HBO is unlocking another round of previously subscription-only content in order to honor Black voices and stories during the current anti-racism demonstrations. Most notably, the streaming service is releasing the full first season of Watchmen starting June 19 in observation of Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of the last American slaves in 1865.
The holiday is finally getting its mainstream due in 2020 following the protests that erupted in response to the killing of George Floyd. In the week since, activists have banned chokeholds, dismantled the NYPD's plain clothes unit, and successfully brought charges against a number of police officers accused of police brutality.
HBO's Watchmen takes place 34 years after the events of the original comic book. Set in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the series focuses on racist violence in the city perpetrated by a white supremacist group called the Seventh Kavalry. The Seventh Kavalry specifically operates in opposition to the Tulsa Police Department, prompting the remaining officers to conceal their identities. Regina King stars as Angela Abar or Sister Night, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as her husband, and Don Johnson as Judd Crawford, chief of the Tulsa Police. All nine episodes will be available to everyone to stream until June 21.
In addition to Watchmen, HBO is also making available titles like Being Serena, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, and United Skates. The first episodes of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Treme, and season 3 of True Detective will also be streaming until July 2.
A number of important Black-led movies and series have been free to stream in the past few weeks, including Neon's Monsters And Men, Ava DuVernay's Selma on Amazon Prime, and Fruitvale Station via Tubi.