A Black Lady Sketch Show creator Robin Thede is celebrating the women who inspired her through her hit HBO series. It’s why she refused to televise her well known impression of 227 star Jackée Harry until the actress gave her blessing.

“I performed in an improv show called 227 The Lost Episodes for two years where I played [Jackée] every Thursday,” Thede said on ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl!, where she opened up about her friendship with the legendary actress. “I played her for many years and invited her to the show so many times and she never came. I think she was like, ‘Who is this woman trying to tarnish my legacy? I’m an icon,’ as she is”

Still, Thede wanted to crystallize her love for Harry by adding it to a sketch on A Black Lady Sketch Show. But she would do it only on one condition.

“She already knew that I was doing the impression and she had heard through the grapevine that it was good, but she had to give her blessing and I am not mad at that,” she explained to co-hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn. “Once she did, it’s just been amazing ever since. She’s so wonderful.”

The showrunner acknowledged that it’s important she give the women who inspired her their “flowers” while they’re able to appreciate it.

“We have to give these people their flowers now. They’re so active and thriving and amazing and look great and feel great. I just want to pay so much respect to these women who, when I was coming up, gave us so much comedy that was so amazing and just showed us that we could do it,” Thede explained. “And Jackée was ahead of her time, even back then.”

We couldn’t agree more!

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