Nia Long has officially joined the cast of the upcoming Netflix comedy Dear White People. Long will recur in the series as Neika Hobbs, an African-American studies professor at Winchester University with a whip-smart intellect and unflappable confidence whose pulled-together professional life contrasts a more complicated personal one.
The upcoming half-hour comedy has received a 10-episode order, and revolves around a diverse group of students of color as they navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug. The series is described as a send up of “post-racial” America that also weaves a universal story about forging one’s own unique path.
Stephanie Allain (Dear White People), Yvette Bowser (Black-ish, Living Single), and Julia Lebedev (Dear White People) will serve as executive producers alongside Simien.
The series is based on the critically acclaimed indie film of the same name that that took theaters by storm in 2014. Simien created the initial concept trailer for the film using his tax refund. The trailer went viral on YouTube, garnering over a million views and $50,000 in donations from fans across the globe. The crowd funded film went on to win the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Talent at Sundance and an Independent Spirit award for Best First Screenplay.
Long is a staple actress in the black television and film community, and earlier this year was celebrated at the UPTOWN Honors Hollywood pre-Oscar gala. Most of us grew up watching her perform in classic roles such as John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood, Love Jones, The Best Man, Big Momma’s House, Soul Food, and Boiler Room to name a few. In addition to her numerous roles in television and film, Long appeared in the video for Kanye West’s Touch the Sky, and directed Yolanda Adams’s music video for This Too Shall Pass. Most recently, she appeared in the Best Man Holiday, Keanu opposite Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, and was recently in the short lived ABC television series Uncle Buck. Long has also joined the cast of Amazon’s Hand of God which is currently scheduled to return with it’s second season later this year. She recently wrapped shooting on indie feature film Roxanne Roxanne produced by Forest Whitaker, and will also star in Lifetime’s telefilm remake of Beaches.