CBS Studios Enters Production Deal With ‘Me Too’ Founder Tarana Burke

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JULY 06: Tarana Burke speaks onstage during the 2018 Essence Festival presented by Coca-Cola at Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 6, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence)
Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

CBS Studios has entered an overall deal with Black Lives Matter, gender equity advocate, and “Me Too” founder Tarana Burke, as well as her producing partner Mervyn Marcano. The anti-Trump Burke, and Marcano will partner with CBS Studios to develop scripted, unscripted, and documentary content, according to a report by Deadline.

The duo’s banner, Field/House Productions, is a “development and production home for stories that embrace complexity and highlight underrepresented voices,” and looks to promote narratives driven by storytellers who represent “the rest of us.”

“Creating space for new narratives has always been an integral part of cultural change work,” Burke said. “Field/House is a platform for those new narratives. This partnership gives us the reach and scale to ensure that we build new audiences for new voice.”

(Back L-R) Activist Tarana Burke, actor Michelle Williams, actor America Ferrera, actor Jessica Chastain, actor Amy Poehler, actor Meryl Streep, actor Kerry Washington (front, L-R) actor Natalie Portman, activist Ai-jen Poo, and activist Saru Jayaraman attend the 19th Annual Post-Golden Globes Party hosted by Warner Bros. Pictures and InStyle at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Marcano added that he and Burke are “thrilled to be building a powerful vehicle for inclusive stories with CBS Studios. Our goal has always been to create a pipeline of culturally progressive programming with our diverse network of creatives and storytellers.”

The new partnership is CBS’ latest social justice endeavor. CBS Studios recently entered a multi-year agreement with the NAACP to develop content that tells stories of the black American experience.

In the wake of mass rioting over the death of George Floyd, CBS also announced a partnership with a public safety group run by more than a half dozen Obama administration operatives to advise producers of its police dramas — such as NCIS and its spin offs, and Blue Bloods — on better ways to portray “modern policing.”

Moreover, CBS also committed last year to using 25 percent of its production budget to produce TV projects dedicated to “BIPOC” topics — an acronym for “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color” — and will increase the number of minorities in creative roles.

“In our quest to partner with compelling storytellers, Tarana and Mervyn stand out,” said David Stapf, President of CBS Studios, of the new partnership with Burke and Marcano.

“Their drive and leadership as stewards of change brings a powerful and distinct voice to advancing stories of inclusion and impact,” Stapf added. “They are clearly magnets for many whose voices need to be heard and we’re excited to work alongside them in this new venture.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.


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