A husband-and-wife duo has created the first Black-owned animation network currently set to launch this summer, PR Newswire reports.
Jermaine and Whaketa Hargrove are the creators of Animation TV, a streaming platform focused on promoting diversity in the animation space. The Hargroves hope to expose people to all facets of animation culture, providing a subscription option and linear channel model for viewers.
Animation TV has teamed up with Small Town Animation Studios to produce original content like Gumshe: The Type 1 Protector, a film about a diabetic superhero, The Sunday Schoolers, a faith-based program, Welcome to Gamerville, Animate My Life, Princess Tatenda, and an award-winning series entitled Shelly: The Dancing Spider.
“We are using Animation TV and exclusive content to bring awareness to the lack of diversity and inclusion in the animation industry. By offering distribution to global animation creators, we will amplify the voices that sometimes go unheard,” Jermaine said via statement.
In addition to the array of animation offerings coming down the pipeline, the couple has also embedded giving back into their business model, committing a portion of their revenue to provide animation scholarships for students in underserved communities. Kit Bash 3D and The Animation School in South Africa are among the partners aligned with the scholarship initiative.
“The Animation School continues to drive diversity through partnerships such as Animation TV. These [partnerships] highlight the importance of building a diverse community within the international animation industry,” said Animation School Director and Co-founder, Nunu Martins.
The platform is slated for launch this summer, with plans to eventually expand its offerings to include assets in the Metaverse and NFT sectors. While the animation industry has historically been underrepresented by creators of color, the Hargroves hope to change that. Their focus now is on creating content for viewers of all ages, nationalities, and ethnicities, opening up their distribution pipeline for new content, and strategically planning for future possibilities with larger partners in the sector.
“Structuring a theatrical partnership with a major film studio for some of our stronger animation IPs is also a goal of Animation TV. We are currently looking to finance, develop and distribute all forms of animation content (2D/3D) from creators all over the world,” said Jermaine.
If you are interested in submitting your work to Animation TV, click here.
This article was originally published on BOTWC