Kenya Barris, Pharrell Williams in Talks With Netflix to Develop Juneteenth Musical Feature
According to Deadline, Emmy nominee Kenya Barris (Black-ish, #BlackAF) and singer plus two-time Oscar nominee Pharrell Williams (Hidden Figures, Despicable Me 2) are in talks with Netflix to develop a feature-length musical about Juneteenth, the commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. The trio is reportedly in early stages coming up with a plan for the project.
Details about the storyline for the feature are currently under wraps. Williams will produce the project with partner Mimi Valdes alongside Barris, who will produce via his production company Khalabo Ink Society.
Williams recently announced alongside Virginia Governor Ralph Northam that Juneteenth will be recognized as a paid state holiday for the first time in the state’s history. At the event, Williams said, “This year, Juneteenth will look like no other Juneteenth before it.”
Virginia and New York both joined Texas in recognizing Juneteenth as a state holiday. The date celebrates June 19, 1865, the day General Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to announce that slaves were now free.
Barris has been vocal about making Juneteenth a national holiday, and has featured a Juneteenth party in his new Netflix series #BlackAF as well as dedicating a landmark episode of his ABC comedy series Black-ish to the holiday, calling it “one of the most meaningful things that he’s ever worked on.”
A few major Hollywood companies like CAA, Endeavor, ICM, UTA, Gersh, APA, SAG-AFTRA, The Lede Company, and R&C/PMK are recognizing Juneteeth and have made it an annual paid holiday, alongside companies like Spotify and Twitter.
(Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images & Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)