Mara Brock Akil, the driving force behind some of our favorite TV shows that celebrate every facet of Black womanhood, is now making even bigger moves.
In 2015, Mara announced that she'd be stepping down as showrunner of BET's groundbreaking series, Being Mary Jane, to take on the role of executive consultant for the show instead. Her decision came in light of an exciting new venture with entertainment industry giant, Warner Bros. Together with her husband Salim Akil, Mara will enter into a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. Television through their Akil Productions company beginning this May.
Re-affirming her love for telling the stories of Black women, Mara recently told Fader that she hopes to continue with those storylines and also work with Salim to give another voice to the stories of Black men.
"There are places I didn’t get to go with Being Mary Jane. Those things still live in me. The past years have been me getting out what I wanna say about Black women. I’m really excited that this deal will be more inclusive of [Salim’s] voice and what he wants to say about Black men. No one’s really heard his voice yet."
As for the future of Being Mary Jane, Mara is says she hasn't heard much beyond confirmation of a fourth season.
"Although they’ve announced that Being Mary Jane is coming back, I haven’t heard anything that’s made it seem real, and I don’t know who’s running it," she said. "All this time went by that I could’ve helped figure it out, but now I’m in a position where I don’t know what BET’s gonna do."
And does she think the show can go on without her?
"My ego answer? No. [Laughs] But really, I’m neutrally curious."
"It’s not to say that BET couldn’t make it work, it’s just that I know what it takes to be a producer and there’s so much that goes into making any show. It really would depend on that person: how do they see and view Mary Jane and Black women? If they pick someone that I don’t like, I’m gonna go, 'Oh sh*t. I can’t watch.' [Laughs] I hope there’s another Mara out there who’s like, “Bring it on. Give me the ball.”
We certainly hope for the best and look forward to another great season of Being Mary Jane, along with whatever greatness Mara has up her sleeve for WBTV.