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It’s been over two years since we first heard about the high-profile documentary being put together by Prince Harry and Oprah on the subject of mental health, but it looks like it’s finally set to debut later this month — perhaps only coincidentally around the same time that Apple’s colourful new product lineup is expected to arrive.
The documentary was one of the first pair of Oprah productions to be announced during Apple’s original Apple TV+ unveiling on March 25, 2019, with the other expected to focus on sexual harassment in the workplace.
Neither of the documentaries were expected to be available with the launch of Apple TV+ back in late 2019, but in retrospect we’re somewhat surprised that 2020 came and went with nary a mention of either of them. While the global pandemic likely had an impact, we’ve heard little of the other documentary, Toxic Labour, either, even though it had already been given a title and seemed to be farther along in production.
So, it looks like it’s the piece from the Duke of Sussex that will be the headline Oprah documentary to debut on Apple TV+. While Winfrey already has a strong presence on Apple’s streaming service, thanks to Oprah’s Book Club, Oprah Talks COVID-19, and The Oprah Conversation, this latest entry is the first documentary project from the legendary producer and philanthropist.
According to today’s official Apple announcement, the documentary series now has a title, The Me You Can’t See, and it’s coming May 21, 2021 with an array of high-profile celebrities sharing some of their own struggles with mental health.
Co-producer Prince Harry, has long been an ardent supporter of mental health issues, having struggled with the darkness himself after the death of his mother, Princess Diana. The Duke of Sussex kept it under wraps for more than 20 years before everything began to bubble to the surface, after which he candidly came out in 2017 to help others suffering from similar issues by removing the stigma of opening up.
Now more than ever, there is an immediate need to replace the shame surrounding mental health with wisdom, compassion, and honesty. Our series aims to spark that global conversation.Oprah Winfrey
Not surprisingly, the new documentary shares a similar goal, with a desire to help people have honest discussions about mental health and emotional well-being while showing those who are struggling that they’re far from alone.
According to Apple, participants in the series will include Lady Gaga, Glenn Close, San Antonio Spurs’ DeMar DeRozan, Phoenix Suns’ Langston Galloway (formerly of the Detroit Pistons), mental health advocate and speaker Zak Williams, Olympic boxer Virginia “Ginny” Fuchs, celebrity chef Rashad Armstead and more
We are born into different lives, brought up in different environments, and as a result are exposed to different experiences. But our shared experience is that we are all human. The majority of us carry some form of unresolved trauma, loss or grief, which feels – and is – very personal. Yet the last year has shown us that we are all in this together, and my hope is that this series will show there is power in vulnerability, connection in empathy, and strength in honesty.Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
In addition to guests sharing their own stories, the series is intended to help shed light on different pathways to treatment, backed by partnerships with 14 globally accredited and respected experts across a variety of specialties, all of whom served as an advisory board for the series.
Several of these mental health professionals will also appear on-camera duties the series, including the surgeon general of California, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who is also the founder of Center for Youth Wellness, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, founder of MISS Foundation and Selah Carefarm, Dr. Ken Duckworth, the chief medical officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Dr. Vikram Patel, co-founder of Sangath and professor of Global Health, Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Bruce Perry, senior fellow of ChildTrauma Academy.
The Me You Can’t See will premiere on Apple TV+ on May 21, although beyond noting that it’s a “multi-part documentary series,” Apple hasn’t provided any more information on how many parts there will be, nor the release schedule for them.