In the woke hours of June, the world witnessed one of the major movements against racial injustice in the history of the United States. People from all over the world showed solidarity towards supporting the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. People raised their voices and demanded justice for the police killing of an unarmed black man, George Floyd. Protests were organized in the United States and different parts of the world, followed by millions of people using the hashtag #blacklivesmatter in their online space such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
A few weeks into it since the movement first sparked attention, there was a sudden need to introspect and how it will impact the mindset of people and industries across the world. The Black Lives Matter Movement forced all of us to change the way we think while Media and entertainment industry took the responsibility to shed light on the long history of racial discrimination and injustice to educate everyone. Hollywood players such as Hulu, Amazon, Disney, Warner Bros, Fox Entertainment, HBO, Netflix, and YouTube came out strongly to support the movement. While some companies preferred to release a public statement, some pledged donations to support the efforts of those participating in addressing social injustice.
A tweet from YouTube was released, stating,
“We stand in solidarity against racism and violence. When members of our community hurt, we all hurt. We’re pledging $1M in support of efforts to address social injustice.”
In this regard, one of the important steps have been taken by Netflix, as it launched a wide collection of movies, TV series, and documentaries to US subscribers focused on ‘Black Lives Matter.’ As soon as users log in to the platform, a pop-up screen opens that displays the content of the Black Lives Matter collection. The collection includes ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ ‘Da 5 Bloods’, ‘Dear White People,’ ’13th’, and the Oscar-winning movie ‘Moonlight’ among several other titles. The collection also comprises of several themes such as ‘Black behind the Camera,’ ‘Black Comedy Icons,’ and ‘Black & Queer.’
In its official statement, Netflix tweeted,
“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.”
Launching this collection can be considered one of the major steps taken by a media and entertainment company to educate people and youth about the narratives of Black people. The collection has stories about the Black people narrated by them, unlike the decades of stereotypical representation and projection of Black people in the mainstream media. Such movies and documentaries will help to educate people about their culture, community, and struggles. Even if it reaches only a specific set of audience, the effort is still commendable, as it puts the spotlight on Black actors, movie makers, artists, directors, writers, and producers. This allows people to perceive other cultures and acknowledge diversity while empathizing with their experiences.
Similarly, supporting Black artists, Amazon Studios posted on its social media platform,
“Together we stand with the Black community — colleagues, artists, writers, storytellers, producers, our viewers — and all allies in the fight against racism and injustice.”
The media and entertainment industry raised their voices regarding the Black Lives Matter movement and took the initiative to educate everyone as well. Showing solidarity against racial injustice and discrimination by speaking up, raising voices, and taking actions, reflect a systematic introspection and reflection on parts of these giant media players within the entertainment industry.