Degrassi: Next Class Season 2 Is Bringing the Black Lives Matter Movement Into the High School Hallways

Exclusive: The longrunning Canadian teen drama returns to Netflix on Friday, July 22, and is tackling in racism in a new way

By Tierney Bricker Jul 18, 2016 6:00 PMTags

Once again, Degrassi: Next Class is going there.

The longrunning Canadian teen drama returns for its second season on its new home, Netflix, on Friday, July 22, and they are bringing one of the world's most current hot-button issues into the high school hallway: the Black Lives Matter movement. 

In E! News' exclusive sneak peek from the first episode of the 10-episode season, viewers will get to see the scene that sets the racism storyline, that will play out over the course of the 10-episode season, in motion. And it all starts with a game of volleyball and a rivalry between the teams at Degrassi and Northern Team, which team captains Frankie (Sara Waisglass) and Shay Powers (Reiya Downs) unknowingly take too far. 

So how does a seemingly innocent high school sports feud end in claims of racism and a protest? Press play on the  exclusive video above to find out. 

Why Degrassi: Next Class Decided It Was Time to Do Another School Shooting Episode

In an interview with The Canadian Press, star Sara Waisglass sounded off on the extremely topical storyline, saying, "I don't think we've ever really covered racism in this way, especially because it's not someone blatantly being racist because they know they're being racist. My character just doesn't understand that her act is racist and that's, I think, a really cool way to tell a story—a villain who doesn't know she's a villain."

Since its move to Netflix from TeenNick in 2015, showrunner Sarah Glinski said the show has been given even more encouragement to take their storytelling to the next level.

They've really just given us the opportunity to tell any teen story that we want and talk about anything that teens are talking about in the way teens talk about them," she told E! News. "There's been no restrictions put on us. Obviously, because it's Degrassi we always want to tell these stories in a way that doesn't sensationalize them, we want to tell them in the truest, most emotional way possible. I would say there's nothing we wouldn't touch and we're excited to tackle it all in a very realistic way."

Degrassi: Next Class season two will be available to stream beginning Friday, July 22 on Netflix. And in case you need a refresher on season one, watch the musical recap, narrated by Stefan Brogren (aka Principal Simpson!), below, to catch up.

Degrassi: Where Are They Now?

Latest News