If you’ve been on Netflix in the last week, you probably noticed that the 2011 film The Help has been trending steadily. In fact, it’s been in the Top 10 ever since protests over George Floyd’s death began. But now, Bryce Dallas Howard — one of the movie’s stars — is steering subscribers away from the movie. But her reason why is important, and something that every white viewer should pay attention to.
Taking to Instagram Howard wrote, “I’ve heard that #TheHelp is the most viewed film on @netflix right now! I’m so grateful for the exquisite friendships that came from that film — our bond is something I treasure deeply and will last a lifetime. This being said, The Help is a fictional story told through the perspective of a white character and was created by predominantly white storytellers. We can all go further.”
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Howard’s point is that Black stories are best told through the lens of Black characters and creators, a salient reminder for white viewers. “Stories are a gateway to radical empathy and the greatest ones are catalysts for action,” she continued. To that end, she dropped a list of films and shows that “center Black lives, stories, creators, and/or performers.”
Howard recommended programming for white viewers “seeking ways to learn about the Civil Rights Movement, lynchings, segregation, Jim Crow, all the ways in which those have an impact on us today.” So, what made Howard’s Top 10? The picks comprising her list are 13th, Eyes on the Prize, I Am Not Your Negro, Just Mercy, Malcolm X, Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland, Selma, Watchmen and When They See Us.
She also asked fans to add to the list, and they did not disappoint. “There’s also a documentary on Netflix about Marsha P. Johnson (a black trans woman who was a v important person during the stonewall riots) that I would totally recommend during pride month,” one fan wrote, referring to The Life and Death of Marsha P Johnson. Other suggestions included The Hate U Give, Do the Right Thing, The Watermelon Woman, 12 Years A Slave and so many more.
Seriously, carve out some time to read the thread.
Before you go, click here for movies & TV shows that educate about race and diversity.
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