Documentary, Festivals
Oct 10, 2023

Shondaland Snaps Up ‘Black Barbie’ Documentary and Heads For Netflix

Black Barbie: A Documentary, details Mattel’s introduction of a Black doll to its Barbie collection and the women that brought her to life.


The documentary has landed at Netflix with Shonda Rhimes‘ Shondaland at the helm. Lagueria Davis directs the documentary and produces it alongside producer Aaliyah Williams. What we know of the documentary’s subject and depth so far is its logline “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.”

A work-in-progress cut of the film premiered at SXSW 2023

Netflix and Shondaland have landed Black Barbie as a coup for the company. The iconic brand of Mattel, soecifically Barbie has skyrocketed into the zeitgeist with the release of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. That movie, which stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, is the highest-grossing film of the year, earning over $1.4 billion at the box office.