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Netflix Just Reached Peak Black

The streaming service brought 47 of its black actors together to re-create an iconic photo and make a bold statement about its stance on representation in Hollywood.

Posted on June 24, 2018, at 9:24 p.m. ET

Netflix brought its biggest black stars together to recreate the legendary “A Great Day in Harlem” photo.

Kwaku Alston/Netflix

The photo, captured by Kwaku Alston, includes stars from Netflix Originals Dear White People, Luke Cage, Orange Is the New Black, Glow, and more.

The photo re-creation is accompanied by this video, which premieres on TV at the 18th BET Awards Sunday.

View this video on YouTube

In the spot, directed by Lacey Duke and narrated by Stranger Things star Caleb McLaughlin, the brand boldly proclaims it's a new day in Hollywood where black representation isn't just a trend, but a mainstay: “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,” said McLaughlin. This follows news first reported by The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, June 22, that Netflix had fired its PR Chief, Jonathan Friedland, after using the n-word in a meeting.

The video also spotlights some of Netflix's biggest partners, such as Ava DuVernay, Spike Lee, and Lena Waithe.

“It was a pretty magical couple of hours,” said Duke in a statement. “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! It was probably the most overwhelming two hours of my career, haha. I was just so happy to be a part of history.”

The project was brought together by Netflix's Strong Black Lead initiative to highlight how much the streaming service has featured and will continue to feature black narratives, especially in its original programming sector.

Nicola Goode / Nicola Goode/Netflix

In total 47 actors, directors, and showrunners from 20-plus Netflix Original shows, films, and documentaries came together to create “A Great Day in Hollywood.”

As you can imagine, bringing together this many creatives in one space led to quite a few fun behind-the-scenes moments, which Netflix shared with BuzzFeed News.

Nicola Goode / Nicola Goode/Netflix

So much black girl magic!

Nicola Goode / Nicola Goode/Netflix

There's also this black AF moment where Alfre Woodard leads the group in singing "Lift Every Voice and Sing," aka the black national anthem.

View this video on YouTube

A great day in Hollywood, indeed.

Glen Wilson / Glen Wilson/Netflix


This post has been updated to include the news from The Hollywood Reporter about Netflix's PR Chief, Jonathan Friedland, who reportedly was fired from the company on Friday, June 22.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.