Jemele Hill’s time out of the sports world lasted…well, a few days. On Wednesday, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Hill would be the narrator for LeBron James’ three-part Showtime documentary Shut Up and Dribble, which is directed by Gotham Chopra.
THR also got some quotes from Hill about the series, and what she believes is in James’ mind regarding the documentary.
“I think LeBron, like a lot of people, has been very frustrated by the behavior of this administration,” Hill tells The Hollywood Reporter. “[Black Americans] feel very insulted and vulnerable within this time because of who’s in charge.”
“Lately LeBron has talked about gender and wanting to uplift and position black women in particular,” says Hill. “I get the sense that this is all part of that. He was raised by a black woman, he is married to a black woman and he is raising a black woman (daughter Zhuri, 3). If you look at the societal ladder, black women remain on the lowest rung. He clearly understands that we are facing a unique battle. It means a lot that he understands the intricacies of that.”
The series was announced in August, and a trailer was released weeks later. It will debut in November. Plenty of interviews are featured in the series, including with NBA luminaries Isaiah Thomas, Charles Barkley, Kevin Durant, and LeBron himself, and with non-sports personalities, like Jay-Z (who used to own part of the Brooklyn Nets, and founded a sports agency, Roc Nation Sports) and Justin Timberlake (who owns a small stake in the Memphis Grizzlies).
Attaching Hill to the project is going to get chatter, including plenty of negative talk from the expected parties, but it’s not as if the people damning Showtime for this would have had much interest anyway. It’s also telling that her first announced project post-ESPN is in the sports sphere, related to social issues. Hill’s platform is changing, but her focus isn’t changing along with it.