Stefani Robinson has a pretty delicate role as the only female in the Atlanta writer’s room.
Speaking with The Wrap, 26-year-old Robinson explained the painful duality of loving her position in the space but loathing what that can sometimes mean.
“When you are the only one of anything you are suddenly the voice for everyone — and that’s not a fair place to be in,” she says. “It’s a really bittersweet thing, I think. I’m so happy to be the woman in the space, because I think that it’s so rare in Hollywood for a woman, especially a woman of color, to exist in these spaces. So on the one hand, I’m grateful and I think it’s so important and I feel so blessed. But on the other hand, you always wish there was more than one.”
Robinson came onboard the hit comedy series created by Donald Glover — starring himself, Brian Tyree Henry, Lakeith Stanfield, and Zazie Beetz — after writing her very first pilot script. The work landed at FX when Glover was searching for a new writer, and the rest is TV history. Several critics have heralded the Golden Globe award-winning series as one of, if not the, best show on TV, and Robinson gets to be apart of that. Still, she doesn’t want folks thinking she has sole control over every female-centric storyline, especially when it comes to the main woman character Van, played by Beetz.
“I don’t have control over that character. That’s a misconception,” she said. “I love writing for women and it brings me joy. Like the ‘Value’ episode — I wrote a dinner-table conversation in that episode and it was so great to have interesting, complicated women talk about life. But I wouldn’t say I have control over many of the female characters this season. I just sort of help with everything.”
Luckily, Robinson has a boss who gets it and doesn’t box her into one voice. “Donald recognizes I’m the only woman, but I don’t think he’s comfortable making that my ‘thing”... If you start putting boxes around what people should write or can write or need to write, that’s a very dangerous thing.”