Clarence Thomas documentary dropped from Amazon for Black History Month

Amazon pulled the documentary from its streaming service without explanation.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

One would think a documentary about the only black justice currently serving on the U.S. Supreme Court would be available, nay, featured during Black History Month. Amazon has other ideas. It removed the PBS documentary “Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words.”

The film was released in January 2020 and aired in May on PBS, scarcely a purveyor of right-wing productions. Nonetheless, it appears to have been pulled nationwide from Amazon Prime’s streaming service.

In New York, the video doesn’t show up at all on streaming. In Denver, Tristan Justice of The Federalist writes on Feb. 27 that when he chose the title, the text “This video is currently unavailable to watch in your location,” appears. Breitbart also reports the video is down.

The film was made by distinguished documentary producer Michael Pack, who was later appointed CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, the parent company of Voice of America (VOA), by the Trump administration.

As far as DVDS of the documentary go, Amazon says it’s temporarily out of stock, though the film’s production company, Manifold Productions, has plenty of copies it could supply Amazon.

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Breitbart notes that it’s even more curious that the Thomas documentary isn’t available given that “Amazon Prime created an entire Amplify Black Voices page on its site that ‘feature[s] a curated collection of titles to honor Black History Month…”

Several documentaries on liberal Supreme Court justices are available to stream, including on Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court justice. There are even two films on Anita Hill, who accused Clarence Thomas of sexual misconduct.

The Thomas documentary, for those who haven’t seen it, is less political, than personal – the story of the man behind the gown, who rose from poverty in the segregated South, as told in his own words. The film received a 99% audience approval score on Rotten Tomatoes.

National Review said, “The two-hour feature tracks his life chronologically, filling in stories from his book with pictures of his inauspicious beginnings in rural Georgia, his school days living with his grandparents in Savannah, his education, and his career.”

It’s tempting to blame Amazon’s actions on hostility to Thomas’s politics, but it may equally be antagonism for Pack, possibly even the result of a personal vendetta. As Byron York writes in the Washington Examiner on Feb. 4, the mainstream media had it in for Pack, particularly two news outlets – National Public Radio and the Washington Post.

Both NPR and the Post had personal connections to Voice of America, which Pack took over. John Lansing was acting chief of the U.S. Agency for Global Media before Pack’s nomination and moved to NPR to become CEO.

“The other outlet that was extremely critical of Pack was the Washington Post, where Donald Graham, husband of the VOA chief who resigned ahead of Pack’s arrival, Amanda Bennett, was the paper’s former publisher and chief executive,” York writes.

The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.

While Pack didn’t criticize personally any of those who were fired from VOA, the mismanagement that he exposed at the organization could not but have rankled the former executives.

York says that “a group of Democrats” viewed the agency as “rightfully theirs and should not be run by an outsider.”

It is clear that Pack got under the Democrats’ skin. “Michael Pack has the distinction of being the very first person fired by the Biden administration. On Inauguration Day, the new president fired Pack before taking action on the pandemic, the economy, or immigration,” York writes.