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Hulu to release ‘1619 Project’ docu-series

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The New York Times’ much-maligned “Project 1619” is coming to a (small) screen near you.

The controversial Pulitzer Prize-winning series, directed by New York Times Magazine reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, is being adapted into a documentary series by Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams in partnership with Lionsgate Television, the New York Times and Oprah Winfreys Harpo Films.

The documentary series will debut streaming on Hulu “as part of a distribution agreement between Lionsgate and Disney General Entertainment Contents BIPOC Creator Initiative,” according to a statement Thursday.

“Project 1619 is an essential reframing of American history. Our dearest ideals and achievements cannot be understood without acknowledging both systemic racism and the contributions of black Americans. And it’s not just about the past. racism and its current embodiment, ”said Williams. “I am delighted and grateful to have the opportunity to work with The New York Times, Lionsgate Television, Harpo Films and Hulu to translate the incredibly important The 1619 Project into a documentary series.”

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“I couldn’t ask a more gifted and committed storyteller to tell ‘The 1619 Project’ than to Roger Ross Williams,” said Hannah-Jones. “I have long admired the impact and authenticity of its production, and working with Disney and Hulu fits with our vision of partnering with the world’s greatest black storytellers to bring this project to a global audience.”

The 2019 feature film, which was set to mark the 400th anniversary of the first African slaves to arrive in colonial Virginia, aims to “reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our narrative. national. “

The project, however, sparked an intense reaction from historians for pushing a misleading account of the role of slavery in the American Revolution, among others inaccuracies

“This is one of the most evil and self-defeating ideas I have ever heard,” civil rights icon Robert Woodson said in reaction to the article.

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The series was even criticized by one of Hannah-Jones’ colleagues, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens.

“Journalists are, more often than not, writing the first draft of the story, without trying to have the last word. We’re better off when we try to tell the truth with a lowercase t, following the evidence. in unseen directions, not the capital-T truth of a preestablished narrative in which troublesome facts are dismissed, “Stephens wrote last year.” And were meant to reflect and comment on the political and cultural issues of the time , not become the problem itself. As new concerns clearly show, on these points and for all its virtues, its buzz, its fallout and a Pulitzer Prize, Project 1619 failed. ”

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