The Netflix homepage divides streaming titles into a handful of different classifications, from “Romantic Movies” to “TV Comedies,” “New Releases,” and more, and today marks the launch of a new Netflix label: “Black Lives Matter.” The streaming giant has announced it is curating dozens of films and television series created by black storytellers under the label in an effort to continue highlighting media about the Black experience. The classification arrives as protests over the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and more continue across the nation.
“When we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ we also mean ‘Black storytelling matters,'” Netflix wrote in a statement. “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.”
Netflix’s “Black Lives Matter” collection has launched with 47 titles, including Ava DuVernay’s acclaimed Netflix originals “13th” and “When They See Us.” The Netflix original series “Dear White People” and “She’s Gotta Have It” are also included. Films include Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight,” Spike Lee’s “School Daze” and “Malcolm X,” Dee Rees’ “Mudbound,” and Liz Garbus’ Nina Simone documentary “What Happened Miss Simone?”
The streaming giant issued a statement May 30 in support of Black Lives Matter, making it one of the first major media companies to speak out amid the George Floyd protests. Netflix wrote in a statement: “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.”
In the midst of the protests, Netflix has also made DuVernay’s “13th” documentary available to stream for free on YouTube. The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature. The synopsis reads: “Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.”