Freeforms Tara Duncan to Lead New Hulu Brand Focused on Creators of Color; Oprah, Ryan Coogler Among First Partners
As part of an effort to promote inclusive storytelling, Disney General Entertainment is launching the Onyx Collective, a curated collection of projects from creators of color and underrepresented voices that will be presented as a content brand on Hulu.
Freeform president Tara Duncan, who joined the network a year ago, is spearheading Onyx while continuing her duties at the young adult cabler, also a Disney subsidiary. All Onyx Collective titles will be released on the Disney-owned streaming service, though the creators under the Onyx brand will have access to all Disney platforms, according to the company.
“We’re building a home where creators of color are inspired, empowered and have unparalleled access to reach audiences around the world,” said Duncan. “This artist-first approach will make Onyx Collective synonymous with entertaining, brave and bold ideas told from a distinct point of view. I’m humbled by the opportunity and all of the possibilities.”
Searchlight Pictures-distributed documentary “Summer of Soul(…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised),” which won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance, is the first project under the Onyx umbrella, and will be released on Hulu on July 2 and internationally at a later date through Star’s Disney Plus offering. “The 1619 Project,” based on the New York Times Magazine and Nikole Hannah-Jones’ work and produced by Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate, will also launch on Hulu as part of the Onyx Collective at a later date.
Onyx will be home to projects from creators such as writer and comedian Natasha Rothwell, who recently inked a multi-year overall deal with Disney’s ABC Signature. All non-Marvel projects produced by “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler’s Proximity will also be shepherded by Duncan under the Onyx brand, per the company.
“Our industry is immeasurably enriched by the incredible talents of emerging and established creators of color. Launching Onyx Collective allows us to be the best partners to those creators, providing them with the support they need to do their best work,” said Walt Disney TV chairman of entertainment Dana Walden. “Tara Duncan is a gifted executive with fantastic instincts. With her leading this talented team, we have the opportunity to tell transformative stories that authentically represent our audience and are essential to our success.”
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