Oprah Winfrey, Lionsgate to adapt NYT’s ‘1619 Project’ for TV, film

The media maven will present a platform for Black creative voices to chronicle the historical legacy and economics of slavery in America

Oprah Winfrey attends the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Lee Daniels’ The Butler’ at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on August 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for FIJI)

The New York Times’ landmark 1619 Project is being turned into content for a global audience.

Oprah Winfrey will executive produce multiple feature films, TV series, documentaries, and other cross-platform content based on the project written by Nikole Hannah-Jones

READ MORE: Pulitzer Prize awarded to Ida B. Wells and NYT’s 1619 Project author

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the creative team behind the adaptation will enlist producers for individual projects and will also include unscripted content that will allow “Black creative voices to chronicle the historical legacy and economics of slavery in America and the enduring contributions of African Americans with stories of Black resistance and resilience.”

Winfrey and Hannah-Jones, who won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize, will serve as executive producers. 

“We took very seriously our duty to find TV and film partners that would respect and honor the work and mission of The 1619 Project, that understood our vision and deep moral obligation to doing justice to these stories,” Hannah-Jones said in a statement. 

(Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

“Through every step of the process, Lionsgate and its leadership have shown themselves to be that partner and it is a dream to be able to produce this work with Ms. Oprah Winfrey, a trailblazer, and beacon to so many Black journalists.” 

The 1619 Project was launched by the New York Times in August 2019. The special magazine issue connected the legacy of enslavement in America to the enduring systemic racism that remains present in this country. 

READ MORE: 1619 Project’s Nikole Hannah-Jones wants Black people to know the role they play in America’s democracy

“From the first moment I read The 1619 Project and immersed myself in Nikole Hannah-Jones’s transformative work, I was moved, deepened, and strengthened by her empowering historical analysis. I am honored to be a part of Nikole’s vision to bring this project to a global audience,” Winfrey said in a statement.

Lionsgate Motion Picture Group chairman Joe Drake and Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs said in a joint statement that The 1619 Project is a “crowning accomplishment” that shines “a spotlight on the previously untold contributions of Black Americans.” 

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