Former tennis star Billie Jean King has signed on to narrate an upcoming docuseries about women's sports. The series will focus on pay inequities, motherhood, LGBTQ+ rights, and intersectionality and diversity. She will partner with Glamour, Condé Nast Entertainment and Little Monster Films to create the project.
The series will focus on the Original 9, as well as other issues that female athletes faced and continue to face. For example, the United States women's national team that won the 2019 World Cup continued this conversation by filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. Oscar winners Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin (Free Solo) will produce the multi-part series while WME will shop the project.
"We've made progress in pay equality in and out of sports, but there's still so much more to do for future generations," King said, per Deadline. "People have to invest in women — and I don't mean just women investing in women, I mean everyone. I'm excited to partner with Glamour to bring these vital issues to a wider audience."
According to Deadline, the docuseries' genesis was a Glamour cover story about King and her top female counterparts. Known as the Original 9, they tried to bridge the pay gap between themselves and male tennis players. This group included King, Rosie Casals, Nancy Richey, Julie Heldman, Valerie Ziegenfuss, Judy Tegart Dalton, Kerry Melville Reid, Peaches Bartkowicz and Kristy Pigeon. The Original 9 launched their own tour and found enough sponsors to provide an unprecedented $100,000 in prize money — a major increase from the $5,000 that previously made up the prize pool in women's tennis.
Glamour editor Samantha Barry spoke about project and said that after the magazine's "long history of championing our female sporting heroes and demanding their equal remuneration, we are committing to our first ever long-form docuseries chronicling this historic fight. These are sportswomen, but they are also all women — and this incredible piece of storytelling has the power to reshape all our futures."
Little Monster Films' Chai Vasarhelyi also weighed in about the project and said that "We are passionate about spotlighting new and unheard voices among women athletes, and this series with Glamour and the legendary Billie Jean will capture those character-driven stories. On the court, we're seeing more and more teams standing united in their activism. Now is the time for this project, as the relationship between our sports and our wider political conversations is at an all-time high."