Hulu acquires ‘1619 Project’ docuseries produced by Oprah

The series is the first that enjoins Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films, Lionsgate, The New York Times and writer Nikole Hannah-Jones.

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The 1619 Project, helmed by journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, who won a Pulitzer Prize for her work, has been developed into a docuseries that will air on Hulu. 

The series is the first project from the collaboration of Lionsgate and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films, as well as The New York Times and Hannah-Jones. The partnership will develop several films, television series, documentaries, unscripted programming and more through a journalistic lens. 

Harpo Films, the studio owned by media mogul Oprah Winfrey (above), is collaborating with Lionsgate, The New York Times and acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to develop a series from Hannah-Jones’ “The 1619 Project” for Hulu. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for Global Citizen)

The 1619 Project series will connect “the centrality of slavery in history with an unflinching account of brutal racism that endures in so many aspects of American life today,” according to Deadline

The 1619 Project is an essential reframing of American history,” the docuseries’ director, Roger Ross Williams, told Deadline. “Our most cherished ideals and achievements cannot be understood without acknowledging both systemic racism and the contributions of Black Americans. And this isn’t just about the past — Black people are still fighting against both the legacy of this racism and its current incarnation. I am thrilled and grateful for the opportunity to work with The New York Times, Lionsgate Television, Harpo Films and Hulu to translate the incredibly important The 1619 Project into a documentary series.”

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On its website, newspaper officials describe The 1619 Project as “an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.” Its compelling mix of essays examine how it has influenced and even shaped all aspects of the nation’s society.

Winfrey says “bringing together the creative resources of our friends at Lionsgate and The New York Times to support Nikole Hannah-Jones’ narrative and Roger Ross Williams’ vision is the perfect start to our partnership.” 

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Hannah-Jones, who won the Pulitzer last year for her work with the Project, said it’s in good hands.

“I could not ask for a more gifted and committed storyteller to entrust The 1619 Project to than Roger Ross Williams,” said the veteran writer. “I have long admired the impact and authenticity of his filmmaking, and the fact that we’re working with Disney and Hulu aligns with our vision of partnering with the world’s greatest Black storytellers to bring this project to a global audience.”

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