“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,” Kaepernick said in a prepared statement. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”
“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,” said Jimmy Piatro, ESPN’s president.
Kaepernick’s life 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,” said Bob Iger, Disney’s executive chairman.
The Walt Disney Company announced Monday that ESPN Films will produce an exclusive docuseries on political activist and former NFL player Colin Kaepernick as part of a larger deal with Kaepernick’s production arm RA Vision Media.
Driving the news: Former ESPN personality Jemele Hill tweeted that she’ll be serving as a producer on the docuseries, after leaving the network two years ago following a dramatic falling out in 2018. At the time, Hill’s outspoken tweets about President Trump put the network in the crosshairs of a polarizing debate over race and politics.
Why it matters: The deal represents a growing emphasis by Disney and its flagship cable network ESPN to highlight stories that address the intersection of race, sports and culture. ESPN had previously struggled with how to handle those conversations on air.
Details: 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,” according to a statement.
It will extend to Disney’s subsidiaries, including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar and The Undefeated.
Disney says that Kaepernick will work closely with The Undefeated, a 4-year-old sports and pop culture website owned and operated by ESPN that focuses on the intersection of race and sports, “to develop stories from the perspective of Black and Brown communities.”
Very excited to announce that I’ll be serving as a producer on @Kaepernick7’s docuseries, as part of his production deal with ESPN/Disney and content collaboration w/ @TheUndefeated. I consider it an honor to play any role in telling Colin’s story https://t.co/awYuC3VIRe— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) July 6, 2020