Amazon Prime adds and removes titles every week.
Senate Republicans are demanding to know why Amazon Prime stopped streaming a documentary about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. And they are baselessly accusing the company of discriminating against conservatives.
On Thursday, Republican Sens. James Lankford of Oklahoma and Tom Cotton of Arkansas released a letter to Amazon CEO Jeffrey Bezos condemning his company for removing "Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words," a 2020 PBS documentary. The letter was signed by 17 other GOP senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Whip John Thune.
"We write concerning Amazon's latest effort to target conservative Americans," they charged. "On February 8, 2021, in the middle of Black History Month, Amazon removed from its streaming service the critically acclaimed film, Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words-a documentary about the inspirational life of Justice Clarence Thomas, one of our greatest living Americans and the longest-serving African American in the history of the United States Supreme Court."
Thomas, who was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1991 on a bare 52-48 vote following multiple accusations of sexual harassment, has been described as the man who "defines the right wing of the United States Supreme Court."
While Amazon has not commented on the Thomas documentary, the letter's authors seem unaware that the service adds and removes films and television programs every week, as per the terms of licensing agreements. Multiple online sites provide monthly lists of the programs coming and going.
In February alone, Amazon also stopped offering the 2017 "Baby Looney Tunes" series, a 2001 documentary series about the history of jazz, and "Salad Days: A Decade Of Punk In Washington, DC." No senators have demanded an explanation for any of those removals.
Still, the GOP senators cited their "jurisdiction over issues relating to antitrust, technology, the First Amendment, and censorship" to demand Amazon explain its programming decisions.
The letter concluded by warning Bezos, "Please provide your written response as soon as possible, but no later than 5:00 PM on May 13, 2021."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.