Tag Archives: Shonda Rhimes

Netflix Names Verna Myers to VP of Inclusion

Verna Myers

Streaming television service Netflix has named Verna Myers to its newly created post of Vice President, Inclusion Strategy.

Although the post is new the relationship between Myers and Netflix is not. Netflix stated in the announcement that  Myers has worked with the company as a consultant. In her new role she will “devise and implement strategies that integrate cultural diversity, inclusion and equity into all aspects of Netflix’s operations worldwide.”

Myers has been the name and face of The Vernā Myers Company,  a consulting group that focused on issues of diversity and inclusion. Myers has written and spoken on this topic extensively.

Netflix has made incredible efforts at bringing in diverse talent and content into its entertainment offerings. The streaming giant has signed some of Hollywoods biggest African-American producers to produce content including Kenya Barris and Shonda Rhimes.

In a statement Meyers said; “I have been a longtime fan of the inclusive and diverse programming and talent at Netflix, and then I got a chance to meet the people behind the screen. I was so impressed by their mission, their excellence, and decision to take their inclusion and diversity efforts to a higher level. I am so excited and look forward to collaborating all across Netflix to establish bold innovative frameworks and practices that will attract, fully develop, and sustain high performing diverse teams.”

 

 

 

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Kenya Barris

Netflix has netted yet another major black television producer. Kenya Barris, creator of the ABC comedy Black-ish and the spin-off Grown-ish, has signed a multi-year deal with the streaming television service.

Barris will remain an executive producer on those shows while exclusively developing new series for Netflix. According to Techcrunch Barris’ deal only covers his television work because Barris, who co-wrote Girls Trip, has a first-look movie deal at Fox. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Barris agreed to a three year deal with numbers in “high-eight-figure range.”

Barris joins Netflix after negotiating his way out of a contract with ABC Studios. Barris’ label, Khalabo Ink Society, will write and executive produce Netflix shows that “reflect culture through an urban- youth- and female-focused lens.”

Netflix Vice President of Originals, Cindy Holland said of Barris, “Kenya Barris is one of our great modern storytellers. Kenya uses his voice to make audiences more aware of the world around them, while simultaneously making them laugh. His honesty, comedic brilliance and singular point of view, combined with the creative freedom he will enjoy at Netflix, promises to create powerful new stories for all our members around the world.”

Netflix is bringing onboard some of television’s  greatest black talent. Television producer Shonda Rhimes  joined Netflix last year. But Netflix is not alone. It seems that streaming television is the medium of choice for black talent as heavyweight producers like Jordan Peele and Barry Jenkins have joined Amazon and Oprah Winfrey has joined Apple streaming television efforts.

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Shonda Rhimes Reveals Netflix Shows

Television producer Shonda Rhimes, who joined Netflix last year and for the next 15 years, is finally talking about her projects for the streaming service. The shows will be produced under her Shondaland label. Rhimes has a series of television hits to her credit that include “Scandal“, “How to get Away with Murder” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” 

Rhimes will be producing a show about Anna Delvey best known as the “Socialite Scammer.” Delvey, whose real name is Anna Sorokin, pretended to be a German heiress and conned banks and individuals out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Her most recent exploit may have been the scam of Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland.

Rhimes’ work for Netflix has been cloaked in mystery until now. In a New York Times profile Rhimes described her upcoming projects under the Shondaland label. In all she has eight projects in the production phase. They include an untitled British Regency era series based on the novel of Julia Quinn and the fictional Bridgerton family. 

“A Warmth of Other Suns” based on the non-fiction book by Isabel Wilkerson portrays the mass exodus of  black Americas from the south to the north and midwest during the era of  Jim Crow. 

“Reset: My Fight for Inclusion and Lasting Change” a memoir written by Ellen Pao about her experience at the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Pao filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins.

Rhimes will partner with Grey’s Anatomy star Debbie Allen for a documentary series about her re-imagining of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker” entitled “Hot Chocolate Nutcracker,” for her Debbie Allen Dance Company.

“Sunshine Scouts” is a post apocalyptic tale of teenage girls who survive while at summer camp and must deal with what remains of the world.

“The Residence” based on a book by Kate Anderson Bower, who writes about the lives of American presidents while they lived in the White House.

These shows are currently under production at Shondaland studios. However neither Rhimes or Netflix has announced when the shows will air…er stream.

Shonda Rhimes Makes the Move to Netflix

Shonda Rhimes

 Netflix has added a powerful new weapon to its war on conventional television. Shonda Rhimes, producer of a string of hits on ABC is moving her production company Shondaland from ABC to Netflix. Rhimes has agreed to a multi-year deal to produce new series and other projects for the streaming service.

Rhimes has a string of mega-hits at ABC that include Grey’s AnatomyScandal, and How to Get Away With Murder.  Rhimes long-time producing partner Betsy Beers will be joining her at Netflix.

Through an existing relationship Netflix already streams Rhimes’ hit shows. The shows will continue on ABC as the new seasons begins.

Chief Content Officer at Netflix, Ted Sarandos called Rhimes “one of the greatest storytellers in the history of television. Her work is gripping, inventive, pulse-pounding, heart-stopping, taboo-breaking television at its best.” Sarandos added that she is a “true Netflixer at heart.”

Rhimes said the move is part of a plan between herself and Sarandos. In a statement she said, “Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix. He understood what I was looking for, the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation.”

Expressing her gratitude to ABC for kicking off her career Rhimes said, “I continue to be grateful to work with so many talented people.” 

Netflix seems to be a new home for black artists and producers. A spokesperson stressed this point saying the streaming TV the company wants to be a home for black artists pushing the boundaries of visual storytelling.

Shonda is not the first black producer to join Netflix. Others include Spike Lee, Ava DuVernay,  Justin Simien, Dee Rees,  Yance Ford and “In Living Color” alum Marlon Wayans.

Attracting black producers is becoming a strength of Netflix’s effort to capture audience. The company claims to offer space for complete creative freedom. Netflix subscribers can see uncensored episodes of Spike Lee’s #BlackGirlMagic/#BlackBoyJoy on demand on any device with Netflix.

No financial terms or the partnership were released.