Creators of color and underrepresented voices including Natasha Rothwell and Ryan Coogler will craft content for a new curated content brand at Disney.
Onyx Collective will be led by Tara Duncan (left), who will continue to serve as President of Freeform and has set its first two projects. The initiative was previously referred to as Disney General Entertainment Content’s BIPOC Creator Initiative.
Questlove’s feature doc Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised), which was recently acquired by Hulu and Searchlight Pictures, will become the first official project under the brand. The film, which tells the story of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which was often referred to as Black Woodstock, will launch on Hulu on July 2 and will stream internationally on Disney+’s Star.
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The second project will be The 1619 Project docuseries, produced by Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate. The series is based on materials from The New York Times Magazine and Nikole Hannah-Jones’s work.
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Projects from Insecure writer Rothwell, who recently signed an overall deal with Disney, and non-Marvel titles from Judas and the Black Messiah producer Ryan Coogler’s Proximity will also come under Onyx Collective, which shares its name with an experimental jazz group
“Our industry is immeasurably enriched by the incredible talents of emerging and established creators of color. Launching Onyx Collective allows us to be the best partners to those creators, providing them with the support they need to do their best work,” said Dana Walden, chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television. “Tara Duncan is a gifted executive with fantastic instincts. With her leading this talented team, we have the opportunity to tell transformative stories that authentically represent our audience and are essential to our success.”
Duncan added, “We’re building a home where creators of color are inspired, empowered and have unparalleled access to reach audiences around the world. This artist-first approach will make Onyx Collective synonymous with entertaining, brave and bold ideas told from a distinct point of view. I’m humbled by the opportunity and all of the possibilities.”
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