Colin Kaepernick and Disney Announce New Partnership

Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

The Takeaways:

  • As a Disney partner, Kaepernick will be working closely with the company to develop and produce a variety of content across different channels.
  • Projects will explore issues surrounding social injustice, race, and equity.
  • The announcement comes at a moment when politics, sports and entertainment are interacting in new ways.

Why it matters:

This deal with Kaepernick’s production arm, Ra Vision Media, marks a significant departure from the strategy of the highest levels of both Disney and ESPN over the past three years.

Disney, as one of the world’s largest entertainment companies, with a record $70 billion revenue in 2019, has typically avoided content with political commentary and a spirit of protest.

University of Virginia’s Carmenita Higginbotham, who teaches and studies Disney, told The Washington Post that: “What Disney has to do is figure out how to make itself matter, how to get in front of audiences in very different ways than it has in the past,” she said. “Because the previous rules … of just riding safely down the middle of American society” no longer work.

Former ESPN TV host Jemele Hill, who was dismissed for publicly calling President Donald Trump a white supremacist, will now return to the network as a producer for the docuseries with Kaepernick.

“I am excited to announce this historic partnership with Disney across all of its platforms to elevate Black and Brown directors, creators, storytellers, and producers, and to inspire the youth with compelling and authentic perspectives,” Kaepernick said in a statement.

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