Netflix reportedly gave former NFL star Colin Kaepernick unprecedented creative power over his new drama series, including input into casting and final cut.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Colin Kaepernick confirmed he was “involved in all aspects” of Colin in Black & White.
“As a co-creator and executive producer, I was involved in all aspects of the show — from its creation, to its script, to the casting decisions, format, and final cuts,” he said. “The format and structure of the show became critically important because one of my goals was to tell a great story without ambiguity as to the messaging behind it.”
Series director Ava DuVernay described Kaepernick’s involvement as “creating sculpture together with every fingerprint.”
Colin in Black & White, which debuts Friday, focuses on the football player’s boyhood as the adopted son of white parents, living in a predominantly white neighborhood.
“I had important goals I wanted to achieve in telling this part of my story,” Kaepernick told the Times. “I wanted to create a scripted series around my high school years that addressed race and racism head-on.”
Netflix does not always grant such creative power to the real-world subjects of its dramatic shows.
The streamer got into trouble over its portrayal of former New York City prosecutor Linda Fairstein in When They See Us, the 2019 limited series about the Central Park jogger case. Fairstein has sued the streamer and director DuVernay, alleging they defamed her by portraying her as racist and unethical.
Netflix’s The Crown has also upset some members of the royal family, who had no creative input into the Emmy-winning series. Prince William is reportedly unhappy about the show’s portrayal of his parents, including the upcoming season’s dramatization of Princess Diana’s interview with journalist Martin Bashir.