This Strong Black Leads “A Great Day in Hollywood” campaign by Netflix recreates an iconic photograph to celebrate its African-American leads. Via Variety:
Netflix unveiled a brand image spot during Sunday’s BET Awards telecast that highlights black artists who work for the streaming giant.
The spot dubbed “A Great Day in Hollywood” was inspired by the famed 1958 photograph “A Great Day in Harlem” featuring 57 jazz legends — including Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, and Count Basie — on the stairs of New York brownstone snapped by photographer Art Kane.
The Netflix spot from director Lacey Duke features 47 black writers, showrunners, actors, and producers. The plan for the spot and the image campaign stemmed from Netflix’s Strong Black Lead initiative designed to foster an “ongoing, intentional focus to talk authentically with the black audience.” A photo similar to “Great Day in Harlem” was taken earlier this month by photographer Kwaku Alston to commemorate the gathering.
The debut comes just two days after Netflix was rocked by the abrupt departure of corporate communications chief Jonathan Friedland for what the company described as his “descriptive use of the N-word on at least two occasions at work.” The “Great Day in Hollywood” spot had been in the works for months as part of the larger campaign to highlight Netflix’s track record of commissioning groundbreaking shows rooted in black experience such as “Dear White People,” “She’s Gotta Have It,” and “Marvel’s Luke Cage.”
“It was a pretty magical couple of hours,” Duke said. “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! (Actor) 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.”