EXCLUSIVE: Netflix comedy Dear White People is the latest high-profile series to halt production as a result of COVID-19.
The series, which is produced by Lionsgate, has paused filming for two weeks after several team members tested positive for the virus. The show has been filming its fourth and final season in LA.
“Several team members of the Lionsgate television series Dear White People for Netflix have tested positive for COVID-19. They are currently in quarantine, and other staff members have been notified. We are following the extensive health and safety protocols we have in place, and the series will not be shooting for the next two weeks while quarantine measures are observed. The health and safety of our Dear White People team is our highest priority,” a Lionsgate spokesman told Deadline.
Over the weekend, Deadline revealed that Amazon’s Bosch had shutdown due to a positive COVID-19 test, joining the likes of HBO’s The Gilded Age, ABC’s Call Your Mother, Netflix’s The Witcher and Vikings: Valhalla, NBC’s Chicago Fire and Chicago Med, Fox’s The Resident and CBS’ Young Sheldon as well as many others.
Production shutdowns are becoming more regular as a new wave of Coronavirus infections grows around the country.
Based on Justin Simien’s debut indie feature, Dear White People is set against the backdrop of a predominantly white Ivy League university where racial tensions bubble just below the surface. The satirical series — which picks up where the 2014 Sundance hit left off – follows a group of Winchester University’s students of color as they navigate a diverse landscape of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness (or lack thereof) and activism in the millennial age.
The show stars Marque Richardson, Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, Antoinette Robertson, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori and Ashley Blaine Featherson.
Dear White People was originally set to shoot earlier this year but was hit by the initial COVID-19 production shutdown. Over the summer, Simien told Deadline that when the initial lockdown started they were a few months into their writers’ room.
He said that virtue signalling and the myth of meritocracy were set to be some of the key themes for season four and teased a “big aesthetic idea” behind the final episodes.
He added that he was sad that the show was ending but that it was time to close this story. “This is something I’ve been pouring every part of me into since 2005. The movie came out in 2014, but I’ve been living with this child for a long time and you know he’s a 15-year-old now or she’s a 15-year-old now or they’re a 15-year-old now. I’m proud of it,” he said.
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