Amazon stops streaming Clarence Thomas documentary during Black History Month

Amazon | Reuters/Mike Segar

Amazon has stopped streaming a critically acclaimed PBS documentary on Justice Clarence Thomas, the only black justice currently serving on the U.S. Supreme Court, during Black History Month.

“This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location,” the Amazon Prime page for “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words” reads.  The film has a five-star rating on the platform.

Additionally, the DVD version of the documentary is no longer available for purchase on through the online retailer.  

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The documentary’s producer Michael Pack of Manifold Productions Inc. told The Blaze that the documentary was pulled from Amazon Prime around Feb. 8., just eight days into Black History Month.  The producer added that Amazon stopped streaming the documentary at its own discretion. 

On Jan. 31, Amazon announced that it “is kicking off Black History Month 2021 with a monthlong celebration that is rooted in our commitment to being a place where Black leaders want to grow their careers, as well as supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in the Black community.”

“We are committed to diversity and inclusion and always look for ways to scale our impact as we grow,” Amazon states on its diversity and inclusion page.

Amazon Prime is streaming four films on the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, a liberal icon and America’s first black Supreme Court justice.

According to Breitbart, Amazon Prime is also streaming two films on Anita Hill, who accused Justice Thomas of sexually harassing her during his confirmation hearing. 

A New York Times/CBS News poll after the Senate confirmation hearings in 1991 found that a majority of Americans were skeptical of the allegations against Thomas, who is one of the court’s more conservative justices. 

Last June, the tech giant banned the Christian conservative activist group Family Research Council from its AmazonSmile program. The program allows customers to choose a charity to receive proceeds from their purchases on recommendations from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC frequently labels conservative and Christian organizations as “hate groups.”

“While Amazon customers can use the AmazonSmile program to donate a portion of each purchase to left-leaning organizations like Planned Parenthood, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the Center for American Progress (and to be fair, to many right-leaning organizations, too), Amazon has decided to single out a few well-known conservative organizations like FRC and [Alliance Defending Freedom] from receiving part of the tens of millions of dollars the program raises each year from customers,” Kay Coles James, president of The Heritage Foundation, wrote in an op-ed at the time.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based Christian legal firm Alliance Defending Freedom, which has won several Supreme Court cases in recent years, was also banned in 2018 after SPLC labeled it as a hate group due to its biblical views on sexuality. 

In 2017, Amazon also banned D. James Kennedy Ministries from participating in the AmazonSmile program after it was labeled as a “hate group” by the SPLC.

Robert Netzly, CEO of Inspire Investing, expressed concerns in an op-ed piece for The Christian Post that Amazon wasn’t living up to its commitment to viewpoint diversity. He specifically called out Amazon’s board for recommending that shareholders vote against a resolution on viewpoint diversity. 

“Amazon has taken great pains to portray themselves as champions of diversity, and have made public statements about their supposed commitment to respecting diverse viewpoints,” Netzly asserted. “For example, their website proclaims that ‘diversity and inclusion are good for business — and more fundamentally — simply right.’”

“This begs the question, if Amazon is such a believer in diversity, why would its board recommend that shareholders vote against a resolution that would provide ‘a full evaluation of viewpoint bias and associated risks to ensure that Amazon is making balanced decisions and that it is acting consistent with its commitment to diversity?’” he asked.

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