- (PHOTO: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
Earvin "Magic" Johnson is launching a basic cable television network intending to showcase uplifting images of African Americans to a target audience.
The 24-hour channel will be beneficial, the former Los Angeles Lakers star said, by offering African American actors who have struggled to find work in mainstream Hollywood, new opportunities to work in their profession.
The network to be called Aspire will include film, TV, music, comedy, performing arts and shows about faith.
Olympic gold medal "Dream Team" player Johnson, who in 2002 was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, said he has found a way to present positive images of African Americans with stories that are written, produced and directed by African Americans.
"This is so exciting for me, I'm pinching myself," Johnson said in a phone interview with The Los Angeles Times. "This is big for myself, for the African American community, and the African American creative community. I wanted a vehicle to show positive images and to have stories written, produced and directed by African Americans for our community. Aspire - that's how I've been leading my life."
America's biggest cable provider Comcast, have also recently announced another minority-owned network to be backed by a big name celebrity.
Hip-hop star and Chairman of Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group Sean "Diddy" Combs has also revealed his plan to start his own music television network called Revolt. His network, which is set to be launched in 2013, will feature music and pop culture programming such as music videos, live performances, and interviews.
"I'm honored by the opportunity to be part of this effort to bring diverse programming to the masses. Marked by this partnership with Comcast, my hope is that this new network will spark a revolution in entertainment and encourage other media and communications companies to bring Revolt to their audiences" Diddy said on his new project.