Docs

Smithsonian Channel, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo team on health doc “Color of Care”

Smithsonian Channel and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions are teaming up to release a new original documentary, The Color of Care, about health care and people of color in the United ...
March 3, 2022

Smithsonian Channel and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions are teaming up to release a new original documentary, The Color of Care, about health care and people of color in the United States. The film will premiere on the Smithsonian Channel on May 1 in the U.S. and Canada, with subsequent launches in the UK, Ireland and Latin America planned later in the month.

The feature documentary looks at how people of color suffer from systemically substandard healthcare in America and how the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the consequences of those inequalities.

Additionally, the film will also launch with an impact campaign activating medical and nursing schools, health care workers, policymakers and affected communities to put forward solutions toward health equity. The campaign will also engage Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to further empower all communities to take note of the issue and take actions to address it.

The documentary explores the origins of racial health disparities in the U.S. to practices that began during slavery and continue to this day. Using testimony from those who lost loved ones to COVID-19 and frontline medical workers in overwhelmed hospitals, expert interviews and data, the film examines the toll that institutional racism in the health care system has taken.

“People of color have long endured the fatal consequences of racial health disparities and the COVID-19 pandemic made these inequalities plain for all to see,” said James Blue, head of Smithsonian Channel in a news release. “I hope our documentary event, The Color of Care, will be a catalyst for action.”

“At the height of the pandemic, I read something that stopped me in my tracks,” said Winfrey, who serves as executive producer, in a statement. “I read a story about Gary Fowler, a Black man that died in his home because no hospital would treat him despite his COVID-19 symptoms. As we continued to hear how the racial disparities in our country were exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic, I felt something needed to be done.”

The Color of Care is produced by Harpo Productions with executive producers Oprah Winfrey, Terry Wood and Catherine Cyr. It’s directed by Emmy-winning director Yance Ford, with Kate Bolger producing. James Blue and Tim Evans are executive producers for Smithsonian Channel, with Najma Nurridin serving as producer.

Photo: Smithsonian Channel/YouTube

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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