Warner Bros. Television Group has established an exclusive creative partnership and overall deal with Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, the Carl I. Hovland Professor of African American Studies at Yale University and Center for Policing Equity co-founder and CEO, which aims to identify and reduce the causes of racial disparity in public safety and advocates for scalable change.
A highly respected national leader in the science of racial bias and expert on sexism and public safety, Goff and his newly formed creative team, JusticeRx, will develop original programming under the terms of the multiyear pact, and consult with studio and show creators to promote equity, inclusion and social justice via his insights and other resources. They will consult through a project’s original inception through development, production and beyond.
Additionally, Goff’s pioneering work with scientific experiments that expose how our minds learn to associate Blackness and crime implicitly — often with deadly consequences — will inform future programming with the goal of telling narratives that help get people free. These could range from scripted dramas and comedies to docuseries and other unscripted projects, developed for the studio and its streaming, cable and broadcast networks.
“Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff has been a leading voice of moral clarity on critical issues facing our society, and through this creative partnership, we are honored to have the benefit of his insight, guidance and counsel here at the Studio,” said Channing Dungey, chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group, in a statement. “We are also extremely excited to collaborate with Dr. Goff and his team to create powerful and compelling programming that will both entertain and inspire.”
The deal with Goff underscores the studio’s ongoing commitment to creating entertaining and inclusive programming that reflects the cultural diversity of our country and inspires a more just society through the power of storytelling. Kevin Richardson, an industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience as a creative executive that helped develop Fox’s “Empire” and “24: Live Another Day,” will serve as JusticeRx’s executive VP and Dr. Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, a Harvard and NYU Tisch-educated writer, scholar, producer and TED Fellow, will be VP of creative affairs. Halle Liebman will be joining from NBCUniversal’s streamer Peacock to coordinate the enterprise.
“This year, the world was reminded of the power stories have to define our lives. That creates an unprecedented opportunity to direct that power towards uplifting vulnerable communities. Our goal will be to help storytellers un-tell the lies we tell about ourselves. I could not be more excited about this opportunity to work with the brilliant people at WBTV in that project,” Goff added.
Goff also serves as a principal investigator for the organization’s National Science Foundation-funded National Justice Database, the first and largest national database that serves as a tool to reduce burdensome, racist and inequitable policing through scientific analyses. His advocacy for reimagining outmoded systems of public safety and combating police brutality has earned him numerous awards from the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the Ford Foundation. In the world of entertainment, Goff was a producer on BET’s six-part docuseries “Finding Justice,” executive produced by Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia and Dream Hampton.