On March 25, 2021, Apple TV+ announced that it would be streaming 12 Angry Men… and Women on its platform free of charge for four weeks. You won’t even be needing a subscription either!
12 Angry Men… and Women is based on the book 12 Angry Men: True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today, edited by Matthew W. Hughey and Lani Guinier. The book is actually a compilation of 12 stories written by 12 different authors about the racial issues of contemporary America. In a beautifully written summary, Publishers Weekly described the book as follows: “In this ‘extraordinarily compelling’ book, a dozen eloquent authors tell their own personal stories of being racially profiled. From a Harvard law school student tackled by a security guard on the streets of Manhattan, a federal prosecutor detained while walking in his own neighborhood in Washington, DC, and a high school student in Colorado arrested for “loitering” in the subway station as he waits for the train home, to a bike rider in Austin, Texas, a professor at a Big Ten university in Iowa, and the head of the ACLU’s racial profiling initiative (who was pursued by national guardsmen after arriving on the red-eye in Boston’s Logan airport), here are true stories of law-abiding Americans who also happen to be black men.”
The production that is airing on Apple TV+ was filmed in the Steve Jobs Theater, the place where Apple usually announces its new products but this time, the company has allowed the production team behind the project to use the premises to film their passion project, which is set to be a hit for the team and for the streaming service, mainly because of the importance of the issues the project embodies.
This is not, though, the first adaptation of this book, as the Billie Holiday theater has already produced the book on stage, but their Apple TV+ production is going to be completely original and will focus on the killing of Breonna Taylor.
“Black Theater institutions have been the vanguards of stories rooted in equity and racial justice for centuries. The Billie Holiday Theatre’s production of 12 Angry Men…And Women at the Steve Jobs Theater embodies the spirit of that legacy while innovating on how this story is told,” said Wendell Pierce, actor and Board Member of The Billie Holiday Theatre. “This is a necessary and timely work of art that centers around the systemic racial injustices in this country and our partnership with Apple makes it more widely accessible to audiences, sparking meaningful conversations that lead to change.”
This production is a historical one, as it is the first time that Apple has allowed a theater company to use the Steve Jobs theater for a production of their play, and more so because this production is airing on Apple TV+. The film is available for free, without subscription until April 22, 2021, so be sure to check it out in that time. You’re definitely not going to regret it!