It looks like Netflix will do nearly anything to make you watch their movies, including advertising Black actors who have a minor role in the film. Is it marketing or racist tactics?
The Guardian explains that the streaming serviced rolled out a new algorithm "to begin serving up personalised images to its now 137 million subscriber-base. 'Artwork personalisation' became a priority after the company’s own research proved that it was the biggest influencing factor on a viewer deciding what to watch, constituting 82% of their focus."
Twitter user Stacia L Brown claimed she was baited into watching an uber white film because of a photo with the Black actors who had minor roles. She wrote, “Other Black @netflix users: does your queue do this? Generate posters with the Black cast members on them to try to compel you to watch? This film stars Kristen Bell/Kelsey Grammer and these actors had maaaaaybe a 10 cumulative minutes of screen time. 20 lines between them, tops.”
Netflix responded to the story, saying, “We don’t ask members for their race, gender or ethnicity so we cannot use this information to personalise their individual Netflix experience. The only information we use is a member’s viewing history.”
Nonetheless, it still feels like "creepy marketing." The question is, when a white person is scrolling through Netflix and they see a Black film, will the minor white characters pop up?
We doubt it.