Paramount Makes Martin Luther King Jr. Drama Selma Free to Rent amid George Floyd Protests

Selma follows Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in a bid to secure equal voting rights for black Americans.

Photo: Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Atsushi Nishijima/Paramount/Pathe/Harpo/Kobal/Shutterstock (5885141g) Colman Domingo, David Oyelowo, Andre Holland, Stephan James Selma - 2014 Director: Ava Duvernay Paramount/Pathe/Harpo Films USA Scene Still Drama

Paramount is encouraging people to reflect on racial injustice in America following the killing of George Floyd, a black man who died last week while in the custody of Minneapolis police officers.

The studios is offering free rentals of its 2014 film Selma, which follows Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in a bid to secure equal voting rights for black Americans. The first demonstration was stopped early by law enforcement who confronted and beat protestors in an event that came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.”

“We’ve gotta understand where we’ve been to strategize where we’re going. History helps us create the blueprint. Onward,” Selma director Ava DuVernay tweeted on Friday.

Paramount echoed DuVernay’s sentiments in its announcement, stating: “We witness the expression of decades of collective pain, we should reflect on Dr. King’s words: 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’”

Their statement continued: “We hope this small gesture will encourage people throughout the country to examine our nation’s history and reflect on the ways that racial injustice has infected our society. The key message of Selma is the importance of equality, dignity and justice for all people. Clearly, that message is as vital today as it was in 1965."

Protests against racial injustice and police brutality have erupted across the country following Floyd's death, with several large cities instituting curfews to try to curb the unrest.

Paramount’s announcement comes days after another studio, Warner Bros., announced it would make last year’s drama Just Mercy free to rent so people may learn more about “systemic racism.”

Just Mercy follows the life of human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson, played by Michael B. Jordan in the movie, is a lawyer who for the past 31 years has worked tirelessly toward freeing wrongfully convicted inmates from death row and reforming the criminal justice system in America.

“We believe in the power of story,” a statement from the movie's Twitter account read. “Our film ‘Just Mercy,’ based on the life work of civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, is one resource we can humbly offer to those who are interested in learning more about the systemic racism that plagues our society.

Both Just Mercy and Selma are available to rent for free across digital platforms in the US. through the end of the month.

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

•Campaign Zero ( which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies. works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

•National Cares Mentoring Movement ( provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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