As the Black Lives Matter movement continues to gain steam, brands are stepping up to show their support. When the protests first began at the end of May, companies like Netflix put out statements. These proclamations supported the movement and stated that, as a company, it recognized a responsibility. Now Netflix has gone a step further, using its platform streaming into millions of homes to highlight the work of Black creatives and TV shows and movies that address systemic racism. They are grouped into Netflix's "Black Lives Matter" category, which it rolled out on Wednesday, June 10.
In Netflix's original tweeted statement, dated May 30, 2020, the company said, "We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up." But the company also has a wealth of educational material ready for streaming. Storytelling is a form of telling history, both from the past and the present lived experience. And Netflix has been on the leading edge of telling the stories of people of color, from the Oscar-winning Roma to Mudbound.
However, audiences have not taken advantage of what Netflix has to offer, instead the problematic but feel-good film The Help rose to the top of Netflix's most-watched list amid the protests. The resulting Twitter firestorm caused actress Bryce Dallas Howard to speak up and suggest far better choices of movies to meet this moment.
Whether Netflix's decision to make a Black Lives Matter collection was spurred on by this is unclear, but, notably, The Help is conspicuously absent from the list.
Netflix's tweeted statement introducing the collection reads in part:
When we say “Black Lives Matter,” we also mean “Black storytelling matters. With an understanding that our commitment to true, systemic change will take time – we’re starting by highlighting powerful and complex narratives about the Black experience.
Here are the titles currently included in the collection.
- All Day and A Night
- American Son
- Bobby Kennedy for President
- Dear White People
- Get on the Bus
- Imperial Dreams
- Jewel's Catch One
- LA 92
- Let It Fall
- Luke Cage
- Malcolm X
- Miss Virginia
- Oprah Winfrey Presents: When They See Us Now
- Orange Is The New Black
- Remastered: Devil at the Crossroads
- Remastered: The Lion's Share
- Remastered: The Two Killings of Sam Cooke
- Remastered: Who Killed Jam Master Jay?
- Remastered: Who Shot the Sheriff? A Bob Marley Story
- Rodney King
- School Daze
- See You Yesterday
- Self-Made: Inspired By The Life Of Madam C.J. Walker
- Seven Seconds
- She's Gotta Have It
- She's Gotta Have It (TV series)
- Strong Island
- Teach Us All
- The Black Godfather
- The Innocence Files
- They've Gotta Have Us
- Time: The Kalief Browder Story
- Trigger Warning with Killer Mike
- What Happened Miss Simone?
- When They See Us
- Who Killed Malcolm X?
- Zion: Body of Strength
Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods will also join the Black Lives Matter collection when it releases on Friday, June 12.