“The only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity. You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there.” – Viola Davis
It looks like Viola Davis isn’t waiting for her chance to help the next generation of actresses. The “How To Get Away with Murder” star recently entered her production company – JuVee Productions – into a deal with ABC Studios to create projects for digital, streaming, broadcast and cable content.
The company which Davis launched with her husband Julius Tennon is headed by Andrew Wang. Wang is the former vice president of scripted television development and production at Bravo and responsible for the network’s first scripted series, comedy “Odd Mom Out,” and the drama “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce”.
Davis shared with Variety, “We started JuVee because we wanted to see narratives that reflected our multi-ethnic and multi-faceted culture. We wanted to be a part of classic storytelling, and we didn’t want to wait.”
The Emmy Award winner isn’t the only one making power moves to behind the camera. “Scandal” star Kerry Washington also announced her newly launched production company Simpson Street has also inked a deal to create projects for ABC Studios and ABC Signature.
Named for the street where her mom grew up in the Bronx, the company has already seen strong success from its first project – the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas HBO movie Confirmation.
Washington told Deadline, “I believe strongly in the importance of having a seat at the table, which makes starting this production company thrilling for me. It’s an honor to be at a point in my career when I can help generate projects that that are exciting, necessary and truly reflect the world around us.”
Based in LA the company “aims to become the go-to creative hub where the next generation of filmmakers and artists have the space to craft dynamic stories spanning the broad spectrum of humanity.”
The fact that both Viola Davis & Kerry Washington launched independent production companies and partnered with ABC is huge news. These women are total Bosses. Bravo to them for stepping into their power and helping to create more opportunities for women of color and also for working to create stories that are as diverse as the world we live in.
It’s inspiring to watch these actresses, advocates, entrepreneurs, role models and mentors transform into legends building legacies.