Amazon Cancels Clarence Thomas…During Black History Month

Leah Barkoukis

Leah Barkoukis@LeahBarkoukis|Posted: Mar 04, 2021 7:40 AM for

Source: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

For reasons it has not yet disclosed, Amazon pulled a documentary about conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas…during Black History Month. 

The film, “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words,” was removed from the streaming service, which had previously been available since October. 

The movie’s director, Michael Pack, told The Wall Street Journal no explanation was ever given, despite repeated requests for information. 

“Our distributor, who’s the one who made the deal with Amazon, has repeatedly asked them for explanations but they haven’t given any,” Pack told the Journal. “They have the right to pull anything from their site, and they don’t have to give an explanation. So it’s not a contract violation. But many people have complained, and they haven’t put it back up.”

The director said the documentary, which takes viewers on a journey through Thomas’ “complex and often painful life, dealing with race, faith, power, jurisprudence, and personal resilience,” according to the film’s description on PBS, was performing well and other less-popular documentaries are still available. 

Considering Thomas to be “the most important African-American leader in America today,” Pack said the move was especially concerning during Black History Month, when the achievements of black Americans, both liberal and conservative, ought to be celebrated.

Unfortunately, this is becoming a pattern for Amazon. 

If this episode sounds familiar, it’s because Amazon pulled a similar stunt last fall. Eli Steele’s “What Killed Michael Brown ?”—a critique of liberal social policies that was written and narrated by his father, the race scholar Shelby Steele —was slated to stream on Amazon in October, then held up for reasons the company never fully explained. Amazon eventually relented and made the film available, but only after these pages weighed in and made a fuss. […]

“I don’t think Amazon should get away with doing these things without suffering at least some PR consequences,” Mr. Pack said. “I think it’s great that the Steele film got reinstated after the controversy. Deplatforming will go on if people don’t write about it and complain about it.” (WSJ)

Films with alternative viewpoints aren’t the only thing Amazon is scrubbing. Last month the company also removed a book critiquing the transgender movement, “When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Movement,” by Ryan Anderson. 

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