CBS Studios announced today an overall producing deal with well-known racial justice, anti-violence and gender equity advocate Tarana J. Burke and her producing partner, highly respected storyteller and communications strategist Mervyn Marcano. As part of the agreement, they will partner with CBS Studios to develop scripted, unscripted and documentary content for linear television networks and streaming platforms.
Burke and Marcano’s entity, Field/House Productions, is a development and production home for stories that embrace complexity and highlight underrepresented voices. Working across all mediums, Field/House aims to champion narratives driven by storytellers who represent “the rest of us.”
“In our quest to partner with compelling storytellers, Tarana and Mervyn stand out,” said David Stapf, President, CBS Studios. “Their drive and leadership as stewards of change brings a powerful and distinct voice to advancing stories of inclusion and impact. They are clearly magnets for many whose voices need to be heard and we’re excited to work alongside them in this new venture.”
“Creating space for new narratives has always been an integral part of cultural change work,” said Burke. “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 voices.”
“We’re thrilled to be building a powerful vehicle for inclusive stories with CBS Studios,” said Marcano. “Our goal has always been to create a pipeline of culturally progressive programming with our diverse network of creatives and storytellers. We look forward to working with the team at CBS Studios as these stories find their homes across the media ecosystem.”
Tarana J. Burke is the founder of the ‘me too’ movement. For three decades, she has worked at the intersection of racial justice, arts and culture, anti-violence and gender equity. Her theory of “empowerment through empathy” is changing the way the world thinks about sexual violence, consent and bodily autonomy. Her work has galvanized millions of survivors and allies around the world. She has received numerous accolades, including TIME Person of the Year (2017), TIME’s 100 Most Influential People (2018), Harvard Kennedy School’s Citizen Activist Award (2019) and USA Today’s Women of the Decade in 2020. Her debut memoir, Unbound, will be published by Flatiron in the fall.
Mervyn Marcano is a producer, storyteller and communications strategist. He is currently Executive Producer on an untitled long-form documentary series set at HBO and a film special for HBO Max. His prior television work includes the YouTube Original series Resist and Finding Justice for BET. With over 18 years of leadership experience with social change organizations, Marcano heads communications and storytelling work at Blackbird, a strategy hub for racial and social justice movements. He provides strategic counsel to issue campaigns and is a well-recognized source for journalists around the world. His impact advertising content has won numerous accolades, including: Campaign’s 2019 Inclusive & Creative Award, The AICP Animation Award and The Andy Gold Award. Prior to founding Blackbird, he served as senior leadership for a number of leading progressive organizations including ColorOfChange, MediaJustice and The League of Young Voters.
This new partnership, which includes a commitment to develop content for the CBS Television Network as well as the ability to sell programming to third-party platforms across the media landscape, joins the recently announced CBS Studios/NAACP production pact in focusing on producing premium content that tells inclusive stories and expands the number of diverse voices.