NASA Series Starring White Women Stirs Up Controversy Thanks To Hidden Figures Similarities
Desiree Navarro
Following the success of Hidden Figures, producers are working on a series with a similar premise. Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain will produce a series looking to shed light on “another little-known group of women in the 1960s.” According to The WrapMercury 13 will tell the story of 13 women who made advancements to Project Mercury, the first human spaceflight program of the United States. Following the announcement, many trolled its creators on Twitter, calling it a “Hidden Figures rip-off.” Hidden Figures tells the incredible true story of unsung heroes Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, who overcame racial discrimination to blaze trails at NASA’s segregated Virginia facilities. ESSENCE’s February cover stars, Taraji P. HensonOctavia Spencer, and Janelle Monáe, portray the groundbreaking women in the film. The Oscar-nominated movie has garnered over $132 million domestically, according to this week’s box office reports. After beating out La La Land, the film became the highest grossing Best Picture Oscar nominee of the year. However, some defended the series and said the two aren’t one and the same. Octavia Spencer tweeted, “Tell this story.” One word out of a tweet from media powerhouse Rickey Smiley sums up the controversy surrounding the film: “timing.”