Rachel Dolezal, the troubled former NAACP leader who claimed to be African-American, is the subject of an upcoming Netflix documentary that’s already causing major backlash.
Social media users are criticizing the streaming service for giving the 40-year-old a spotlight with a film that explores how she portrayed herself as African-American for years, despite being born biologically white.
“At the end of the day, #RachelDolezal was able to secure a Netflix special because of her white privilege,” wrote one Twitter user Thursday.
“It’s VERY important that we DO NOT watch @netflix #RachelDolezal doc,” chimed another. “We can’t give validity to her ‘plight.’ We vote w/ our views & $, even if you want to hate watch, it would ultimately justify Netflix giving her a voice. She could’ve been an ally w/o appropriating. Do better.”
“Sick to death of #RachelDolezal and apparently her kid is too,” added a Twitter user. “I understand that the documentary is a way to ‘explore the conversation’… but is this a ‘transracism’ and conversation we need to have?!!!”
Dolezal’s teenage son Franklin, who is African-American, is also seen openly criticizing his mother for seemingly embracing the growing media attention for her questionable behavior.
“I really do not want to focus on this for the rest of my life,” he said in the clip. “Why don’t you just let it go away?... This is going to affect more than just your life."
He then tells the camera, “I resent some of her choices and I resent some of the words she’s spoken in interviews… The more that I hear about it, the more that I talk to people about it, the more that it drains me.”
Netflix revealed that since the controversy erupted, director Laura Brownson and her production team have filmed with Dolezal, her sons and her adopted sister Esther.
“The Rachel Divide,” which is executive produced by Academy Award-winner Ross Williams, will premiere at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival beginning April 18.
The film will then be available for streaming April 27.