By Bruce Ndlovu
Zimbabwean actress Danai Gurira has notched another feather in her cap in Hollywood, signing a two-year deal with broadcasting major ABC Studio to write and produce projects across all the media giant’s platforms.
Gurira, who recently made an emotional exit from hit TV series, The Walking Dead, has in the past sharpened her pen as a playwright for Broadway Productions that shine the light on African stories that are usually neglected by Hollywood.
Before her latest deal with ABC, the star was already the showrunner and executive producer for the mini-series Americanah which stars Kenyan luminary Lupita Nyong’o. She’s also written award-winning plays that include, In the Continuum, The Convert and Eclipsed.
ABC Studios is an American television studio under the Disney Television Studios unit which is owned by Walt Disney Company.
Her appetite for TV work as an actress seemed to have waned since her high-profile appearances in the multi-billion dollar spinning Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
However, it seems Gurira is still ready to work behind the scenes in TV, despite her stock in Hollywood rising as she gets more high-profile roles.
“From Zimbabwe to Wakanda to Broadway, there is no one like Danai Gurira,” said Jonnie Davis, president, ABC Studios said in a statement.
“The scope of her talents and the breadth of her abilities are simply astonishing. We are over the moon that she has chosen to make ABC Studios her exclusive home.”
Danai was equally thrilled at inking the new deal.
“I am thrilled to work with Jonnie and his stellar team at ABC Studios, 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,” she said in a statement.
The deal comes at a time where women and people of colour remain under-represented in the film and television industry. According to the Los Angeles Time during the 2018-19 season, 79 percent of television programs have no women directors and 77 percent have no women creators.
Furthermore, a report released by Colour 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. Sunday News