MTV, as part of its ongoing “Look Different” anti-bias campaign, and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas, have joined forces to present “White People,” a first-of-its-kind documentary exploring race, whiteness, and how young white people perceive their racial identity in an increasingly multiracial America.
The film was produced in collaboration with Vargas’s nonprofit, Define American, which uses the power of stories to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity and citizenship in a changing America.
“White People” follows Vargas across the country as he uncovers the stories of five young white people from varying backgrounds, as well as many more young people who participated in conversations at their local schools and community centers about race.
The documentary premieres Wednesday, July 22 at 8pm ET /PT on MTV, and will simultaneously be made available on MTV.com, the MTV App, MTV’s Facebook page and its YouTube channel, as well as the following morning on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and MTV’s Video On Demand services.
“We saw last week the dire effects racism gone unchecked has on our communities. The need for an honest and open conversation about the roles race and white privilege play in our society is more needed than ever,” said Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define American and founder/editor of #EmergingUS, an upcoming digital magazine in partnership with the Los Angeles Times that will cover race, immigration and identity, as well as white Americans as an emerging racial minority.
Vargas added: “Race is a sensitive subject no matter who you are and our goal with the documentary is to treat each person, story and community featured in the documentary with the utmost respect, all while exploring what race means to them.”
“Whiteness often remains unexamined in conversations about race in this country, even as it acts as the implicit norm against which other racial identities are judged,” said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. “By shining a spotlight on whiteness, we hope ‘White People’ will serve as a powerful conversation starter that encourages our audience to address racial bias through honest, judgment-free dialogue.”
Well, you can find out for yourself right here, right now. Following its broadcast premiere this evening, MTV has made the full documentary available online (especially for those without cable TV who are curious enough to want to check it out). Watch it in its entirety below – it’s just over 41 minutes long: