This year continues to be an exciting one for women of color in entertainment. Creators of the wildly popular, Chicago-based web series Brown Girl announced via ELLE.com that writer Fatimah Asghar and director Sam Bailey inked a development deal with HBO.

Landing a development deal is the first big break in the journey to having a project produced by a studio. The currently unnamed TV series will be produced by 3Arts and MXN Entertainment. Asghar said she wants the show to be “very Chicago-focused and queer folks of color–focused. And to have women of color and queer people of color be the protagonists and the antagonists in their own story.”

In less than six months since its premiere, the grassroots web series has had screenings in several US cities including New York and Los Angeles. The series has also screened internationally in Puerto Rico, London, and Montreal. Brown Girls was produced and distributed by Open TV. The digital media platform created by Aymar Jean Christian, aims to empower queer and intersectional artists to produce and distribute indie TV series.

Asghar and Bailey are grateful to Issa Rae for helping to make it easier for TV executives to take WOC creatives like them seriously. In their interview with Britt Julious at Elle magazine, Baily said, “Representation is real and I think the more these shows get greenlit, the more creators get to show these different aspects of people. We’re so used to being pigeonholed and having these one-dimensional characters. The more these stories exist and the more we get to see them, the more we’ll be humanized.”

Brown Girls is an intimate story of the friendship between two women of color. While the two women come from completely different backgrounds, their friendship is ultimately what they lean on to get through the messiness of their mid-twenties. The series stars Nabila Hossain, Sonia Denis, Melissa Duprey and Rashaad Hall. www.browngirlswebseries.com.

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The HBR Media Team is a collective group of black women filmmakers, writers, and studio/network executives who are passionate about bringing visibility to women of African descent working in film and television.

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