Erika Alexander opened up about the renaissance of Black-led female comedies in the latest episode of Shadow and Act’s Opening Act podcast, hosted by S&A Managing Editor Trey Mangum.
Alexander, best known for her role on Yvette Lee Bowser’s Living Single, is back with Bowser on Run the World as Barb Ballard. The show is part of the recent slate of popular comedies starring Black women. Alexander called the dearth of Black-led comedies starring women as “unacceptable.”
“It’s about time. That is the real main thing that I can say about Black-led female comedies,” she said. “We have overperformed in comedy in terms of success and we have been underrepresented in the types of stories and series that were being made. That is down to misogyny, racism and foolishness…the bottom line shows that we were always translating well and making history.”
“It’s a tragicomedy. It’s awful,” she continued. “There’s nothing else to be said about it except if the correction has come…then good on them.
Alexander also talked about the beginnings of her production company Color Farm Media, which is still reveling in the awards and nominations for its first film, the John Lewis biography Good Trouble. She said she started her production company as a way to be “an activist and an advocate for women and girls” as well as a force in the industry to promote better, more racially aware storytelling.
She described her turn to politics, including backing Hillary Clinton in her first presidential run, as a meeting of strong women who need support.
“I liked strong women because I thought the strongest women weren’t ever supported properly. In fact, people make them into wicked witches, they make them evil,” she said. “Those are the people who need the most help–your grandmamas and aunties that you think are so strong, we need to help them first, we need to make sure that they’re okay. Just because they’re doing all of that doesn’t mean they don’t need help. In fact, they do.”
She also talked again about the many rumors swirling about a Living Single reunion.
“I’ve always been a person who said that if you’ve done something and…you feel like you’ve done it well, why do it over again?” she said. “It would be great to have a reunion with these actors and these people I love, and do something interesting and modern and iterate on that. I’m a person who says why don’t we do a mash-up? You take the cast, you shake ’em up and see what else they can do together and surprise people.”
Listen to the full episode in which she talks more about Color Farm Media, Concrete Park NFTs and much more below: