The World Wide Web swiftly responded when Netflix released the controversial trailer for the new Good Times animated series. One of the loudest voices included The NAACP, which wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter about its concerns about the series.


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The guest column, authored on April 11, discussed how the original 1970s live-action series “conjures notions of familiar fabric and community cohesion, amid challenges of generational poverty and stifling social policies that perpetuate inequitable cast conditions.” 

Now, if you haven’t seen it, watch it because the trailer for the animated series gave viewers something vastly different, “largely driven by drugs, violence and discord,” from the POV of the NAACP’s column. “As a leading organization for social justice and civil rights, the NAACP was called on to take action and issue a response,” the organization declared. “In an effort to gain a more cmoplete and clear understanding of the creative direction for the new series, executive produced by the late Norman Lear, widely recognized as the creator of the original, alongside basketball great Stephen Curry and Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane, the NAACP requested screeners of full episodes. Netflix declined.”

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Then the NAACP contacted the producers and inquired into their vision for the series. They went on to add they were told “there was a deliberate effort to ‘push the envelope’ in the storytelling and tonality.’” Oh, got it.  “We were told about real-life events that informed the basis for certain episodic elements, and we were reminded that the mandate of the adult animation genre is to sensationalize and exaggerate realties,” the organization wrote in their column. “…But we wonder whether the historical relationship between Hollywood and the Black community should create caution about the use of distorted imagrey and narratives that further pervert the representation of a people.”

“…Renderings of Black life in media often serve to buoy the artificiality of white supremacy, as the NAACP explores in our media guide,” the organization went on to add. “While we continue to engage with media institutions to encourage reform, we also call upon our constituents to develop greater discernment in their engagement. We must elevate our consciousness for media consumption. Keen awareness of the power and consequences of media will lead us to more informed choices and, in turn, lead the industry to make necessary adjustments.”

Good Times premiered on Netflix last week. The biggest streamer still feels the wide backlash from this reimagining, from many who are outraged and disheartened as fans of the original. The critical reactions that include confusion and disappointment question even the attempt for an animated take to compare with the original, groundbreaking sitcom.

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