Crooked Media and Audacy have teamed up on a new podcast series about radical left wing organization The Weather Underground.
The two companies have set Mother Country Radicals, which will get its world premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival on June 8. You can get a first listen to the trailer below.
The series is hosted by playwright Zayd Ayers Dohrn, son of Weather Underground leaders Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers.
Fifty years after the Weather Underground’s bombing of the Pentagon, Mother Country Radicals is a highly personal, politically charged account of a counterculture group of young activists in pursuit of radical change through any means necessary.
It will feature Bernardine Dohrn and Bill Ayers in their own voices, and intimate interviews with Weather Underground members like Jeff Jones and Kathy Boudin, in one of the last recordings before her passing.
The ten-part series also captures the 1970s from figures like Fred Hampton, Angela Davis and Asatta Shakur as Ayers Dohrn journeys to understand his parent’s radicalization and how it molded his family and life. Born underground with his parents on the run from the FBI, he unpacks a childhood in the shadows of the Weather Underground through conversations with Bernadine and Bill, who still grapple with the consequences of their actions. Ultimately, he must square his personal experience of his loving parents with their notorious media portrayals – narratives that have long been weaponized by conversative media and politicians, most notably during Barack Obama’s first Presidential campaign.
The series was created by Crooked Media and Audacy and produced by Dustlight Productions. All ten episodes will debut on Audacy on June 9 and on other platforms, the first three episodes will debut before rolling out weekly.
“This is a story that is in my blood, but one that I never thoroughly examined until now. I wanted to try to understand my parents, and what made them risk their own lives – and their children’s lives – to try to change the world,” said Zayd Dohrn. “And as I was piecing the story together, the ways in which our current political systems are haunted by old conflicts became obvious. The Weather Underground and their allies in the Black freedom movement were fighting the same systemic racism and police violence we see today. And that fight holds important lessons – lessons of both caution and inspiration – for idealistic young people today.
“When I got to Crooked Media, Zayd was one of my first calls. I knew his amazing family history and unique perspective would make for a wonderful podcast. His ability to share the story of the Weather Underground through the eyes of the people who actually lived it feels incredibly special and is beautifully complemented by the amazing audio work of Dustlight,” added Sarah Geismer, Head of Production and Development at Crooked Media. “What Zayd has given us is a compassionate first-hand account and probing investigation into an often-overlooked chapter of American history that we believe will bring in a wide variety of listeners. We’re so excited to debut this show with a partner that can amplify Zayd’s vision in all of the ways it deserves.”
Listen to a trailer of the show below.