The partnership will focus on telling scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice and the quest for equity, and will provide a new platform to showcase the work of Black and Brown directors and producers.
Disney said the deal will extend across all Walt Disney Platforms including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar, and ESPN’s The Undefeated. Kaepernick will work closely with The Undefeated, which is expanding its portfolio across Disney, to develop stories from the perspective of Black and Brown communities.
The first project in development under the deal is an exclusive docuseries produced by ESPN Films chronicling Kaepernick’s life. Using extensive new interviews and never-seen-before archival material that documents his last five years, Kaepernick will tell his story from his perspective. Libby Geist, Kevin Merida and Connor Schell will executive produce for ESPN. Jemele Hill, who previously worked for both ESPN and The Undefeated, is a producer on the project. Further details will be announced.
“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” said Kaepernick. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”
“During this unprecedented time, The Walt Disney Company remains committed to creating diverse and inclusive content that resonates and matters,” said Bob Iger, Disney’s executive chairman. “Colin’s experience gives him a unique perspective on the intersection of sports, culture and race, which will undoubtedly create compelling stories that will educate, enlighten and entertain, and we look forward to working with him on this important collaboration.”
Jimmy Pitaro, president, ESPN, said: “Developing exceptional storytelling told through a wide array of voices is at the core of who we are at ESPN. Colin has had a singular path as both an athlete and an activist, and, as the nation continues to confront racism and social injustice, it feels particularly relevant to hear Colin’s voice on his evolution and motivations.”
Kevin Merida, SVP and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, stated: “The Undefeated exists at the juncture of race, sports and culture, which is exactly where Colin has often found himself as he has navigated his career and activism. We’re looking forward to working with Colin to elevate important stories of lives too often unseen and to deliver them to a vast audience across The Walt Disney Company. We want to continue to call attention to the issues of racial injustice that America is wrestling with, and do that in new, compelling ways.”