Launched in 2020, the Black-ish star co-created the production venture with her mother Keri Shahidi. The company was cultivated to amplify the voices of underrepresented groups through storytelling. After unveiling 7th Sun Productions, the mother-daughter duo announced they inked a deal with ABC Studios to produce projects across streaming services, broadcast, and cable platforms.
Under the extended pact, Shahidi’s company will join forces with the Onyx Collective to develop television projects. The production company boasts a team of innovative storytellers who are using their artistry to transform the world of entertainment, including Erika Green Swafford, Ryan Coogler and Natasha Rothwell.
“It is every creative’s dream to be seen and heard and to do so with colleagues who align with your vision and your soul,” Yara and Keri shared in a statement. “We are so grateful to have the opportunity to continue to create with our Disney family and be grounded in the work that Onyx Collective is doing to meet the moment.” Tara Duncan, who serves as president of Onyx Collective and Freeform, shared Onyx Collective’s mission is rooted in nurturing “imaginative storytelling, creating disruptive, inclusive and wildly entertaining narratives that would spark conversation and forward the culture.”
Black women are using television production as an avenue to reclaim their narratives and provide an authentic lens into the culture. Last year, actress, writer and producer Natasha Rothwell signed a deal with ABC Signature through her company Big Hattie Productions. “It was important to me to find a studio partner that would not only honor my vision and my voice as a storyteller, but also one that shared my hunger for stories that broaden the limited scope with which BIPOCs have traditionally been viewed––stories where our humanity isn’t a plot point or up for debate but it’s understood, celebrated and explored in new and interesting ways,” said Rothwell.