“Moesha,” “Sister, Sister,” and more classic Black sitcoms come to Netflix in push for more Black representation
The streaming giant made the announcement on July 29 through its “Strong Black Lead” Twitter account.
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Netflix has acquired the rights to several classic Black sitcoms from the 90s and early 2000s and will be rolling them out until October. The new shows are Moesha, Sister, Sister, Girlfriends, The Parkers, Half & Half, The Game, and One on One.
The streaming giant made the announcement on Wednesday July 29, on its “Strong Black Lead” account on Twitter, which pays homage to Black lives lost to police violence, and lists in its bio the names of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Sandra Bland, and more.
The “Strong Black Lead” account was created in January 2018, but the recent protests for racial justice across the country have pushed Netflix and other media companies to focus more on diversity.
Netflix now offers a “Black Lives Matter” category of content, which highlights films, series and documentaries about racial injustice and the Black experience in America, like Dear White People, Moonlight, and When They See Us.
Netflix also pledged $5 million to Black creators, youth organizations and businesses as a way to support Black entrepreneurs. They funded organizations such as Ghetto Film School, Firelight Media and Black Public Media.
The announcement came paired with a message from many of the actors from these beloved shows, including Tia Mowry, Coby Bell, Pooch Hall and Tracee Ellis Ross. They also reminisced about their favorite and most iconic parts of their shows.
“I am beyond humbled and honored at how much the fans continue to ride hard for these shows years later and how it’s made a huge impact on the culture. These shows changed the face of television as we know it. And it helps for Black creators both in front of and behind the camera. It has provided us with being able to be in the homes of people worldwide,” the actors said collectively.
“The Goal of Strong Black Lead is to celebrate and lift up Black Hollywood,” Bradley Edwards, Content Acquisition Manager and Jasmyn Lawson, Strong Black Lead manager recently said in a statement.
“These shows made us laugh, and cry, and sing along with those catchy theme songs. And most importantly, we felt like we saw ourselves on screen, in some cases for the very first time. Every week we were able to tune in to see people, families and friends that looked like us and characters whose everyday ups and downs reflected Black life in an authentic way,” the pair added.
While there is plenty of excitement over this news, Black representation on Netflix could still improve. Netflix is still missing other classics such as Family Matters, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, and My Wife and Kids.