YouTube Slates Original Gigi Gorgeous Documentary, JennxPenn Series

YouTube Red’s originals slate is adding two new productions: a documentary about transgender digital star Gigi Gorgeous helmed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, and a series starring popular YouTube personality JennxPenn.

On Wednesday, the first YouTube Red original programming — three films featuring digital stars and the prankish “Scare PewDiePie” series — premiered on the $10-per-month video and music service.

Gigi Gorgeous, a 23-year-old formerly known as Gregory Lazzarato, is the subject of “Untitled Gigi Gorgeous Project,” taking a look at the Canadian native’s journey from childhood into her transformation into a woman. Gigi Gorgeous, a beauty and fashion vlogger with more than 2.1 million subscribers, announced in a December 2013 YouTube video that she was transgender.

“I’ve spent the last five years going through a very personal journey,” Gigi Gorgeous said in a statement provided by her reps. “I’m nervous but thrilled to lift the curtain and share my intimate details and experiences through this film on YouTube Red.”

The untitled Gigi Gorgeous documentary is produced in collaboration with YouTube, SelectNext and Sander/Moses Productions. The film will be executive produced by Gigi Gorgeous, SelectNext’s Adam Wescott and Scott Fisher, as well as Ian Sander and Kim Moses of Sander/Moses Productions.

Kopple, whose films “American Dream” and “Harlan County, USA” won Academy Awards, is bringing her cinéma vérité style to telling Gigi Gorgeous’ story. The project is filming this week at New York Fashion Week, where Gigi Gorgeous is appearing in the American Heart Association’s Red Dress event, and will also shoot in L.A. and in Toronto revisiting her childhood haunts.

Producers originally intended to shop the Gigi Gorgeous documentary to festivals; under the YouTube Red arrangement, the video site is fully funding the project for exclusive distribution, while still allowing the docu to be screened at festivals. “The goal here is to really elevate the level of content that can be done on YouTube Red, and also to satisfy and intrigue her fans,” Wescott said. He added that the film will incorporate portions of the 4.5 hours of video Gigi Gorgeous shot of her transition to becoming a woman, including footage of her transgender surgery and private family moments.

“Foursome,” starring JennXPenn (19-year-old Jenn McAllister), comes from AwesomenessTV. McAllister is Andie, an undateable sophomore — thanks to her older brother Alec, played by Vine star Logan Paul, who makes sure no guy comes near her. Andie must rely on the unbreakable bond she has with her three best friends, as they navigate the hormone-induced journey known as high school.

YouTube Red originals now live are “Scare PewDiePie,” starring gaming vlogger Felix Kjellberg; “A Trip to Unicorn Island,” a documentary about Lilly Singh (aka IISuperwomanII) on her global tour from Astronauts Wanted; AwesomenessTV’s “Dance Camp” musical teen drama; and “Lazer Team,” a sci-fi action-comedy from Rooster Teeth and Fullscreen Films.

Other previously announced projects coming to YouTube Red include “Prank Academy,” featuring Jesse and Jeana of YouTube’s PrankvsPrank and BFvsGF; “Fight of the Living Dead,” a reality show from Alpine Labs with popular YouTubers trapped in a zombie apocalypse; “Untitled 360 Game Theory,” a show exploring virtual-reality experiences hosted by YouTube educator and pop-culture commentator MatPat from the Game Theorists; and “Bad Internet,” written by and starring the cast of IAC’s CollegeHumor, a dark and comedic look at the absurdity of Internet culture.

More Digital

  • Snap Inc

    Snap Stock Skyrockets As Company Adds 13 Million Daily Active Users in Q2

    Share prices for Snapchat’s corporate parent Snap Inc. shot up as much as 13% in after-hours trading Tuesday on news that Snapchat added 13 million daily active users in Q2 of 2019. The service ended the quarter with 203 million users, compared to 190 million at the end of Q1, and 188 million in Q2 [...]

  • jbl link bar

    JBL Finally Releases Its Android TV-powered Smart Sound Bar

    Over a year after first announcing it, Samsung subsidiary Harman is finally releasing its JBL Link Bar, a smart sound bar that comes with Android TV built-in. The new device effectively doubles as a smart speaker, and does away with the need for any additional streaming devices. Google and Harman / JBL first announced the [...]

  • Inverse-BDG

    Bustle Digital Buys Digital-Media Startup Inverse, Its Eighth Acquisition to Date

    Bustle Digital Group, continuing its strategy of snapping up smaller digital-media players, has acquired Inverse, geared toward an young-male audience with content about science, tech and culture. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. BDG founder and CEO Bryan Goldberg is well-acquainted with Inverse, which was founded in 2015 by CEO Dave Nemetz — who previously [...]

  • Pandora voice mode

    Pandora Launches Voice Mode for Everyone

    After first launching a limited beta earlier this year, Pandora opened up its mobile voice control to all of its iOS and Android users Tuesday. The new feature allows users to ask for songs, albums, playlists, stations, and even soundtracks for activities or times of day, with simple voice commands. Pandora’s voice mode is similar [...]

  • The Netflix logo is displayed at

    Netflix Target of Shareholder Lawsuits After Q2 Subscriber Shortfall

    Like clockwork, Netflix’s big miss on subscriber targets for the second quarter of 2019 have prompted lawsuits filed on behalf of shareholders. At least two suits seeking class-action standing were filed Monday, by the Rosen Law Firm and Schall Law Firm, which both specialize in investor litigation. The lawsuits allege Netflix violated SEC regulations by [...]

  • AMC’s Streamer Acorn TV Hires Kerensa

    AMC-Owned Streamer Acorn TV Hires Former Filmstruck Exec as International Boss

    Former Filmstruck International general manager Kerensa Samanidis has been appointed Acorn TV’s first international chief. As general manager, international, she will spearhead the growth of the AMC Networks-owned streamer outside of North America and Latin America. Last year, Acorn TV expanded into Australia, and New Zealand, Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and Scandinavia. In the newly-created international [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content