Updated 7:30 p.m.
Louis Farrakhan is best-known for his decades-long leadership of the Nation of Islam and for the anti-Semitic invective and conspiracy theories he has frequently preached. He is less well-known for his surprisingly distinguished music career. He perhaps hoped to change his perception with the help of Netflix — but the streaming giant isn’t having it.
Farrakhan announced on Twitter on Monday and Tuesday that a documentary, “My Life’s Journey Through Music,” will be available on the streaming giant on August 1. But a Netflix spokesperson told the Forward that it isn’t happening.
“This film will not be released on Netflix,” the spokesperson said. “Due to an internal miscommunication, it appeared to be scheduled for release on Netflix, but it is not. We apologize for any confusion this has caused.”
The Independent, a British newspaper, had included a documentary titled “The Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan: My Life’s Journey Through Music” in its list of Netflix’s upcoming August releases in the United Kingdom.
The documentary is likely adapted from Farrakhan’s seven-album box set “Let’s Change the World,” which was released in March. The album features collaborations with several prominent artists, including Stevie Wonder, Snoop Dogg, Common, Chaka Khan, Rick Ross and Damian Marley.
The box set also includes a DVD, which includes both behind-the-scenes footage documenting the creation of the album, as well as archival material of Farrakhan’s numerous public musical performances. Farrakhan is a former professional calypso singer and a classically trained violinist; one 1993 performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor was begrudgingly praised by renowned New York Times music critic Bernard Holland.
The Nation of Islam and its newspaper, The Final Call, have often used Farrakhan’s relationships with famous musicians to ward off accusations of anti-Semitism leveled against him.
“Surely these individuals would not associate with a hater,” The Final Call wrote in March.
Farrakhan was unverified on Twitter last month after tweeting a video clip of his sermon along with the caption “thoroughly and completely unmasking the Satanic Jew and the Synagogue of Satan.” The tweet also included a link to the full sermon, in which he claimed that Judaism is a “system of tricks and lies” that Jews control Hollywood and force actors to have anal sex to get parts, and that former president Barack Obama was under “under Jewish influence” when he advocated for same-sex marriage.
Netflix Won’t Release Louis Farrakhan Documentary