Netflix Unveils First Look at ‘Black Barbie’ Documentary

Black Barbie Documentary (Credit: Netflix)

Black Barbie: A Documentary chronicling the creation of Mattel’s first Black Barbie doll is scheduled to premiere this Juneteenth on Netflix.

The streaming service unveiled the premiere date and a first-look photo this week, saying the documentary will be part of its summer movie slate.

The film explores how the dolls came to be in 1980 — years after the original Barbie. The doc also tells the stories of Beulah Mae Mitchell, Kitty Black Perkins, and Stacey McBride Irby — three Black women at Mattel who advocated for the toy.

The first photo shows the dolls decked out in red gowns with glamorous curly hair.

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The Shondaland project is written and directed by Lagueria Davis, who has a personal connection to one of the doll’s creators.

“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,” Davis said in a previous statement. “We couldn’t have asked for better collaborators than Shondaland and Netflix to bring this story to the world.”

In addition to exploring the doll’s journey, the film will examine the importance of representation and how dolls can help shape a child’s identity and imagination.

The documentary is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers as part of their overall deal with Netflix.

Additional executive producers include Grace Lay and Sumalee Montano for LinLay Productions, Camilla Hall for Lady & Bird Films, along with Milan Chakraborty, and Jyoti Sarda.

Black Barbie: A Documentary premieres June 19 on Netflix.

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