The Hollywood Reporter Features “Black Women Who Brunch”
Lena Waithe’s collective of black female writers in Hollywood is being positively profiled. Black Women Who Brunch was started by Waithe, writer Nkechi Okoro Carroll of the CW’s ““All American” and Erika Johnson of OWN’s “Queen Sugar” in 2014. The entertainment networking group is comprised of nearly 80 members who meet monthly for potlucks.
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No more "we can't find any black female writers." Here are 62 in one photo. For the Hollywood Reporter's largest shoot ever, members of Black Women Who Brunch, a networking group co-founded by @LenaWaithe, gather to discuss how the industry can better understand black women in Hollywood: "We have to be exceptional." Photo: @claudialucia
62 of said members recently gathered to discuss navigating the rampant racism and sexism in Hollywood and the results were glorious. The ladies told The Hollywood Reporter about the inequality they face…
“We have such little room for error. We have to be exceptional. Those writers who always move up despite being ‘just OK?’ None of them are Black women. If a White male staff writer is bad, it’ll never keep those in power from hiring another White guy. I’ve heard people say that they ‘tried’ to hire diverse, but the Black writer they hired didn’t work out, so they never hired a Black person again. Incredible.”—Marquita Robinson, co-producer on “Glow”
Britt Matt, executive story editor, A.P. Bio (NBC) Before anyone even reads your material, you’re often already placed in a box or categorized based on your race and gender. Some showrunners won’t read you unless they’re looking for a writer that fits your demographic.
Pilar Golden, story editor, God Friended Me (CBS) In most rooms, there is only one of “us,” either male or female. When there is only one slot, you, along with every writer of color at every agency or unsigned, are vying for that.
and also about how this group’s practice of kinship over competition has helped them thrive. According to the ladies BWWB has helped them book gigs, managers and agents and provided them a sisterhood.
Cynthia Adarkwa, staff writer, In the Vault (Complex Networks) Trying to traverse this unique career can at times be such a s***storm. With these women, I’m able to air frustrations and talk strategy in a safe and judgment-free zone. I’ve bothered Erika Johnson quite a few times about career moves (sorry girl, but also thank you so much). It’s been priceless and keeps me going on the hardest days.
Kibuka Many of its members were responsible for helping to facilitate much of my incremental progress toward finally becoming a TV staff writer, such as guiding me in my management/agency search, helping with targeted prep for showrunner meetings and, most important, being an empathetic body of solace and strength when navigating the highs and lows of the creative process.
Stacey Evans Morgan, consulting producer, Family Time (Bounce TV) Iron sharpens iron, and when we come together to break bread, it’s comforting to know that there is a fellow sister scribe who has your back. The job information shared is also amazing, as one member may have the inside scoop on a staffing opportunity, and the ability to put in a good word with a showrunner on your behalf.
It’s great to see black women kinship being promoted especially in such an epic way. The “Black Women Who Brunch” feature was The Hollywood Reporter’s biggest shoot EVER.
Read the full story here.