The Black sitcom show “Girlfriends” arrived on the streaming platform Netflix on Friday. The timing of the release is no coincidence; the television series originally aired 20 years ago to the date.
The Emmy nominated series was written and created by Mara Brock Akil, a veteran screenwriter and content creator having a spin-off show of the series “The Game” and creating “Being Mary Jane” on BET. Akil hosted a watch party on Instagram Live Friday for the sitcom with former cast members of the show and gave fans the chance to interact with her. Akil reminisced about episodes and the writing process of the show.
“One of the things I think we did on ‘Girlfriends’ was try to talk about the humanity of people,” Akil said.
The team responsible for releasing Black stories on the platform is Netflix’s Strong Black Lead. The sub group of Netflix was launched in 2018 and is composed of Black executives who work to enlarge the service’s content for people of color. So far, the team has employed 47 Black actors, writers, show runners, and producers across 20 shows.
This year the team established the Black Lives Matter collection which features over 45 titles of Black stories. The collection includes titles like “When They See Us” and “Dear White People.” The stories’ goal is not only to celebrate Black culture, but display the racial disparities and inequalities in the U.S.
Regan Anderson, a third-year student in FAMU’s School of Business and Industry, is an avid Netflix viewer. She said she thinks Black stories are necessary for the Black community.
“When we get to see ourselves [Black people] in the media it makes it more relevant, interesting, and relatable and I am glad that the younger generations will be able to experience some of the culture we were able to,” Anderson said.
#GirlfriendsonNetflix was trending on the social media platform Twitter as many fans tweeted about the show being released. Many fans gave the show praises for its ability to tell Black stories.
Twitter user @JasynBeKnowing tweeted, “Not only did I feel connected to the characters, I wanted to be Mara Brock Akil. I wanted to create funny tv about Black women. Girlfriends set the tone for my life #GirlfriendsonNetflix.”
The streaming service has all eight seasons available for viewers to binge watch. Netflix is scheduled to debut “The Parkers” on Oct. 1 and “Half & Half” and “One on One” on Oct. 15 on the streaming platform.