Netflix’s “Siempre Bruja” comes up short despite Strong Black Lead

Promotional poster for Netflix’s “Siempre Bruja/ Always a Witch”

Promotional poster for Netflix’s “Siempre Bruja/ Always a Witch”

Netflix has recently produced more movies and TV shows featuring Black protagonists. Its recent release of “Siempre Bruja” solidified the entertainment company’s goal to support strong Black leads. This 10-episode series is about an enslaved Colombian witch in the 1600s who time travels to 2019, with the lead character played by Afro-Latina actress Angely Gaviria.

The show was advertised as a telenovela-esque drama, and viewers on Twitter were here for seeing a dark-skinned Afro-Latina take the lead on a show. As a bonus, the series is originally in Spanish with English subtitles.

The release of the show also highlights an effort by Netflix to showcase focus on its Black audience with “Strong Black Lead.” According to The Los Angeles Times,“Strong Black Lead represents an intentional focus from Netflix to talk authentically with the black audience”.

The article also explains Strong Black Lead was formed by a group on Black executives at Netflix and interacts mainly through its Twitter handle @strongblacklead. The group recently began to produce a podcast hosted by writer Tracy Clayton called “Strong Black Legends.”

After it premiered on Feb. 1, viewers had much to say about the show’s plot, which featured racism and played-out tropes, leaving viewers feeling as though they had been deceived by the trailer released by Netflix.

On the U.S. version of the streaming platform, Netflix also changed the show’s title to the English translation of “Always a Witch,” much to viewers’ chagrin.

Despite Strong Black Lead interacting with viewers to build hype for the show, Netflix has not decided whether to renew the Siempre Bruja for a second season as of this story’s publication.