Justin Simien, Forest Whitaker Partner for ‘Hollywood Black’ Docuseries on the Black Experience in Cinema

Justin Simien and Forest Whitaker for Hollywood Black, a new docuseries greenlit by MGM+. (Credit: Deposit Photos)

The upcoming documentary series Hollywood Black will tell the story of the Black actors, writers, directors, and producers who fought for their place in Hollywood.

MGM+ announced the four-part series on Tuesday, saying it will be produced by Justin Simien’s Culture Machine, Forest Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi’s Significant Productions, and RadicalMedia.

Hollywood Black, like other recent MGM+ docuseries, is an entertaining and thoughtful look at a vital part of American culture, examining the evolution of Black cinema and the talented artists who built it,” Michael Wright, head of MGM+, said in a statement. “It is a timely and relevant look at the Black experience in Hollywood.”

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Based on the book by the same name from historian Donald Bogle, the series will chronicle a century of the Black experience in cinema.

“Hollywood, like many American industries, was built on Black culture and Black talent, even though it excluded Black people from many of its origin stories,” Simien said. “This series seeks to illuminate present-day controversies, from #OscarSoWhite to the almost regular ‘blackface reveal’ of prominent white celebrities, told through the lens of Black individuals throughout Hollywood history.”

“We love collaborating with visionary filmmakers, so it’s an honor to team up with Justin Simien/Culture Machine and Radical Media on Hollywood Black, especially alongside such immense support from Michael Wright and MGM+,” added Whitaker.

Simien (Dear White People, Bad Hair) will executive produce and direct. Additional executive producers include Kyle Laursen, Forest Whitaker, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Dave Sirulnick, Stacey Reiss, Jon Kamen and Jeffrey Swartz. Amy Goodman Kass is showrunner.

A release date will be announced later.

MGM+, home to Whitaker’s Godfather of Harlem, is a premium TV channel and streaming service.