HELENA, MT—In a surprising announcement earlier this week, Quantell Henderson, Co-President of the Helena chapter of Mute African-American Orators of North America released an open letter to Jeff Bezos, calling for more diversity on the Amazon Prime streaming platform.
The letter from MAAONA excoriated Bezos and Amazon for having an “Amplify Black Voices” genre on the popular streaming service, claiming that “not all black voices can be amplified equitably if some people lacked a black voice to amplify in the first place.”
In an email exchange with Les Bernadette, a cultural correspondent for the Let’s Digress News Network, Henderson elaborated, stating, “Look, we’re already a marginalized group as it is. This sort of categorizing people into sub-groups makes me sick to my stomach and it just needs to stop. Everyone needs to be included, especially those like myself and the other six of us in MAAONA country-wide. But these big companies likely won’t stop and just think they can do whatever they want, so that’s why we’re trying to bring awareness to the issue more broadly.”
Henderson went on to say that he has several strongly-worded emails ready to be sent to Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus, and Apple TV as well. “Since I can’t orate with my voice in the traditional sense, I have to orate through the power of the written word, and the use of the copy/paste feature,” Henderson said.
Update: In an interesting twist of events, the Peacock streaming service prophylactically responded to Henderson’s laments in a public statement indicating that they’re going to expand their “Black Voices” category to include white, Hispanic, and Asian voices.
“We get it and we hear you,” said Valerie Esposito, Peacock’s director of mobile app visual aesthetics. “The equitable way to resolve this is to include everyone who has never had a black voice into the genre highlighting black voices. After numerous staff meetings and social media polling, our solution is to add all of our content into the genre of Black Voices.”
After the statement was publicized, Peacock’s streaming volume took a 10% hit, meaning that now only 438 people actively view the streaming service’s content worldwide.
This is a breaking news story and we at the LDNN will update you as the news updates us.