July 22nd, 2015, New York, NY – "White People," a first-of-its-kind documentary exploring whiteness and the intersection of race and immigration in an increasingly diverse America, airs tonight at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT on MTV. Produced, directed and hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas, the TV special is a presentation of MTV’s Emmy Award-winning Look Different campaign, which launched in April 2014 to illuminate biases on the basis of race, gender and sexual orientation. “White People” is also a project of Define American, a nonprofit organization cofounded by Vargas.
“If we want to challenge the very real issues of racebased bias we face in this country, we have to have an open and oftentimes uncomfortable conversation, devoid of politics and judgment,” said Rev. Ryan M. Eller, Executive Director of Define American. “I firmly believe that this special can fundamentally change the way we think about race in America.”
"White People" follows Vargas across the country as he uncovers the stories of five young white people from varying backgrounds including John, an ItalianAmerican resident from the Bensonhurst neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. The segment explores the evolution of the area, as Chinese immigrants have moved to the oncepredominantly white neighborhood. An exclusive clip from that segment can be viewed here.
“As we’ve seen in politics and current events in the past few months, race and immigration are inherently linked in the United States,” said Vargas, who was born in the Philippines. “Since starting Define American four years ago and traveling across the country, it became clear to me that much of the opposition to immigration reform is rooted in anxiety and fear among white Americans. This TV special aimed at white Millennials connects the dots between race and immigration and aims to increase empathy."
In addition to airing on MTV, “White People” is the first documentary MTV will simultaneously make available on MTV.com, the MTV App, MTV's Facebook page and its YouTube channel. It will also be available tomorrow morning on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and MTV's Video On Demand services. It will be promoted on social media using the hash tag #whitepeople. Digital press materials for “White People” are available here.
Define American is a media and culture organization using the power of stories to transcend politics and shift the conversation around immigrants, identity and citizenship in a changing America.