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‘Dear White People,’ ‘When They See Us’ Seeing Large Viewership Increases

A new report from Parrot Analytics suggests that television viewers have an increased interest in two of Netflix's most socially-relevant series.


“When They See Us”

Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

Dear White People” and “When They See Us” are enjoying large viewership spikes as Americans seek out socially-relevant television content amidst the ongoing nationwide protests.

A new report from data firm Parrot Analytics noted that U.S. demand for “Dear White People” grew 329 percent over the last week, while “When They See Us” was up 147 percent compared to the previous week. The firm tracked demand for both series, which are available on Netflix, from May 27 to June 2. The third season of “Dear White People” and Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us” miniseries premiered in mid-2019.

Parrot Analytics reported on the increased interest in both series following a week of nationwide protests regarding the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white police officer in Minnesota last week.

“During a week of pain and protest, these series are finding a resurgence of demand,” Ashley Alleyne-Morris, Parrot Analytics’ partner insights director, said in a statement. “Whether it’s a satirical look at dealing with discrimination at majority white spaces (universities) or a true story about the miscarriage of justice faced by the Central Park Five, new audiences appear to be turning to these stories as a form of education and understanding of the black experience in America.”

While the data shows a sharp uptick in interest for the two series, it’s unclear exactly how many viewers are watching those shows. A Parrot Analytics representative told IndieWire that because Netflix does not regularly release viewership data for its titles, Parrot Analytics instead measures engagement via data points such as file sharing, downloads, social video, research, and social media.

Although the specific number of people who are tuning in to ”Dear White People” and “When They See Us” is unknown, it’s not particularly surprising that they’re seeing upticks in popularity, given their topical content and high quality. All three seasons of “Dear White People” and the “When They See Us” miniseries garnered significant attention at launch and both titles have been critically acclaimed. IndieWire’s Ben Travers praised the former show’s third season and “When They See Us” in his B+ and B reviews last year, respectively.

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