May 31, 2020
With many major U.S. cities under curfew due to civilian unrest and riots following the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of Minneapolis police on Memorial Day, Netflix, Disney, Hulu and several other Hollywood studios have taken to social media in support of peaceful protests.
Joining the SVOD services are Amazon Studios, Quibi, Lionsgate, HBO, Starz and Paramount Pictures, whose CEO Jim Gianopulos reportedly denounced the country’s systemic racism in a memo to staff.
“Too many members of the Black community have had their breath stolen from them through racial injustice,” Gianopulos wrote.
On its Twitter page, Netflix May 30 wrote that to say nothing about the issue would be akin to being complicit about the injustice.
“Black lives matter. We have a platform, and we have a duty to our Black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up,” the streaming video pioneer wrote.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek, executive chairman Bob Iger and chief diversity officer Latondra Newton May 31 released a joint statement to Disney employees.
“The recent killing of George Floyd as well as other instances of lethal attacks and harassment of unarmed black citizens in our nation continue to drive outrage and calls for action by people of all cultural backgrounds, including many of our employees,” they wrote. “Feelings of grief and anger cause us to confront the inscrutable idea that the lives of some are deemed less valuable — and less worthy of dignity, care and protection — than the lives of others.
“We intend to focus our efforts and resources to compassionately and constructively talk about these matters openly and honestly as we seek solutions. We intend to keep the conversation going, not just today, but for as long as it takes to bring about real change.”
Google-owned YouTube pledged $1 million to help fight social injustice. “We stand in solidarity against racism and violence. When members of our community hurt, we all hurt,” YouTube tweeted.
Hulu, whose former CEO Jason Kilar issued a separate staff memo on the topic at WarnerMedia, issued a social media post proclaiming support for social justice.
“We support Black lives. Today, and every day. You are seen. You are heard. And we are with you,” Hulu wrote.
HBO highlighted the late Black novelist James Baldwin regarding ignorance on the issue. “Neither love nor terror makes one blind: Indifference makes one blind,” wrote Baldwin.
“We stand with our Black colleagues, employees, fans, actors, storytellers — and all affected by senseless violence,” HBO wrote.
“Color of Change and the NAACP are among the organizations taking the lead in the fight for racial justice in America. We support them in their mission and you can too,” Starz tweeted.
Amazon’s video platform Twitch wrote on Twitter that black people “have been suffering under the oppressive weight of racism in America for far too long.”
“We cannot delight in the creative contributions of the Black community on Twitch and remain silent while they are in pain. We’re asking you to come together to and stand up for Black lives whether it’s through your time, treasure, or talent. Don’t let today’s injustice stop us from creating a better tomorrow for our community,” Twitch wrote.