Barbie, the beloved doll with a rich history spanning over six decades, is once again in the spotlight. This time, the focus isn’t just on fashion and accessories but on a compelling story of diversity and inclusivity. In an exciting development, Shondaland and Netflix have secured the worldwide rights to Black Barbie, a documentary that unveils the captivating history of the first Black Barbie doll.

The year 1980 marked a significant milestone in the Barbie universe when the first Black Barbie doll was introduced. Directed by Lagueria Davis, the groundbreaking documentary delves into the journey of three extraordinary Black women at Mattel who played an instrumental role in making this historic moment possible.

Debuting as a work-in-progress cut at the SXSW festival, the film garnered widespread acclaim from both the audience and industry experts. This success paved the way for prominent figures to come on board as producers. As part of Shondaland’s ongoing partnership with Netflix, Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers will serve as executive producers for this enlightening project.

Davis, deeply connected to this project, expressed her personal journey, saying, “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.”

The documentary promises to celebrate the remarkable impact of these three Black women at Mattel and their influence on the evolution of the Barbie brand as we know it. Through their captivating stories, the film delves into the history of how the first “Black Barbie” came to life in 1980, while also examining the profound importance of representation and how dolls can significantly shape one’s identity and imagination.

The Hollywood Reporter, alongside other esteemed media outlets, has praised the film with positive reviews. Not only does the documentary look back at the historical significance of the first Black Barbie, but it also addresses contemporary issues. It explores topics such as Barbie’s engagement in conversations on racism during the height of the 2020 protests and efforts to give “Black Barbie” her own stories.

The THR review notes, “Interesting as these subjects are, there’s a breathless quality to their unfolding here — an understandable effort to say as much as possible within a limited running time.”

“Black Barbie” joins the ranks of Barbie-related projects, following the massive success of Greta Gerwig’s live-action Barbie movie, which has already grossed an impressive $1.4 billion and counting at the box office.

In a world where diversity and representation are increasingly vital, the “Black Barbie” documentary tells a crucial story that goes beyond the doll itself. It is a story of perseverance, change, and the profound impact that a few individuals can have on an entire industry. As we eagerly anticipate its release, let’s celebrate the legacy of Beulah Mae Mitchell, Kitty Black Perkins, and Stacey McBride Irby, and their remarkable contribution to the world of Barbie. Barbie is back, and this time, her story is more inclusive and inspiring than ever before.

In a historic leap for African representation in the entertainment industry, Netflix has unveiled its very first original African animation series titled “Supa Team 4.” This groundbreaking show, created by Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema, takes center stage in Netflix’s Representation Matters Collection, cementing its importance in promoting diverse narratives.

Originally known as “Mama Ks Team 4,” this vibrant series is set in the heart of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. It introduces us to a quartet of undercover teenage superheroes recruited by a former spy. These young heroes harness their unique powers to combat crime while juggling the challenges of ordinary life and school.

African Representation Takes the Global Stage

Malenga Mulendema, the creative genius behind “Supa Team 4,” is passionately committed to amplifying African voices on the global platform. She shares, “In creating a superhero show set in Lusaka, I hope to introduce the world to four strong African girls who save the day in their own fun and crazy way. Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero,” as reported by CBS News.

The genesis of this remarkable series began when Malenga pitched her idea during a pan-African talent search organized by Triggerfish Animation Studios in 2015, ultimately emerging as the victor. Netflix recognized the immense potential of “Supa Team 4” and acquired it in 2019. This milestone follows Netflix’s expanding presence on the African continent, buoyed by the success of other African-produced series like “Blood and Water.”

Malenga Mulendema Excitement

Malenga Mulendema is filled with excitement and anticipation as “Supa Team 4” takes its place in history. She hopes that the series will resonate with global audiences, transcending borders and inspiring countless young hearts. Notably, the series’ theme song is composed by the renowned Sampa the Great, who emphasized its significance for young Zambians. “I’m excited that the world finally gets to see the fantastic show that the incredibly talented super team, from Africa and beyond, have put together… We hope Supa Team 4… will lead to further investment and collaboration so we can continue to grow the industry,” she exclaimed.

Ready for Action: Stream “Supa Team 4” on Netflix

“Supa Team 4” is now available for streaming on Netflix, marking a monumental moment in African storytelling. To catch a glimpse of the captivating world of Zambia’s teen superheroes, be sure to watch the thrilling trailer. “Supa Team 4” not only promises entertainment but also stands as a testament to the power of diverse narratives in shaping our global cultural landscape.

Meet Malenga Mulendema

She is a visionary writer and creator, making waves in the world of entertainment. Hailing from Zambia, she stands as a trailblazing figure as the mastermind behind Netflix’s groundbreaking African animation series, “Supa Team 4.” Malenga’s dedication to amplifying African voices and narratives on a global scale has earned her recognition and acclaim. Through her work, she strives to inspire young minds and pave the way for diverse storytelling in the industry.

Naomi Osaka has partnered with Netflix for a three-part docu-series about her rise to fame. The self-titled documentary, which is narrated by Osaka, follows her career after her 2018 U.S Open victory.

“The series is about Naomi’s journey, within a snapshot of her life,” Academy Award nominated director Garrett Bradley said in a press release. “But it’s also about life’s purpose, about personal worth, about the courage that it takes to allow one’s personal values to inform their work and vice versa. More than anything, I’d hope people can feel the power of empathy and to feel encouraged to take chances in life, perhaps especially in moments where the stakes can feel impossibly high.”

Osaka’s win against her idol, Serena Williams, catapulted her career pretty quickly, which she didn’t expect and wasn’t quite ready for.

“I think the amount of attention that I get is kind of ridiculous,” she said in the trailer. “No one prepares you for that.”

The Netflix synopsis states:

With unprecedented access, we follow Osaka during a historic two years in which she works on her game but also begins to find her voice. Whether she’s defending her grand slam titles — while wearing masks in defense of Black lives — mourning the unexpected loss of mentor Kobe Bryant, or finding her independence, the challenges Naomi faces on a personal level begin to align with those in the public sphere.

Empathetic in its approach, the series chronicles Osaka’s hectic training and travel schedule, explores the layers of pressure she is under and reveals how she spends her time off the court hanging with her closest family and friends.

Today she’s the number two tennis player in the world and is highly decorated but her success is plagued with episodes of depression.

Before withdrawing from this year’s French Open, Osaka expressed she didn’t want to participate in media interviews during the event because of how it affected her mental health.

Netflix named Bozoma “Boz” Saint John as their new Chief Marketing Officer, making her the company’s first Black C-Suite executive, Bloomberg reports.

Saint John is one of the most sought after marketing executives in her industry, boasting a 20 year career spanning multiple sectors. The marketing guru is coming over to Netflix from sports and entertainment giant Endeavor. Before that, she was Head of Global Consumer Marketing at Apple Music and prior to that, she worked with Pepsi-Cola North America as head of the Music and Entertainment Marketing Group. 

Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos spoke to Deadline about Saint John’s appointment, saying, “Bozoma Saint John is an exceptional marketer who understands how to drive conversations around popular culture better than almost anyone. As we bring more great stories to our members around the world, she’ll define and lead our next exciting phase of creativity and connection with consumers.” 

The online streaming company has been working behind the scenes to bolster inclusion, committing $100 million to Black banks and figuring out ways to diversify their workforce which as of now, is just 7% Black. Saint John said she hopes that she can help to forge a new path at Netflix.

“I’m thrilled to join Netflix, especially at a time when storytelling is critical to our global, societal well-being. I feel honored to contribute my experience to an already dynamic legacy, and to continue driving engagement in the future,” Saint John said. 

Congratulations Boz!!

Source: Becuaseofthemwecan

“The First Temptation Of Christ” has been created by Brazil-based YouTube comedy group Porta dos Fundos (which translates to ‘Back Door’). The Sun UKreports that the 46-minute Christmas Special depicts a weed-smoking Mary, and shows how Jesus comes home to attend his birthday party with a male friend.

So far, about 1.4 million people have signed an online petition calling on Netflix to remove the piece and take action against the producers for their ‘alleged insensitivity toward Christians.’

The film sees Jesus and a friend named Orlando arriving at Mary and Joseph’s house who are throwing a birthday party for their son. Jesus tries to downplay his relationship with Orlando, who hints the pair are more than just friends.  The movie description on Netflix reads:

“Jesus, who’s hitting the big 3-0, brings a surprise guest to meet the family. A Christmas special so wrong, it must be from comedians Porta dos Fundos,’  the description on Netflix.”

Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of conservative Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, took to social media to denounce the satirical special. He wrote:

We support freedom of expression, but is it worth attacking the belief of 86 percent of the population?




Credit: Bella Naija

Nigeria’s 2020 Oscar entry ‘LionHeart’ was disqualified on Monday November 4, for having too much English dialogue.

The movie which is Nigeria’s first-ever submission to the Academy Awards, was submitted for the international feature film Oscar category. The Academy’s description of an international feature film “is a feature-length motion picture (defined as over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.”

LionHeart which is not excluded from entering other Oscar categories including consideration for best picture, has just under 12 minutes of dialogue that is in the Igbo language native to Southeastern Nigeria, while the remaining 94-minutes is in English. With the disqualification, the number of films in contention for the award has dropped from 93 to 92.

However reacting to the disqualification on Twitter, Genevieve Nnaji wrote;


 “This movie represents the way we speak as Nigerians. This includes English which acts as a bridge between the 500+ languages spoken in our country; thereby making us #OneNigeria.” She added, “It’s no different to how French connects communities in former French colonies. We did not choose who colonized us. As ever, this film and many like it, is proudly Nigerian.”


American filmmaker who directed the Netflix drama miniseries When They See Us, Ava DuVernay also reacted to the disqualification. She tweeted;


 “To @TheAcademy, You disqualified Nigeria’s first-ever submission for Best International Feature because its in English. But English is the official language of Nigeria. Are you barring this country from ever competing for an Oscar in its official language?”


LionHeart movie disqualified from Oscar consideration, Genevieve Nnaji and Ava DuVernay react



Over the weekend the riveting Netflix series When They See Us, took home their first Emmy at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards for Outstanding Movie/Limited Series Casting.

The series tells the story of The Exonerated Five, formerly known as The Central Park Five, a group of teenage boys wrongly convicted for sexually assaulting a woman who was jogging in Central Park in 1989. When They See Us is based on the true story of Antron McCray (Caleel Harris/Jovan Adepo), Kevin Richardson (Asante Blackk/Justin Cunningham), Korey Wise (Jharrel Jerome), Raymond Santana Jr. (Marquis Rodriguez/Freddy Miyares) and Yusef Salaam (Ethan Herisse/Chris Chalk).

Ava DuVernay, who directed the series congratulated Aisha Coley, the film’s casting director on Instagram saying  “So happy for this wonderful woman! First nomination. First win. Aisha Coley has won the Emmy for her work in casting WHEN THEY SEE US, along with the great Billy Hopkins and Ashley Ingram. Overjoyed! BTW: She hates taking pictures so this is the best I have. A humble lady. Shy. And spectacular in her talent.”

The series earned 16 Emmy nominations in total. We’ll be tuning in to the Primetime Emmys to root for everyone on September 22nd at 8pm on FOX!

Barack and Michelle Obama have made their Hollywood debut in a documentary called ‘American Factory’.

American Factory looks at the economic and personal toll that the closure, which resulted in the loss of 2,000 jobs, had on residents of Moraine, Ohio, and at what happened after the facility was acquired by a Chinese investor in 2014.

The factory was reopened as Fuyao Glass, an auto-glass manufacturer that promised the return of jobs to the community.

Michelle Obama told the filmmakers she was particularly struck by the opening scenes of workers on the factory floor.

“That was my background, that was my father,” she said.

“One of the many things I love about this film… is that you let people tell their own story. “American Factory’ doesn’t come in with a perspective; it’s not an editorial.”

“We want people to be able to get outside of themselves and experience and understand the lives of somebody else,” Obama told filmmakers Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar in a promotional video released by Netflix.

“A good story gives you the chance to better understand someone else’s life,” Mr. Obama said Wednesday in a tweet. “It can help you find common ground. And it’s why Michelle and I were drawn to it.”

The Washington Post called “American Factory,” which arrived on Netflix on Wednesday, “a perfect vehicle for (Higher Ground’s) mission to lift up stories from underrepresented groups.”

Higher Ground Productions has also highlighted the film’s focus on culture wars, describing it as “early days of hope and optimism give way to setbacks as high-tech China clashes with working-class America.”



Source: fabwoman.ng

Netflix has acquired its first animated series from Africa titled “Mama K’s Team 4,” produced by South Africa’s award-winning Triggerfish Animation Studios and British kids’ and family entertainment production company CAKE, Variety is reporting.

The series was created by Zambian writer Malenga Mulendema who was one of the eight winners of the Triggerfish Story Lab in 2015.

The series follows the story of four teenage girls living in a futuristic version of Lusaka, Zambia, who are recruited by a retired secret agent to save the world. The series is designed by the Cameroonian artist Malcolm Wope.

Netflix and Triggerfish are now collaborating to search for female, African writers to join the creative team for the series.

Mulendema said of her inspiration for creating the series

In creating a superhero show set in Lusaka, I hope to introduce the world to four strong African girls who save the day in their own fun and crazy way. Most importantly, I want to illustrate that anyone from anywhere can be a superhero.

Melissa Cobb, vice president of original animation at Netflix said:

In addition to giving African writers a global platform on which to be heard, we are excited to present this powerful and entertaining new animated series that brings Malenga’s incredible and unique vision to life on Netflix.

‘Mama K’s Team 4’ has the potential to give a whole new generation of African children the opportunity to see themselves on screen in the powerful, aspirational characters they look up to.