Advanced Television

Netflix, Shondaland acquire Black Barbie doc

October 11, 2023

Netflix and Shondaland have announced the acquisition of Black Barbie: A Documentary. The film is directed by Lagueria Davis and executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers as part of their overall deal with Netflix.

Black Barbie celebrates the momentous impact three Black women at Mattel had on the evolution of the Barbie brand as it’s known today. Through these charismatic insiders’ stories, the documentary tells the story of how the first Black Barbie came to be in 1980, examining the importance of representation and how dolls can be crucial to the formation of identity and imagination.

A previous cut of the film premiered to critical acclaim at SXSW 2023.

Davis commented: “Telling Black Barbie’s story has been such a personal journey and it warms my heart to celebrate the legacy of my aunt Beulah Mae Mitchell, Kitty Black Perkins, and Stacey McBride Irby in our film. We couldn’t have asked for better collaborators than Shondaland and Netflix to bring this story to the world.” 


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