Black Women Are for Primetime, Too
It has been a fantastic week as three of the most amazing Black women in media, Kerry Washington, Ava DuVernay & Shonda Rhimes, collaborated for episode #308 of Scandal. Also, the incomparable Debbie Allen directed this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. It’s a historic convergence of greatness. Shonda Rhimes is one of the most successful showrunners in television today. Kerry Washington is an accomplished political activist, the face of one of the most successful network shows in recent history and the only Black woman lead in a network drama since 1974’s Get Christie Love. Ava DuVernay is an entrepreneur, film distributor with AFFRM ( African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement), and the first Black woman to win the Best Director Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for Middle of Nowhere.
So much brilliance, beauty, and radical Black womanhood in one place this past Thursday and it was a MASSIVE hit! Even for Scandal! Even for Shonda!
The episode was not just beautifully shot with perfectly nuanced layers of complexity, longing, and intimacy. It almost beat out the competition on CBS & NBC combined.
On average, Scandal is up 68% over the same point last year in Adults 18-49, making it TV’s fastest-growing returning series this season and ABC’s highest-rated show in the time slot since Lost (remember that cult series?) during the 2007-08 season.
These women are game-changers driving the revolution for Black women media-makers. The Twittersphere and ratings make it impossible for networks and studios to continue the status quo of pushing Black women to the margins of stereotypes or invisibility. Diversity, improved quantity, a wide-spectrum of quality…. This is a film Blerd girl’s dream becoming real before my very eyes. There are so many more rich stories, performances, visions, identities, and intersections we have to offer. No more waiting our turn for representation via movements where #solidarityisforwhitewomen and #blackpowerisforblackmen.
The revolution still isn’t hasn’t been televised, but it’s only a matter of time before: