Remember how we just talked about the black influence and the non-black corporations that profit off of it? We were remiss not to include a special mention of Netflix, the on-demand Internet streaming service that it’s now impossible to mention without adding “and chill” after its name. And you know why? Black people.
Sure, Netflix was popular long before “Netflix and Chill” memes took over social media and Google search suggestions earlier this summer, but let’s be honest, no one is talking about “Hulu and chill” or “HBO Go and chill.” Black people brought an unprecedented amount of attention to this particular streaming service with a catchphrase that mainstream America, of course, was all too eager to adopt as well. And if there was a way to capture the monetary gain attributed to Netflix from the free promotion we gave them we’re sure the numbers would be astronomical. Which is why we want some retribution: Give us an all-black Netflix series, dammit.
Over the past few years Netflix original series have taken off. Next year, the streaming service is expected to double its number of original scripted shows. And while Netflix has been quick to add diversity with series like Master of None starring Aziz Ansari, the show has already been criticized for its use of white love interests for the east Asian lead. Meanwhile, we’re still over here like, what about us?
Yes, we appreciate the diversity of Orange is the New Black, and everyone knows it’s the black girls that make the show so interesting, but why not at least, in the name of good business, capitalize on the demographic that actually makes watching Netflix an event and offer up an original show relevant to their daily lives? There’s no shortage of criticism for the dramas with black leads currently on television which we’re grateful for but still find fault with for a number of reasons. If Netflix were smart, they’d take note of the viewers’ disgust that a lot of the lead black women on the small screen are mistresses or the questions offered up about why they all end up with white men and give one of its biggest consumers what they want — and hire someone who knows how to give it to them? May we suggest Ava DuVernay? Issa Rae?
Netflix has already racked up a long line of racist claims in its short history. An all-black series is not just smart money but smart PR. Except there’s that little problem that black people don’t seem to mind the allegations against the company and still choose to Netflix and chill without opting for no boo’d up relaxation without representation so the motivation to please us from there end is slim to none. And while we do appreciate the black shows the service has sense enough to license (Hey A Different World), it’s a shame that in the midst of developing 10 new feature films, 30 kids’ shows, 12 documentaries, and 10 stand-up specials for 2016, there’s still nothing exclusively for its biggest promoter. Come on Netflix, you owe us.