Rachel Dolezal Is Getting Her Own Netflix Documentary And People Are Not Happy

"I think it's in your best interest NOT to hate-watch that Rachel Dolezal doc."

Rachel Dolezal, a former civil rights leader who disguised herself as a black woman for years, is the subject of a new Netflix documentary titled The Rachel Divide.

Filmmaker Laura Brownson followed Dolezal for two years to shoot the documentary that will start streaming on Netflix on April 27, after premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.

The first trailer for The Rachel Divide dropped yesterday.

View this video on YouTube


And in the trailer we see Dolezal and her son Franklin struggling over Dolezal's decision to continue speaking out about race. "I really do not want to focus on this for the rest of my life," Franklin said. "And you think I do?" Dolezal replied.

"When something gets destroyed you have to rebuild it, you can't just pretend that it didn't happen and everything gets fixed," Dolezal told her son.

"She can identify whatever she wants to be 'cause that's her business," Franklin said. "But when it's put in the limelight, I don't think you should be pissing people off more than they already are unless you want to get bit in the ass from it."

People were not thrilled at the idea of Dolezal getting her own documentary.

I think it's in your best interest NOT to hatewatch that Rachel Dolezal doc.

So @netflix just announced the Rachel Dolezal documentary. It's called #TheRachelDivide and I'm in my office screaming 😭😭😭 why is this happening https://t.co/kMSObXjwaI

Some made jokes.

Rachel Dolezal: “That’s some nice black culture you got there.”

Netflix: *Announces Rachel Dolezal documentary* Black folk: *insert confused white man blinking gif* Mo’Nique:

*The opposite of God’s plan starts playing* https://t.co/unqRphE55i

And others brought up more serious issues about the matter.

Her son looks so sad and frustrated in that clip, and I have so much pain and contempt in my heart that she seems more selfishly absorbed in this redemption documentsry than she is concerned for his wellbeing in all this.

There are millions of black femmes and non-binary people in the world that deserve to be heard and shared and the fact that I have to even see her name on my screen makes me so so so angry.

You can argue whether or not this doc needed to be made, but all I see from this clip is a mother intentionally putting her child through anguish for purely selfish reasons. This woman can’t even give her black son the respect and support he deserves! https://t.co/I09hxiEMcP

Netflix even jumped into the Twitter conversation and said, "Rachel Dolezal did not receive any payment for this project."

@mattnicholas @JoyAnnReid (2/2) wanted to explore Dolezal’s life as a microcosm for a larger conversation about race and identity. The film is focused not just on her life but on the larger conversation, including people who see her actions as the ultimate expression of white privilege.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Netflix for further comment.

"In making the film, I came to a deeper understanding of the raw nerve that Rachel hits in our society, but I also learned that her motivations to identify as she does are far more complicated than most realize," Laura Brownson told Vulture.

Topics in this article

Skip to footer