Husband and wife Jermaine and Whaketa Hargrove have created the first-ever Black-owned streaming animation network called Animation TV. The animation network will be the first and only animation streaming platform that streams all aspects of animation culture, a statement on PR Newswire said.
The platform will work in collaboration with Small Town Animation Studios to deliver original, exclusive animation content such as the highly anticipated diabetic superhero movie Gumshe: The Type 1 Protector, or faith-based series The Sunday Schoolers, and other originals like Animate My Life, Welcome to Gamerville, Princess Tatenda and the award-winning series Shelly: The Dancing Spider.
“We are using Animation TV and exclusive content to bring awareness to the lack of diversity and inclusion in the animation industry. By offering distribution to global animation creators, we will amplify the voices that sometimes go unheard,” Jermaine said via a statement. “Structuring a theatrical partnership with a major film Studio for some of our stronger animation IP’s is also a goal of Animation TV.”
Also, the couple has made giving back an integral part of its business model, by using a portion of its revenue to provide animation scholarships for students from under-served communities. In line with this initiative, the streaming animation network has partnered with giant names like Kit Bash 3D and The Animation School in South Africa.
“The Animation School continues to drive diversity through partnerships such as Animation TV. These [partnerships] highlight the importance of building a diverse community within the international animation industry,” the Director and Co-founder of The Animation School, Nuno Martins, said about the initiative.
Another initiative of Animation TV is seeking to translate animation culture into real-world value by tapping into the Metaverse and NFTs as features of the platform. “Animation TV will also be distributed globally for users of all operating system interfaces, including iOS, tvOS, Android, Android TV, and the worldwide web,” the statement from Animation TV said.
Traditionally, animation has not represented people of color. Jermaine and Whaketa Hargrove are hoping to change that with Animation TV which will be launched in Summer 2022.