy motions for Reggie to go on ahead.
We had fun, alright?
I get everyone else wants you to
win Troy. But do you?
Troy doesn't know how to answer that. He stares at the
triumphant, winning version of himself on his poster.
Coco's eyes shift longingly as she walks ahead - unsure of
who she is at the moment and who she will be in the next.
Watching her is Lionel and Sam - sitting with Gabe and
Sungmi. They both know that look well...
Hey Lionel. With me out and Troy
moving on - A/P's going to need a
new head of house.
Think there's a story there? Who do
you think it'll be?
Sam and Sungmi share a glance and stare right at Lionel.
Everyone loves you. Won't be hard
to rally the vote.
Yeah. We got you man.
Lionel takes in this moment. One of complete acceptance.
100 INT. FLETCHERS OFFICE - DAY 100
Fairbanks turns from the window in Fletcher's office to join
him at his desk. They're all ears as they look across to...
Let me get this straight. First you
tried to break up the Black house.
Then you took down the sister with
the little radio show. And after
all that, your kid throws a
Now wait a minute!
You thought you were having money
problems before? Wait till cable
gets their hands on this story.
Bill Maher is gon' fuck you up!
I have heard enough --
-- Wait I'm sorry. Look from where
I'm sitting this place is a
For one we got to show the events
that led up to the party --
-- That already happened.
Well yeah, but we can reenact --
Documentary term...Look, I can
start putting together an overall
deal today. I'm talking real money!
Turns out the one thing America
likes in it's reality more than
ignant Black folks, is crazy racist
Now you look here. This is an
honorable institution. The idea
that we would so much as entertain
this suggestion --
Fletcher holds his hand up. His turn to speak.
How much we talking?
Fairbanks' outrage turns to resignation as Helmut, the one
winner here smiles. Dollar signs in his eyes.
100 CUT TO BLACK. 100
Dear White People
Writers : Justin Simien
Genres : Comedy Drama