Exclusive Clip: Greenleaf’s Oprah Winfrey and Regina King Speak on Black Female Empowerment in Hollywood

"I know that I have received a lot of my empowerment from black women."
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The #OscarsSoWhite criticism surrounding this year’s Academy Awards proved that Hollywood still has a long way to go when it comes to diversity. If Regina King had it her way, we’d be able to hold one of these ceremonies and focus on the projects themselves, rather than who is or isn’t a part of them. In a conversation with Oprah Winfrey (do I even need to use her last name?), whom she directed in Greenleaf, she was asked what her big inclusion dream for the industry was and it’s really quite simple.

“I know this is really big to imagine,” she says in a clip exclusive to The Mary Sue. “But I do imagine, that when we’re having conversations, we’re just having conversations about the art…And that we don’t have to have conversations about race and that there are not enough women.” Won’t that be the day? I’m not alone in this sentiment because that’s exactly what both Regina and Oprah say in the video.

It would be nice to reach that point today, but progress like that takes time. It’s in the women like Viola Davis and Danai Gurira who are kicking ass on TV. It’s the Ava DuVernays and Amma Asantes who are taking film by storm behind the scenes. It’s even the women like Erika Alexander and Roxane Gay who are making their mark in the comic book world. And it’s women like Oprah and Regina who are willing to have these important conversations.

And kudos to Oprah for recognizing Nina’s Shaw’s powerful words at Essence’s Black Women in Hollywood celebration. “If you are a woman who wants to be empowered, then empower other women,” she said during her honoree speech. “You are a much more forceful advocate against gender bias and wage inequality if you actually hire women. If you are a white man who advocates for change, then hire someone other than a white man as an example of that change.” Where is the lie?

Greenleaf: Season One heads to DVD and Blu-ray on December 6.

(image via screencap)

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