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As the countdown to the 2023 relaunch of the on-demand network DemiTv continues, executives spill more beans on some of the upcoming original programming viewers can expect to find in their subscription libraries. “The new DemiTv will offer original and syndicated content from BET, NBC, ABC, and a host of domestic and foreign production companies’', says Demetrius Malone, DemiTv President of Programming.

DemiTv has officially announced a multi-production deal with Camika Shelby, the mother of 15 year old Nigel Shelby, whose 2019 suicide prompted international outrage against the bullying of LGBTQ youth. Nigel, a Huntsville, Alabama teen, who has been described as being “full of light” tragically took his own life after horrific homophobic bullying.

From the moment news outlets first covered Nigel’s death, a massive outcry with the hashtag “iamnigel” called for an end to bullying of LGBTQ youth. Even celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Alicia Keys, Lena Waithe, Janelle Monet’, and Terrell Carter turned to their social media platforms to express great condolences over Nigel’s death. Pinky Cole, owner of Slutty Vegan of Atlanta, even used her star power to rally the likes of celebs such as Gabrielle Union, Dwayne Wade, Ludacris, and many more to cover Nigel’s funeral expenses.

“The day the world lost Nigel, the world stood still. I stood still,” says Malone. “The truth is that in so many ways I haven't moved beyond that feeling on that day; the feeling of needing to do more. I wasn’t sure what more was, but I knew that I had a part to play.” “The relaunch of DemiTv is not without purpose. We want to be able to educate, inspire, and help all of us reach another level of consciousness and compassion. Working with Camika is an emotional and spiritual treasure. To be trusted with something as valuable as the memory of her son, is one of the greatest honors of my career.” Malone explains.

With Camika Shelby serving as Executive Producer, DemiTv will produce a 3-part series of animation films and a documentary chronicling the life of young Nigel from ages 2-15.

Camika Shelby: “Over the past 2- almost 3 years, I was consumed with Nigel’s death because that’s all everyone wanted me to talk about. I constantly thought, ‘what about the life he had for 15 years before he left this earth?’ All everyone wanted to hear was the details of that tragic day. So, now I feel I am beyond blessed to be able to share his whole life with the world. I’ve always wanted to tell Nigel’s story. I have been contacted and given past opportunities to tell his story, but they either wanted to focus on his death or they wanted me to tell his story their way.“

Malone: “It doesn’t serve the need of inclusivity, compassion, and empathy to control the narrative of a story with so many layers of which the world has no idea. My mission is never to lead viewers to think as I think. It’s not my goal to attack anyone’s religious beliefs. However, I want to also help cultivate the belief of love and compassion at the same time. My mission is to help us all understand the power of love and empathy. We didn’t lose Nigel because Nigel didn’t love Nigel. We lost Nigel because Nigel couldn’t understand how others couldn’t love him as he loved them.”

Camika Shelby: “When I first saw the animated version of Nigel, I was overjoyed. I tried my best to hold back the tears. It was tears of joy though. I couldn’t believe I was looking at my baby, my son and OMG it looks so much like him. I’m so excited. My main goal is to help. I want to help children and their parents to understand that being gay is okay. I want to bridge the gap between people and their beliefs about homosexuality. DemiTv is giving me a platform to create these projects to share Nigel’s life with the world my way while also helping children and their parents/loved ones to better understand what is needed for children of the LGBTQIA community to feel like they matter.”

Malone: “I am excited about this journey. It is not the default setting of so many parents to love their children who may be LGBTQ. We need to see stories of other parents who were about to reconcile their faith with their positions as parents also. Some will boycott, reject, and hate every moment of it. Anytime the media expresses love and inclusivity to the LGBTQ community, the media is accused of pushing a ”sinful” agenda onto children. Our agenda at DemiTv is today as it has been for 8 years. Our agenda is to let God be God, and we all let LOVE do the rest. If we can save the life of one child, one person, we would have accomplished our mission; the mission to help us all love ourselves and love one another.”

Viewers may watch DemiTv on Apple Tv, Roku, FireTv, Android Tv, Google Tv, not to mention Android and Apple devices, and even in their online browser.


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