The historically debunked Pulitzer Prize-winning series penned by New York Times Magazine reporter and activist Nikole Hannah-Jones is being adapted into the docuseries by Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams.
The docuseries is being released in partnership with Lionsgate Television, The New York Times, and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films and will make its streaming debut on Hulu "as part of a distribution agreement between Lionsgate and Disney General Entertainment Content’s BIPOC Creator Initiative" according to a statement from the streaming company. According to Deadline, Shoshana Guy, an Emmy nominee, and Peabody award winner will join the series as a showrunner.
Williams said, "‘The 1619 Project’ is an essential reframing of American history. Our most cherished ideals and achievements cannot be understood without acknowledging both systemic racism and the contributions of Black Americans. And this isn’t just about the past—Black people are still fighting against both the legacy of this racism and its current incarnation. I am thrilled and grateful for 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."
Hannah-Jones stated, "I could not ask for a more gifted and committed storyteller to entrust ‘The 1619 Project’ to than Roger Ross Williams. I have long admired the impact and authenticity of his filmmaking, and the fact that we’re working with Disney and Hulu aligns with our vision of partnering with the world’s greatest Black storytellers to bring this project to a global audience."
Hannah-Jones wrote the feature in 2019 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first African slaves arriving in colonial Virginia, aiming to "reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of our national narrative."
However, the “1619 Project” was slammed by historians as being inaccurate and for pushing a misleading narrative about slavery's role in the American Revolution.
Civil rights figure Robert Woodson called the piece, "one of the most diabolical, self-destructive ideas that I've ever heard."
The series was even criticized by Hannah-Jones' colleague, New York Times columnist and co-worker of Hannah-Jones Bret Stephens said of the project last year, "Journalists are, most often, in the business of writing the first rough draft of history, not trying to have the last word on it. We are best when we try to tell truths with a lowercase t, following evidence in directions unseen, not the capital-T truth of a pre-established narrative in which inconvenient facts get discarded. And we’re supposed to report and comment on the political and cultural issues of the day, not become the issue itself. As fresh concerns make clear, on these points — and for all of its virtues, buzz, spinoffs, and a Pulitzer Prize — the 1619 Project has failed."