As part of Netflix’s commitment to spotlighting Black creators and actors, the streaming giant unveiled a commercial for the Strong Black Lead campaign called “A Great Day In Hollywood.”
The TV spot, which debuted Sunday during the 2018 BET Awards, features 47 Black actors and creators behind Netflix’s biggest shows, including “Glow,” “Stranger Things,” and “Dear White People” among others.
“This is a new day, built from the ground broken by legends — a day for our generation to see untold experiences of our blackness,” “Stranger Things” star Caleb McLaughlin says a voiceover for the ad. “We’re not a genre because there’s no one way to be Black. We’re writing while Black. Nuanced and complex; resilient and strong. This is not a moment. This is a movement. We are strong Black leads. Today is a great day in Hollywood.”
McLaughlin is joined by the likes of Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay, Mike Colter, Alfre Woodard, Marlon Wayans, Lena Waithe, Laverne Cox and for the poignant piece, which is a modern take on the iconic 1958 Esquire magazine photo, “A Great Day in Harlem.” It celebrated the spirit of New York City, which was the world’s center for jazz during the genre’s “golden age.”
According to Netflix’s director of band editorial Maya Watson Banks, the campaign “represents an intentional focus from Netflix to talk authentically with the Black audience.”
“Strong Black Lead is relatable and real, always unapologetically Black, and assumes context and knowledge so that content doesn’t need to be watered down,” she told the Los Angeles Times.
“It was a pretty magical couple of hours,” director Lacy Duke told Esquire of the shoot. “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.”
In response to the commercial, many Twitter users felt moved.
This made me hella proud. pic.twitter.com/iKVNdVMH19
— denisha (@denishaaross) June 25, 2018
chills and tears and pride and overwhelmed is an odd ass euphoric feeling.
— LV x LV (@Cloud10LV) June 25, 2018
— Trenell Bryant (@Tr3n3llx) June 25, 2018
That’s at least $1.5 billion worth of blackness right there
— KAYLA (@KayKai247) June 25, 2018