Just as Issa Rae stated on the red carpet at the 2017 Emmys, HBO Max’s new social-first initiative is also “rooting for everybody Black.” The streaming platform’s latest social-first audience initiative, Scene In Black, focuses on connecting HBO and HBO Max’s Black talent, creatives, and fans, reports Variety.
HBO Max and HBO’s SVP of multicultural marketing, Jackie Gagne, describe the new initiative as “our destination for the telling of stories from the Black perspective.” Gagne continued, “HBO has a really rich history of amplifying Black stories and talent, and this is an evolution or an extension of that and it allows our team to really take our expertise to HBO Max and work to amplify the wonderful storytelling on the platform.”
Classic Black shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Wayans Bros., The Wire, and A Different World join newer shows like Insecure, I May Destroy You, and A Black Lady Sketch Show on the streaming platform “to celebrate the strides Black artists have made over time while focusing on the future.”
Gagne expressed, “For Scene in Black, we really see an opportunity to occupy the future. Not only will we highlight Black talent that’s in front of them behind the camera, on the platform, but we are also focused on highlighting the next generation of creators and creatives, and providing a platform for them to share their stories.”
— Scene in Black (@sceneinblack) September 13, 2021
Scene In Black joins other audience experiences like Human by Orientation—curated for the LGBTQIA+ audience— and HBO Max Pa’lante, which focuses on the Latinx community. Scene In Black will focus on making strides on Instagram and Twitter first through content franchises like: “The Chapter That Changed You,” where “talent shares a meaningful film or TV show that has impacted their personal and professional career,” “Note to Creatives Who Look Like Me,” where “talent shares 2-3 things they would tell their younger selves,” and “Hot Takes,” where “talent gives their ‘hot take’ opinion on topics that are typically reserved for the group chat.”
Scene In Black will also host an in-person event tied to the premiere of Insecure‘s final season and will have integration within HBO Max itself. Rae also showed her support for the new initiative.
“HBO has served as a home for our Insecure and our A Black Lady Sketch Show family and provided a space for me to produce the stories that I’ve longed to see,” she said in a statement. “It’s bittersweet that we’re at the end of Insecure, but with all the amazing content coming to HBO Max, I feel more confident knowing that Scene in Black can serve as a home and space for people who look like me.”