'Queer Eye' producers are diving into the world of professional mermaiding for new Netflix doc series
- The producers of "Queer Eye" explore underwater performers in a new docu-series, "MerPeople."
- The four-part series is set to premiere on Netflix May 23.
The creators of "Queer Eye" are turning their lens on the world of underwater performers for a new docu-series on Netflix, "MerPeople."
Premiering May 23, "MerPeople" is a four-part docuseries that chronicles people who have turned their love for the mystical sea creatures into real-world careers.
"From putting on dazzling small-town shows in Florida to the crowning of the King and Queen of the Seas in the Bahamas, this series will take you on a journey of passion and perseverance," Netflix writes.
Episode one introduces viewers to characters like "The Mertailor," a mermaid tail maker who aspires to start a mermaid aquarium and training center; former mermaids from the iconic Weeki Wachee Springs State Park; and Chè Monique, founder of the Society of Fat Mermaids.
In recent years, there's been a growing mermaid subculture, with people donning tails, heading to mermaid conventions and competitions, and forming local groups, finding escape from the chaos of the real-world in underwater life.
The series was directed by Oscar-winning Cynthia Wade, known for her documentaries on social issues. Executive producers were Scout Productions' Michael Williams, David Collins, Joel Chiodi, and Rob Eric, along with photographer Andréanna Seymore; Roland Ballester, known for "Halston" and "30 for 30"; and Wade.
Scout Productions has become known for richly shot, inclusivity-themed unscripted TV projects like ballroom competition series "Legendary" and streetwear design contest "The Hype" on HBO Max, in addition to "Queer Eye."
It's one of the latest documentaries Scout has made since branching out to docs in 2020. Another, "The Secrets of Hillsong," an investigative series with Vanity Fair Studios on the megachurch scandal, is set to debut May 19 on FX/Hulu.
Joel Chiodi, Scout's head of documentaries and SVP of strategic development, told Insider his goal with shows like "MerPeople" is to broaden people's thinking and bring them together.
"You're seeing nonbinary merms, Black women; it makes no political statement but it's like, 'Let's celebrate everything,'" he said.
Insider talked with the principals behind Scout about how they built a reality TV powerhouse that positions them well if there's a writer's strike, how they're working with big-name talent like Amy Poehler and Kristen Stewart, and how they're expanding their creative output while staying true to their mission of inclusivity.