Netflix has endured a recent controversy involving its top PR person getting fired for using the n-word on two occasions behind closed doors. In the wake of the firing of Jonathan Friedland, the media giant rolled out a new ad that highlights its original programming and how it gives voice to the Black experience across the board.
The ad was conceived and created months ago and had already been scheduled to air during the BET Awards when on Friday Netflix’s long-time communications chief Jonathan Friedland was ousted for using the N-word on two separate occasions.
In light of the controversy, I hear Netflix brass considered not proceeding with the spot this weekend but ultimately opted against it.
The spot, inspired by the legendary 1958 photo A Great Day in Harlem, which featured prominent jazz musicians of the time, was directed Lacey Duke, with Kwaku Alston taking a photo.
“It was a pretty magical couple of hours,” Duke said. “All these amazingly talented, beautiful individuals in one space being supportive and just looking stunning together, all here to pull off this one take wonder! Alfre Woodard even lead everyone in an epic rendition of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ before we started shooting. It was beautiful, and in a flash it was over. It was probably the most overwhelming two hours of my career. I was just so happy to be a part of history.”
Narrated by Stranger Things actor Caleb McLaughlin, the spot features Luke Cage‘s Mike Colter, directors Ava DuVernay and Spike Lee, Lena Waithe, Laverne Cox and several others.
Netflix is taking on the challenge of providing audiences with shows and events that effectively and fairly depict the Black experience by way of its “Strong Black Lead” initiative.
Check out the extra-woke ad below.
Photo: Screen Capture