Playwright and actress Danai Gurira is making boss moves in the realm of entertainment. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Black Panther star recently inked a two-year deal with ABC Studios.
As part of the partnership, Gurira will produce and develop projects for the television production company. The actress has cemented herself as a powerfully creative force both on and off-screen. The Walking Dead star is the showrunner and executive producer for the miniseries Americanah which stars Lupita Nyong’o. She’s also written award-winning plays that include In the Continuum, The Convert and Eclipsed.
Gurira is excited to join forces with the television production powerhouse. “I am thrilled to work with Jonnie and his stellar team at ABC Studios,” she said in a statement. “Their commitment to the feminine perspective aligns with my goals as a storyteller. I am excited to amplify unheard voices and bring to light narratives that will tackle universal themes while they simultaneously break barriers and bring new faces, voices and influences to the screen.” The leadership team at the company believes the collaboration will foster the creation of compelling content. ABC Studios President Jonnie Davis says “the breadth of her abilities are simply astonishing.”
The deal comes at a time where women and people of color remain underrepresented in the film and television industry. According to the Los Angeles Times, during the 2018-19 season, 79 percent of television programs had no women directors and 77 percent had no women creators. Furthermore, a report released by Color of Change revealed that only 4.8 percent of TV writers are Black. Despite these staggering statistics, Black women are making strides in the industry. In 2019 Black-ish star Marsai Martin inked a production deal with Universal Pictures through her Genius Productions company.