The newly-formed partnership will focus on telling scripted and unscripted stories that explore race, social injustice, and the quest for equity. This collaboration will also provide a new platform to showcase the work of Black and Brown directors and producers.
“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 statement. “I look forward to sharing the docuseries on my life story, in addition to many other culturally impactful projects we are developing.”
The first-look deal will extend across all Walt Disney Platforms, including Walt Disney Television, ESPN, Hulu, Pixar, and The Undefeated. Kaepernick plans on working closely with The Undefeated, which is expanding its portfolio across Disney, to develop stories from the perspective of Black and Brown communities.
Bob Iger, Disney’s executive chairman, said: “During this unprecedented time, The Walt Disney Company remains committed to creating diverse and inclusive content that resonates and matters. 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.
There is already a project in development as part of this deal. It is an exclusive docuseries chronicling Kaepernick’s journey, in which he has enlisted the help of Jemele Hill as a producer on the project. Hill is no stranger to the Walt Disney Co. as she previously worked for both ESPN and The Undefeated.
They will be using extensive new interviews and never-before-seen footage that documents the last five years from Kaepernick’s perspective. Libby Geist, Kevin Merida, and Connor Schell will executive produce for ESPN.
Jimmy Pitaro, president, ESPN, said in the press release: “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.”