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Dear White People creator Justin Simien is on the move.
Simien has signed a three-year overall deal with Paramount Television Studios. He moves to the ViacomCBS unit from his previous home at Lionsgate, which produces Dear White People.
Under the deal, Simien will develop and produce series for a variety of platforms via his Culture Machine banner. Aaliyah Jihad, who joined Culture Machine in 2019, will serve as creative executive for the company.
“During Dear White People‘s incredible four season run, it’s been an honor to facilitate bold-by-design, inclusive-by-default storytelling that pushes for better, more nuanced representation on screen as well as in the writers room, the director’s chair and across all departments,” said Simien. “Backed by an enthusiastic dream team at Paramount Television Studios, I’m thrilled to have the resources to apply my passion for identifying and developing the stars, storytellers and artists of tomorrow on an exponentially larger scale. As our industry grapples to attract an evolving, increasingly diverse consumer base, Culture Machine is poised and dedicated to meet that demand.”
Added Nicole Clemens, president Paramount TV Studios and Paramount+ original scripted series, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Justin and his wonderful team at Culture Machine into the PTVS family. Justin is a singular talent whose work consistently pushes the boundaries of storytelling and sparks necessary conversations both on-screen and off. We’ve long been fans of his and we’re looking forward to championing more of the cutting edge and essential stories that his name has become synonymous with.”
Dear White People‘s fourth and final season is set to stream on Netflix later this year; the series is based on Simien’s debut feature film of the same title. His second feature, Bad Hair, debuted on Hulu last year after the Disney-run streamer paid $8 million to acquire it at Sundance. He’s next set to direct The Haunted Mansion, based on the theme park ride, for Disney.
Simien is repped by CAA, Grandview, Del Shaw and Biz 3.
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