Listen Disney, This ‘Onyx Collective’ Better Not Be A Disappointment

by Shaye Wyllie
onyx collective disney includes black panther

Today, Dana Walden, chairman of Entertainment at Walt Disney Television, announced the ‘Onyx Collective‘, 

The ‘Onyx Collective’ will be led by Tara Duncan, who has been spearheading this effort since it was announced last year, while also continuing her role as president of Freeform. 

So what is the Disney ‘Onyx Collective’?

Disney’s ‘Onyx Collective’ is a new content brand on Hulu designed to curate a slate of premium entertainment by creators of color and underrepresented voices.

Why is Disney creating the ‘Onyx Collective’?

Well … apparently, the ‘Onyx Collective’ is a reflection of Disney General Entertainment’s commitment to inclusive storytelling from creators of color that resonate in the U.S. and around the globe.

Where can you find the ‘Onyx Collective’?

Hulu will serve as a primary home for Onyx Collective titles, though the roster of creators under the Onyx Collective brand will have access to all Disney platforms. Select titles will also be available internationally on Disney+ as part of its Star general entertainment. 

What kind of content will the ‘Onyx Collective’ give us?

The recently acquired documentary, “Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised),” is the first official project under the Onyx Collective brand. 

And I couldn’t be more happier for my man Questlove, who directed the film! Imagine your first film being so darn good it gets picked up by Disney? Whew! If you like documentaries, or just music in general, make sure you check out Summer of Soul!

The winner of both the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival will begin streaming on Hulu in the U.S. on July 2, 2021, as well as in theaters.

Additionally produced by Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate, “The 1619 Project,” based on materials from The New York Times Magazine and Nikole Hannah-Jones’s acclaimed work by the same name, will launch on Hulu on a date yet to be announced.

Onyx Collective will also be home to prolific creators including the recently announced deal with writer, comedian Natasha Rothwell (“Insecure,” “SNL”).

As well as the titles produced by Ryan Coogler’s Proximity (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Black Panther”).

So is the ‘Onyx Collective’ a good thing or a bad thing?

Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel just yet.

On one hand, I’m excited that Disney is looking to promote more content from creators of color. I’m happy that we’ll be getting more content featuring Black leads and people of color.

But on the other hand, I’m wondering … why the separation of content?

If Hulu is already a thing, and they already create “playlists” of content, do we need another collective? Couldn’t Disney just acquire these films and put them in with the others?

Just throw it on Hulu, or Disney Plus. I’m confused on why we need a separate collective. ‘Cause right now it just feels like an easy way for white folks to hop skip over the content they don’t want!

I mean … when WE go searching for Black films, we gotta go SEARCHING through the sea of white films.

Just throw us in there.

Let them sift through! Shit!

I guess I’m just skeptical at the moment. I’ve been let down one too many times by Disney’s attempts to be more inclusive, so I’m not getting my hopes up just yet. I’ll wait it out and see how things go when it’s released in July.

‘Cause if this is JUST another “playlist”, we ain’t need a whole damn announcement for that, and if they’re not going to actively look for and acquire new films from creatives of color, I’m gonna have to email Ms. Tara and ask to talk to her boss.

But … let me woosah until July! Let’s see how this thang goes!

How do you feel about Disney’s Onyx Collective?

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