It Was a Black-Ass Week of Overall Deals, Docs, Reboots and Franchises—You Know What That Is? Growth

Natasha Rothwell attends EMILY’s List Brunch and Panel Discussion “Defining Women” on February 04, 2020; Dominique Fishback gets ready for the 2021 Critics Choice Awards on March 07, 2021.
Natasha Rothwell attends EMILY’s List Brunch and Panel Discussion “Defining Women” on February 04, 2020; Dominique Fishback gets ready for the 2021 Critics Choice Awards on March 07, 2021.
Photo: Presley Ann/Getty Images for EMILY’s List (Getty Images), Cindy Ord (Getty Images)

It’s been quite the week in the Black Hollywood trades, and while I always love to see it (truly, I do!), I don’t always love the practical limits of production bandwidth. This is a small but mighty staff at The Root and we’re not always able to cover every bit of news—leading us to sometimes resort to compacting news packages such as Entertainment Writer Shanelle Genai leading the previous Role Call series or Jr. Staff Writer Joe Jurado’s Good-Ass Game series.


Snatching some of Jurado’s theme and Genai’s compacting for today, I have quite a bit of Black-ass news to share for this week!

Kelli Kash: Natasha Rothwell Secured the Bag

On Thursday, Deadline reported that Natasha Rothwell (Insecure) has signed a multi-year overall deal with ABC Signature, “in conjunction with Disney General Entertainment’s BIPOC Creator Initiative led by Tara Duncan, Rothwell will develop new projects for television via her Big Hattie Productions.” The deal is reportedly worth eight figures! Get that coin, sis!

“Natasha is the real deal triple threat. I’ve been a fan of her writing for years and have loved watching her career blossom in front of and behind the camera,” said Duncan, the president of ABC’s Freeform, in a statement. “It’s an honor to provide a platform for one of the best comedic talents in the business.”

One in a Million Black Experiences

On April 26, Common CEO Mark Eckhardt launched his interactive platform One Million Truths and per Variety, he has a plan to release “one million video testimonies that shine a light on the ongoing struggle with racism.”

“There’s going to be a lot of insights that we’re going to garner from all of these stories,” Eckhardt told Variety. “We’ll be able to take that and stand up new projects that are going to benefit the community. Maybe we’ll be focused on generational wealth or injustice or police brutality. I would also like to get to the point where we have enough insight that we can inform public policy, and put information in the hands of people who are in leadership positions and influence the decisions that are made.”

Celebs such as Sterling K. Brown, Debbie Allen and Yvette Nicole Brown are already interested in joining the video project—so stay tuned for that!


Love-crafting a Cleopatra Jones Reboot

According to Deadline, writer Ihuoma Ofordire (Lovecraft Country, Snowfall) will pen the script for a “re-imagining of the 1973 action feature Cleopatra Jones,” from Warner Bros. and Charles D. King’s Macro.


As a background, the original film “starred Tamara Dobson as an undercover government agent who uses her day job of supermodel to go undercover, travel to exotic places and prove herself invaluable to the local cops in the war on drugs.” Cheers to Ihuoma!

Dominique Fishback’s Career is Transforming

Fresh off of her acclaimed performance in Judas and the Black Messiah, Dominique Fishback has signed on for the next film in the huge Transformers franchise, Deadline reports. Steven Caple, Jr. (Creed II) will be directing this latest installment. Fishback will be joining Anthony Ramos (She’s Gotta Have It, Hamilton), whose energy I really love. Coupled with Fishback’s star-power presence, I’m so intrigued by this pairing!


Per Deadline, “the opportunity to work with Ramos comes full circle for the two, who have been close friends for years after working together on a play back in college.” Awww, that’s dope!

That’s all for this week! Here’s to more Black excellence.

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.