For many young black girls and women, shows like Moesha, Girlfriends, and Being Mary Jane are seen as pivotal pieces of pop culture.
Each of these shows portrayed black womanhood in a way that not only was honest and relatable, but effectively pushed writers, networks, and actresses alike to create black
female characters that existed far outside of the negative and harmful archetypes that they were so often aligned with.
And it’s largely due to Mara Brock Akil—the prolific writer, producer, and showrunner behind all three of the aforementioned shows—helping usher in a new idea of what it means to properly represent black women on television.
Over the course of her career, Mara Brock Akil has written and produced 400 episodes for various TV shows—including The Game and Black Lightning.
And now after her first hit show, Girlfriends has made its streaming debut on Netflix, the platform has announced that they have struck a multi-year deal with Mara Brock Akil for original content creation:
“We are thrilled to welcome Mara Brock Akil to Netflix,” said Channing Dungey, VP Original Series, Netflix.
“Her signature storytelling, authentic perspective, and captivating characters have long entertained audiences and proven to be relevant, timely, and endlessly engaging.
We look forward to bringing her distinct voice, vision, and passion to our global members.”
This comes a few years after Brock Akil inked a deal with Warner Bros.
That resulted in the creation of Black Lightning on The CW and Love Is_ on the Oprah Winfrey Network and just a few months after scoring a premium blind script deal with Fox Entertainment.
Despite accomplishing more in her 26-year career than most hope to achieve in a single lifetime, Mara Brock Akil is still incredibly grateful and humbled by the opportunity to work with Netflix:
“It is a dream to partner with the force of Netflix, for we have the same goals—telling human stories for a global audience,” said Brock Akil.
“I’m excited to have a home that allows me the creative freedom and support to do what I do best– paint portraits and murals of women, Black people, and anyone else whose story is missing from this golden age of television.
Representation matters and so does who you build with– I can’t wait to work closely with Channing Dungey and her team to launch some great stories.”
History of Mara Brock Akil s work
According to Deadline Over the course of her career, Brock Akil has written and produced over 400 episodes of television.
Her first hit, comedy Girlfriends, debuted in 2000 and ran for eight seasons on UPN and the CW.
While Girlfriends was still on the air, she created spinoff The Game, which quickly developed a devoted fan following. It ran on the CW for three seasons before being canceled when the network got out of the half-hour comedy business.
The show was later resurrected by BET where it aired for six more seasons.
The Game, a pioneer in harnessing the power of social media to energize TV fans, made cable history with the record-breaking audience of 7.7 million who tuned in to the Season 4 premiere that marked The Game’s debut on BET in January 2011.
Her series creator credits also include popular BET drama Being Mary Jane starring Gabrielle Union.
There is no word yet on what type of content Brock Akil will be creating over at Netflix, but whatever it may be, we can be certain that black culture, black stories, and black talent are all in good hands.
Oh and we are all still hoping for that Girlfriends movie too!
If God sees fit that this movie is ever made, Im going to ask that one of the producing credits is attributed to #BlackCulture!! #GirlfriendsTheMovie Produced By #BlackCulture 🌸 https://t.co/tXeCwH8Lr7
— Mara Brock Akil (@MaraBrockAkil) September 13, 2020