The Netflix Black Barbie documentary debuted at this year’s SXSW
Written and directed by Lagueria Davis, the upcoming Netflix Black Barbie documentary recently debuted at SXSW. The first Black Barbie doll made its appearance in 1980, 31 years after the original Barbie, and three Black women at Mattel who fought for the toy are the subjects of this documentary.
Met with widespread praise, the Netflix Black Barbie documentary was acquired under Shondaland. As part of Shondaland’s overall contract with Netflix, Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers have joined the group of executive producers. Grace Lay and Sumalee Montano for LinLay Productions, Camilla Hall for Lady & Bird Films, Milan Chakraborty, and Jyoti Sarda are also listed as executive producers.
“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,” said Davis in a statement. “We couldn’t have asked for better collaborators than Shondaland and Netflix to bring this story to the world.”
The film explores “the importance of representation and how dolls can be crucial to the formation of identity and imagination” through the accounts of Mattel insiders and Davis’ personal connection to the doll. Netflix and Shondaland’s official logline reads:
“Black Barbie celebrates the momentous impact three Black women at Mattel had on the evolution of the Barbie brand as we know it. Through these charismatic insiders’ stories, the documentary tells the story of how the first Black Barbie came to be in 1980, examining the importance of representation and how dolls can be crucial to the formation of identity and imagination.”
Stay tuned for more details of the Netflix Black Barbie documentary.