OWN, Onyx Collective and Hulu Announce Unprecedented Partnership To Simultaneously Premiere Original Docuseries ‘The Hair Tales’
From Executive Producers Tracee Ellis Ross and Michaela angela Davis, An Intimate and Authentic Series on the Connection between Black Women, Beauty and Identity Through the Lens of Black Hair
Tara Duncan, Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg, and Oprah Winfrey Also Executive Produce
Oprah Winfrey Network and Hulu announced today an unprecedented partnership to simultaneously broadcast a new docuseries, “The Hair Tales,” from executive producers Tracee Ellis Ross (“Black-ish”) and Michaela angela Davis (“The Meaning of Mariah Carey”) who created the series concept. Produced by Joy Mill Entertainment, Culture House, Tetravision, and Harpo Films, “The Hair Tales” is an intimate exploration of Black women, beauty and identity through the distinctive lens of Black hair. Tara Duncan, Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg, and Oprah Winfrey will also serve as executive producers. The series will begin production later this year for a 2022 premiere.
In a move to build a wide-reaching, multi-brand offering, “The Hair Tales” will be available in two places: on cable via OWN and streaming via Hulu as a Hulu Original docuseries from the recently announced Onyx Collective in the U.S. and internationally as a Star Original on Disney+, creating more ways to connect viewers with the content and brands they love on the platforms they choose.
In “The Hair Tales” narrators and real-life friends Tracee Ellis Ross and Michaela angela Davis, lead the audience through a revelatory journey of connecting the personal tales of phenomenal Black women to broader societal and historic themes. The stories shared in the series offer an honest and layered look into the complex culture of Black hair and ultimately Black women’s identity, creativity and contributions to society – all delivered with a rare mix of intelligence, humor, style, joy, and justice.
LINK TO THE HAIR TALES TEASER FEATURING THE SONG, “WASH & SET”
BY ARTIST LEIKELI47 HERE
“This series is about identity, culture and legacy, beauty, strength and joy,” said Tracee Ellis Ross. “Hair is a portal into the souls of Black women, it drives straight to the center of who we are. Our goal is to share this vibrant community, where we hold a sacred space for each other. Like many women, I can trace my own journey to self-acceptance through my hair. This series is personal and universal, American and global. It is a love letter to Black women.”
“Early in my career, when I was just 22, my boss informed me my hair was too thick for the green screen wall behind the news desk and I needed to change my style,” said Oprah Winfrey. “So I was sent to a fancy salon in New York City and the stylist put a French perm on my hair. It burned so badly when he washed the perm out, my hair came out with it – and so did my identity and sense of self. Having grown up with the cultural edict ‘your hair is your crowning glory,’ it took awhile to regain confidence with my teeny weeny Afro. I learned then that our hair and how we as Black women see ourselves had deep roots.”
“There is a story in every curl, coil and kink of our hair. This show will be a dynamic adventure through these stories of ancestry and innovation, politics and pop culture, ritual, resilience, and revolution but mostly reveal humanity. It will affirm Black women, inform others and inspire everyone,” Michaela angela Davis.
“Hair has been part of every Black woman’s identity and personal expression throughout history, and this series celebrates and fully embraces a woman’s power to be herself,” said Tina Perry, president, OWN. “We are especially happy to be partnering with Hulu to ensure that this impactful new series that Tracee and Michaela created reaches the widest audience possible.”
“Every Black woman has a personal and defining story that involves her hair,” stated Tara Duncan. “From the moment Tracee and Michaela shared the idea for this series, I knew it would strike a chord with Black women and anyone who has ever been curious about the singular connection between our hair, our agency, our beauty and our identity. It’s incredibly exciting for Onyx Collective to bring this project, that is entirely produced by women of color, to Hulu and OWN.”
“As owners of a women, and women of color owned production company, The Hair Tales is a dream project. It unites our company’s values of paradigm shifting storytelling, centering creators with agency and authority, and creative excellence in a beautiful to watch and impactful to experience TV show,” said Raeshem Nijhon and Carri Twigg, Founding Partners, Culture House.
“The Hair Tales” is produced by Joy Mill Entertainment, Culture House, Tetravision and Harpo Films. Executive producers are Tracee Ellis Ross, Michaela angela Davis, Tara Duncan, Raeshem Nijhon, Carri Twigg, and Oprah Winfrey. Concept by Michaela angela Davis.
ABOUT TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
Tracee Ellis Ross is an award-winning actress, producer, activist, and CEO. She is best known for portraying Dr. Rainbow Johnson on the hit ABC comedy series “black-ish” and Joan Clayton on the long-running series “Girlfriends.” Her production company, Joy Mill Entertainment, produces content across all platforms and is committed to amplifying multilayered stories that reframe assumptions about how people see themselves and each other. She is an Executive Producer and co-creator of ABC’s “mixed-ish” and an executive producer and the voice of the upcoming Daria spinoff, “Jodie.” Ross is the CEO and Founder of the industry changing award-winning PATTERN Beauty — a haircare brand she created to fulfill the needs of the curly, coily and tight-textured masses. PATTERN launched in 2019 and sold out of most of its products on the first day. PATTERN serves as an active space for the celebration of Black beauty, and proceeds from sales support organizations and programs that empower women and people of color. The success with PATTERN has also served as a launch pad for Ross’ thought leadership in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). She continues to champion initiatives that position DEI as a key business driver but also helps to reframe the narrative around Black women and Black consumers. Ross has uniquely positioned her affinity for women of color, her voice and influence to advocate for a joyful culture of self-acceptance, inclusivity, and equity across all industries. She has created a groundbreaking ecosystem that allows Black women to feel seen and celebrated. She is represented by UTA, Artists First, ID and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller & Gellman.
ABOUT MICHAELA ANGELA DAVIS
Michaela angela Davis is a writer, creative director, producer and image activist. With focus areas including the intersections gender, race, fashion, culture, beauty & identity. Most recently, Davis collaborated with Mariah Carey on “The Meaning of Mariah Carey” a memoir of her identity – an instant #1 New York Times Bestseller. She is the creator of the “Hair Tales,” a multi-platform, multi-discipline project exploring the identity and humanity of Black Women through the culture of hair. Davis conceived and produced “Behind The Curtain: Eclipsed” a docuseries about the historic Broadway production by Danai Guria, starring Lupita Nyongo for BET International. She has spoken globally and has been a cultural contributor for CNN, MSNBC, BBC – among others. Davis has been the creative lead for select global beauty and social campaigns and the award-winning redesign for Viacom’s Centric TV “The First Network Designed for Black Women”. Her career accolades include the title Editor in Chief, as well as a Fashion, Beauty and Culture Editor at several national publications. Davis’ career in visual culture began as a fashion stylist working with Beyonce, Diana Ross, Prince, Maya Angelou and more.
Davis is a member of the Gucci Change Makers Council. She currently has several projects in pre-production including The Hair Tales docu-series with OWN + HULU, and a book adaptation.
ABOUT TARA DUNCAN
Tara Duncan is president of Freeform and the newly created Onyx Collective. In her first year, Duncan spearheaded the formation of Onyx Collective, a new content brand under Disney General Entertainment that is committed to inclusive storytelling from creators of color and underrepresented voices. Under the umbrella, she acquired the Sundance breakout documentary “Summer of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” which will be distributed theatrically by Searchlight Pictures and streamed domestically by Hulu. The brand’s roster of prolific creators also includes writer and comedian Natasha Rothwell (“Insecure,” “SNL”) and all non-Marvel titles produced by Ryan Coogler’s Proximity (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Black Panther”).
For Freeform, Duncan oversaw the series debut of “Cruel Summer,” which is the network’s most-watched series ever, including being a breakout hit on Hulu with next-day viewing and the most engaged new scripted cable series on social media. Additionally, under her leadership, the network launched “Love in the Time of Corona,” the first scripted limited series to shoot with social distance technologies; the fourth season of hit comedy “grown-ish,” cable’s No. 1 live-action comedy series for Adults 18-34; the third season of critically acclaimed “Good Trouble”; and the upcoming comedy “Single Drunk Female,” from Jenni Konner and Simone Finch, among others.
Duncan joined Disney General Entertainment from her overall deal at Hulu, where she curated a strong slate of projects, including an adaptation of Zakiya Dalila Harris’ acclaimed novel “The Other Black Girl,” which she won with Temple Hill Entertainment in a highly competitive bidding war. Before joining Hulu, she was a senior creative executive at Netflix, overseeing the hit series “Orange Is the New Black” and “Narcos” and launching series with directors Spike Lee, Baz Luhrmann, The Wachowskis and Justin Simien. Prior to that, she produced the pilot “Bosch,” Amazon’s first drama series, and was a key creative executive at AMC. She started her career at Section Eight, George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production company.
ABOUT RAESHEM NIJHON
Raeshem Nijhon is the founder of Culture House – a Black, Brown and Women owned production company where she and her partners, Carri Twigg and Nicole Galovski, produce entertainment forward work at the intersection of pop and politics. Select current projects include premium doc-series for Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, OWN and YouTube and projects with Amazon, CNN, Freeform and AMC Studios in development. Raeshem sits on the board for the New York Center for Communications, an organization dedicated to bringing more diversity to the media and entertainment industry, serving over 4500 students from 185+ colleges and universities annually. She serves on the Creative Council for EMILY’S List and is an active member of Brown Girls Doc Mafia and the Dell Women’s Entrepreneurship Network. She is a 2021 Mentor for the Realscreen Propelle accelerator program, a female-focused initiative launched in partnership with Abby Greensfelder’s Everywoman Studios. Prior to founding Culture House she held multiple creative leadership positions including Executive Producer of Viacom’s MTV World where she produced Clio/Webby winning nonfiction series Rebel Music, about youth using art for change in conflict zones, and The Music Experiment, featuring artists like Of Monsters and Men, Santigold and Arcade Fire. Select pro-social work includes partnerships with Planned Parenthood, the National Council for Behavioral Health and the Committee to Protect Journalists. In 2020, Raeshem and her partners launched the Culture House Consultancy, a resource for films, series and multi platform projects to engage with a range of experts across issues like race, gender, mental health and socio-economic diversity that require nuance and knowledge when being addressed through entertainment and media.
ABOUT CARRI TWIGG
Carri is deeply engaged with film and TV that takes on the urgent cultural questions confronting America and the world. Carri spent 12 years in politics and government, including serving as Special Assistant to President Obama and Director of Public Engagement for Vice President Biden. Following her time in the White House, Carri realized the levers to social progress and change also lay in the cultural work of storytelling. Along with her partners, Carri helped found Culture.House, a premium film and TV, Black, Brown and Women owned production company
making work at the intersection of pop culture and politics. As founding partner and head of development, Carri and Culture House are focused on challenging status quo American narratives. In the wake of the social reckoning of 2020, Carri became a founding member and expert advisor for the non-profit, Ally2Action, to help guide and inspire people interested in repairing America’s racial divisions. Carri also serves on the board of Deeds Not Words, a non-profit that seeks to empower and activate the voices of young women in public and political
ABOUT OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for a premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN’s original scripted series include popular dramas “Queen Sugar,” “Cherish the Day,” “The Haves and the Have Nots,” “David Makes Man” and “Delilah.” OWN’s Saturday night unscripted programming lineup includes “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Ready to Love,” “Put a Ring on It,” “Love & Marriage: Huntsville,” “Behind Every Man,” “Family or Fiancé,” “Black Women OWN the Conversation,” “Belle Collective” and “Black Love.” OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime, anywhere on WatchOWN.tv, and on discovery+ across mobile devices and connected TVs. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own and https://press.discovery.com/us/own/.
ABOUT ONYX COLLECTIVE
Onyx Collective is a new content brand formed under Disney General Entertainment Content (DGE) designed to curate a slate of premium entertainment programming by creators of color and underrepresented voices. Onyx Collective’s debut project, Questlove’s award-winning documentary “Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised),” will debut on July 2, 2021, on Hulu. The brand’s roster of prolific creators also includes writer and comedian Natasha Rothwell (“Insecure,” “SNL”) and all non-Marvel titles produced by Ryan Coogler’s Proximity (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Black Panther”).
Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, with and without commercials, both in and outside the home. As part of Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Hulu is the only service that gives viewers instant access to current shows from every major U.S. broadcast network; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed Hulu Originals like Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning series The Handmaid’s Tale and The Act; Golden Globe Award-winning, Emmy Award-nominated and Peabody-winning series Ramy; and Emmy Award-nominated series Pen15 alongside hit series Little Fires Everywhere from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, Normal People, The Great, Hillary and Solar Opposites; Oscar® and Emmy nominated documentary film Minding the Gap, Golden Globe-Award winning and Oscar-nominated The United States Vs. Billie Holiday, and critically acclaimed Hulu Original films Palm Springs, Run and Happiest Season. The service also streams live news, entertainment and sports from 20th Television, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, The CW, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Discovery Networks – available all in one place. Upcoming Original releases include true-crime-inspired comedy Only Murders in the Building starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez and the book-to-screen adaptation of Nine Perfect Strangers starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.
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OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network