Netflix Adds A ‘Black Lives Matter’ Category

Joshua RogersJoshua Rogers in Entertainment, Film, Netflix, TV
Published 11.06.20

I never understand the Netflix categories.

You always see articles – usually around Christmas time – about the ‘secret codes’ that unlock thousands of never-before-seen films and tv shows categories otherwise hidden to normal folk. Why? I pay my good £7.99 a month like everyone else – why aren’t these just accessible all the time?

Maddening.

On a more serious matter, after the death of George Floyd, Netflix, like many other companies, offered their full support to the Black Lives Matter movement, and rightly so. In the days after the killing, they tweeted: “To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter. We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.”

And following on from that, to presumably support the cause further and highlight the importance of racial justice stories, the platform has created a special ‘Black Lives Matter’ category, although it’s unknown whether this is permanent or just temporary.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Netflix said: “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.

“When you log onto Netflix today, you will see a carefully curated list of titles that only begin to tell the complex and layered stories about racial injustice and Blackness in America.”

Among the titles in the category are 13th, Spike Lee’s biographical drama Malcolm X, Barry Jenkins’s Oscar winner Moonlight, Michelle Obama’s documentary Becoming, When They See Us, as well as Netflix Original Dear White People.

The move was made as customers noticed the 2011 movie The Help spiked to No. 1 in the U.S. on the streaming service, a film that, despite following the experience of black housemaids in America has been criticised for focusing on a “white saviour” rather than their story.

Star Viola Davis said in 2018 that she regretted her role in the movie with actress Bryce Dallas Howard, who also appeared in the film, also recently suggesting that people watch something else instead.

“I’ve heard that #TheHelp is the most viewed film on Netflix right now!” she wrote on Instagram. “I’m so grateful for the exquisite friendships that came from that film — our bond is something I treasure deeply and will last a lifetime. This being said, The Help is a fictional story told through the perspective of a white character and was created by predominantly white storytellers. We can all go further.⁣”

I think it’s a great move, and particularly pertinent in today’s climate.

These shows and films can help educate people on the struggle and lives of black people and hopefully create a more understanding and sympathetic population.

Not only that, but there’s some cracking films in the list.

Images via Netflix

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