MTV wants to show you how hard white people have it. Or, rather, how hard some white people think they have it. According to a posting on Craigslist, the internet machine where you can find hookups and old couches, as well as corroborating news reports about the project, the network is planning to make a documentary about what it's like to be a white person.
A casting company is actively seeking white people who want to talk about their white people problems:
Are you white? Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear from you.
Is race an issue in your family, community or school? Is something making you question possible advantages you've had as a white person? Are you being discriminated against for being white? Are you having a problem with race on social media? Is something happening in your life that's making you think a lot about race, or what it means to be white?
People who bare their souls and lives on national television are a special breed (see: any woman who is a Real Housewife). And white people who feel like they're "being discriminated against for being white" and decide to go on television to voice it might be even more special.
While MTV has a history of bringing a dramatic spotlight to white people problems in shows like The Hills, Laguna Beach, and various incarnations of the Challenge, this project is a little different.
Jose Antonio-Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, filmmaker, and immigration advocate is directing the doc. Vargas has been an active voice in conversations surrounding race and American identity. He is an undocumented immigrant and has endured xenophobic and bigoted attacks because of his immigration status, which he thinks is hypocritical.
"Save for Native Americans, who owned this land, and African-Americans, whose forced migration built this country, we are a country of immigrants who are always wary of newer immigrants," he told Vice in July. "White is a social construct, like Black. And with young immigrants (mostly Latino and Asian, from all ethnicities) remaking our country, the question is: how do you define American?"
For this project, it seems like Vargas will be tapping into that same idea. Vargas's sounds not unlike a documentary called The Whiteness Project. Though its unclear if Vargas's subjects will have the same kind of self-awareness that he does.