Netflix Producing Docu-Series on Black NASCAR Driver Bubba Wallace

Netflix is in production on a documentary series following NASCAR Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace as he competes for the newly formed 23XI Racing team.

The series will take viewers behind the scenes of the 2021 NASCAR season through the eyes of the only Black driver at the top level of the sport, and will explore Wallace, 23XI Racing, and NASCAR’s efforts to advocate for inclusion and equality in racing and beyond.

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Following the murder of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer last year, NASCAR banned display of the Confederate flag at sanctioned events.

When Wallace publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement, calling for racial justice reform within law enforcement, he allegedly received myriad threats, and reported seeing a noose hanging from his service garage (though it turned out to be a rope tied to serve as a handle in a way common for such doors).

Netflix Bows ‘Black Lives Matter’-Themed Content Collection

Netflix has again taken the lead on a social issue. The platform June 10 announced the launch of a new content category focusing on social justice and Black Lives Matter. The category includes 45 movies, TV shows and documentaries.

Content includes Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods (debuting June 12); Ava DuVernay’s 13th and When They See Us and Mudbound; TV shows “Orange Is the New Black”; “Dear White People”; and Barry Jenkins’ Oscar-winning Moonlight, among others.

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“When we say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ we also mean ‘Black storytelling matters,’” Netflix said on a social media post. “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.”

Netflix is no stranger to spearheading social awareness of inequality in America and worldwide. The streamer was also one of the first to set aside funding ($100 million) for content contractors and production personnel affected by COVID-19.

“To be silent is to be complicit. Black lives matter,” Netflix said on a May 30 post. “We have a platform, and we have a duty to our black members, employees, creators and talent to speak up.”

BET Unveils Programming to Address Systemic Racism, Violence Faced by Black People in America and Possible Solutions

ViacomCBS’s BET June 2 announced a series of programming addressing systemic racism, the violence faced by black people in America and the solutions it claims can help move the country forward. BET is utilizing its linear TV and over-the-top video platforms to deliver the programming.

Scott Mills, president of BET, said the programming underscores a critical need for change in America, as evidenced by the careless murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the tragic history of systemic and lethal racism and inequality in this country.

For the month of June, BET will air a series of programming specials to provide information, insights and strategies that spark meaningful dialogue and help provide solutions to eradicate the racial inequities plaguing our society.

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“We stand in steadfast solidarity with George Floyd’s family, the many victims of racist brutality, and those who are using their voices and platforms to challenge it,” Mills said in a statement. “There are no easy solutions for these systemic issues of racism, injustice, and trauma. BET is leveraging every platform and resource at our disposal to support and inform our community and help identify strategies and viable solutions in this time of crisis.”

The first special airs June 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. “Justice Now: A BET News Special,” hosted by Marc Lamont Hill, feature dialogue with George Floyd’s family, former NBA player Stephen Jackson, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), singer John Legend, rapper Tip “T.I.” Harris, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, activist Tamika Mallory, NAACP President Derrick Johnson, Princeton University Department of African American Studies Chairperson Eddie Glaude, Scholar Peniel E. Joseph, Emerald Garner (daughter of Eric Garner), youth activists Michael McDowell and Luis Hernandez and other African American voices in activism, politics and entertainment to reflect on the killing of Floyd on Memorial Day, the protests that have ensued and systemic racism that have led us to where are today.

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BET News will also produce “Justice Now: A BET Town Hall,” a special virtual telecast that will give voice to the collective grief, anger, fear, needs and hopes of our community and feature community leaders and activists to share their views on the reforms necessary in America’s political and criminal justice systems and the importance of voting at state and federal levels. The panel of experts will also provide tangible solutions for sustainable change. This virtual Town Hall will air later in the week.

Additionally, on June 19, BET will air a presidential forum with President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden invited to “face black America” on national television to address their concerns. Interviewed individually, Trump and Biden will be asked to address a range of critical issues, including the institutional racism that has led to disparities in housing, health, income and the law enforcement and criminal justice systems. They will be asked to provide their specific plans to improve these issues and move America forward.

Netflix, Disney, Hollywood Jump on ‘Black Lives Matter’ Bandwagon Following George Floyd Protests

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.

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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.

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“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.