Leave it to Netflix to release one of the most iconic and powerful ads television has ever seen. At the 2018 BET Awards, the streaming behemoth debuted a brand new advertisement featuring 47 of their black actors, directors, and creators, including Ava DuVernay, Lena Waithe, Spike Lee, Logan Browning, Alfre Woodard, and Laverne Cox. Directed by Lacey Duke, the minute-long clip was an homage to the famous 1958 photo “A Great Day in Harlem,” and was rightfully titled “A Great Day in Hollywood.”
Although the promo has been in the works for months, the release comes on the heels of the recent termination of corporate communications chief Jonathan Friedland, who had used the N-word on multiple occasions. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming site debated whether or not to pull the spot from the airing original schedule due to the incident but eventually decided to proceed, feeling that it would be “wrong to erase the work of so many people of color” because of Friedland’s inappropriate actions.
The campaign is part of Netflix’s larger Strong Black Lead initiative, which is designed to represent “an intentional focus from Netflix to talk authentically with the black audience.” Over the years, the company has been applauded for producing a crop of content that showcases diversity, and this video beautifully showcases the incredible amount of talent black creators have long been sharing with the world.
The behind-the-scenes video of everyone singing during the photo shoot is also a sight to behold:
Thank you, Netflix, for seeing the value in representation and inclusion and for actually doing something about it with an ever-growing constellation of stories that amplify diverse voices. Never stop.