Rachel Dolezal's Son Speaks Out About His Mom in a New Netflix Doc

'The Rachel Divide' will center on Dolezal's controversy and the people in her life who got dragged into it.
March 8, 2018, 6:57pm

Rachel Dolezal has mostly disappeared from the public eye in the past few years. Back in 2015, the former NAACP leader became the center of a nationwide media frenzy after it was revealed she was pretending to be black, but after some infuriating interviews and a couple of dark story turns, the world collectively sighed, shook its head, and tried to just moved on. But Dolezal hasn't moved on—she's continued to vehemently defend her position as a "trans-racial" black woman to everyone who will stop to listen or flip through her memoir, In Full Color.


Over the past two years, filmmaker Laura Brownson and her crew have followed Dolezal and her family through her ongoing, unsuccessful quest for legitimacy, and on Thursday Vulture premiered the first clip from Brownson's documentary, The Rachel Divide—and the thing is pretty bleak.

All judgments about Dolezal herself aside, her story is supremely sad for the people in her life who got dragged into the controversy, like her sons. The two-minute clip centers on Dolezal's relationship with her biological son, Franklin, who seems unsurprisingly hurt and resentful about his mother's unwillingness to just give it up and move on.

"I really do not want to focus on this for the rest of my life. Why don't you just let it go away?" Franklin says as Dolezal tries to defend herself. "This is going to affect more than just your life."

"I resent some of her choices," Franklin explains to the camera later. "And I resent some of the words she's spoken in interviews."

The full-length documentary is set to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival next month before landing on Netflix. The idea of a documentary about Dolezal has already started to stir up controversy with some users who would rather see Netflix putting its money toward someone a little less "fraudulent and problematic," but Netflix jumped to defend the choice, saying that the doc isn't just focused on Dolezal but "on the larger conversation" about race and identity.

In any case, The Rachel Divide is scheduled to hit the streaming service on April 27 whether we want it or not. Give the clip a watch above.

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