3:10am PT by Katie Kilkenny
Prince Harry to Partner With Oprah on Apple TV+ Mental Health Series
Oprah is enlisting British royalty to produce her upcoming mental-health series for Apple TV.
The series was first announced at Apple's star-studded presentation of their upcoming TV+ service, featuring cameos by Winfrey as well as Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and J.J. Abrams, to Hollywood talent agents and Apple stars and showrunners. In addition to the mental-health series, whose details are being kept under wraps, Oprah will partner with TV+ on the docuseries Toxic Labor, about toxic work environments, and will bring Winfrey's Book Club to Apple. Winfrey has inked a multiyear deal with the tech giant for scripted and unscripted originals, podcasts, books, apps and potentially more.
The partnership was announced via Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's official Instagram account on Wednesday.
We are excited to announce that The Duke of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey are partners, co-creators and executive producers on their forthcoming mental health series launching on Apple in 2020. The pair have been developing the series for several months and are looking forward to sharing such an important project on this global platform. The dynamic multi-part documentary series will focus on both mental illness and mental wellness, inspiring viewers to have an honest conversation about the challenges each of us faces, and how to equip ourselves with the tools to not simply survive, but to thrive. This commitment builds on The Duke of Sussex’s long-standing work on issues and initiatives regarding mental health, where he has candidly shared personal experience and advocated for those who silently suffer, empowering them to get the help and support they deserve. His Royal Highness has spent many years working with communities throughout the UK and young people across the Commonwealth to break the stigma surrounding mental illness and broaden the conversation of mental wellness to accelerate change for a more compassionate, connected and positive society. Quote from HRH: “I truly believe that good mental health - mental fitness - is the key to powerful leadership, productive communities and a purpose-driven self. It is a huge responsibility to get this right as we bring you the facts, the science and the awareness of a subject that is so relevant during these times. Our hope is that this series will be positive, enlightening and inclusive - sharing global stories of unparalleled human spirit fighting back from the darkest places, and the opportunity for us to understand ourselves and those around us better. I am incredibly proud to be working alongside Oprah on this vital series.”
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The Duke of Sussex has been outspoken about mental health issues in recent years, famously disclosing in a 2017 podcast interview that he sought counseling in his late 20s after suppressing his emotions surrounding the death of his mother, Princess Diana. In 2016 he co-founded the Heads Together initiative, which seeks to combat mental-health stigma and fund mental-health services.
Winfrey's interest in mental health is also personal: In a February 2016 issue of her O magazine, she admitted to having experienced anxiety and depression, and wrote that “in recent years I’ve come face-to-face with mental illness, as several people close to me were hospitalized with severe suicidal depression and manic and schizophrenic thoughts.” She's spoke about her own depression to Vogue in 2017, recalling a bout after a box-office disappointment for her film Beloved in 1998.