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HBO Developing Digital Series Brown Girls, Bringing Story of Queer Women of Color to a Wider Audience


Another digital darling is moving up to the big leagues! Brown Girls debuted back in February and became a popular web-based series. Now, these queer women of color are moving to HBO.

The cable powerhouse has signed show creator Fatimah Asghar and director Samantha Bailey to a development deal so that they can expand their show into a full series. If you aren’t already familiar, Brown Girls is a web series that “is an intimate story of the lives of two young women of color. Leila is a South Asian-American writer just now owning her queerness. Patricia is a sex-positive Black- American musician who is struggling to commit to anything: job, art and relationships. 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.”

In an interview with Elle, Asghar discussed why this move is so hugely important:

“The web series world felt like a safe space where I could experiment and explore all the complexities of being a human. Black and brown people and queer folks don’t get that opportunity or rarely get that opportunity in TV. It’s been a really great space for me. But I do think that TV allows you to reach a larger audience. 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.”

If you haven’t yet seen Brown Girls, check out the trailer:

I’m thrilled that this show will be getting more attention and a larger platform, mostly because it’s about such a mixed group of women. You’ve got black women, Latina women, and the protagonist is South Asian. You’ve got queer people. You’ve got people from different economic backgrounds.

Too often, whenever there’s a show with “people of color” on it, it’s usually a “black show” or a “Latinx show” where the protagonist generally only hangs out with people of their own ethnicity/race. Or alternately, you’ll have the token minority on an otherwise white show. I love Brown Girls, because while it centers women of color, it recognizes that women of color from different backgrounds hang out with each other! This series does a better job of reflecting the diverse group of friends I grew up with.

While you wait for more big HBO announcements, you can check out all of Brown Girls Season 1 over at Open TV. Are you looking forward to Brown Girls getting the Issa Rae/Insecure treatment? Tell us in the comments below!

(via Jezebel, image: Open TV)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.