Oprah Winfrey to Bring New York Times’ “1619 Project” to Film and TV

The series of projects will examine the legacy of slavery in the U.S.

Oprah Winfrey attends the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony
Oprah Winfrey attends the Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony in 2013.

Oprah Winfrey is partnering with Lionsgate and The New York Times to produce a series of feature films and television shows based on the Times’ “The 1619 Project,” which examined the legacy of slavery in the United States.

“From the first moment I read ‘The 1619 Project’ and immersed myself in Nikole Hannah-Jones’s transformative work, I was moved, deepened and strengthened by her empowering historical analysis,” Winfrey said in a statement.

There’s no word yet on specific projects or when we can expect them, but Nikole Hannah-Jones, the architect of “The 1619 Project” series who won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, will reportedly serve as creative leader and producer.

“We took very seriously our duty to find TV and film partners that would respect and honor the work and mission of ‘The 1619 Project,’ that understood our vision and deep moral obligation to doing justice to these stories,” Hannah-Jones told Variety. “Through every step of the process, Lionsgate and its leadership have shown themselves to be that partner, and it is a dream to be able to produce this work with Ms. Oprah Winfrey, a trailblazer and beacon to so many Black journalists. I am excited for this opportunity to extend the breadth and reach of ‘The 1619 Project’ and to introduce these stories of Black resistance and resilience to even more American households.”

In addition to Hannah-Jones, Caitlin Roper, head of scripted entertainment at the Times and an editor on “The 1619 Project,” will also produce.

“Since the publication of ‘The 1619 Project’ last year, we have been searching for the right partners to expand the reach of its message into film and television while preserving the authenticity of its voice,” New York Times assistant managing editor Sam Dolnick told the publication. “We believe that Lionsgate and Oprah Winfrey are the perfect combination of partners who understand the editorial integrity of The Times and the gravity of The 1619 Project’s message, and have the reach, resources, compassion and talent relationships to join with us and with Nikole in producing films, television and other programming for a global audience that do justice to the project.”

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