In 2012, the film A league of Their Own was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress which cited it as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” due to it’s fictionalized storytelling around the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. But while the 1992 movie is considered a feminist classic, the storyline left out the narratives of non-white women in baseball — an omission the new Prime series aims to correct.
On the red carpet of this year’s ESPY awards, we spoke with co-creator Abbi Jacobson, who also stars in the series, about finally bringing the project to light during its 30th anniversary year and how it differs from the original film in centering the stories of Black women.
“It was never about remaking this movie, it does not need to be remade,” Jacobson told ESSENCE, pointing out that she and the cast have been working on the series since 2017. “It’s really about reimagining it. Penny Marshall made this film in 1992. She was inspired by a documentary she saw that was about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball league and she inspired so many people. But also, there were limitations to the story she could tell in ’92. We wanted to tell the stories that were overlooked, that were marginalized at the time and talk about this generation of women who played baseball and who were badasses.”
Black Women In Hollywood honoree Chanté Adams is a standout member of the ensemble cast who, along with British actress Gbemisola Ikumelo, relays the experiences of women of color in baseball through their characters Max and Clance.
Drawing a comparison between their storylines and the approach that was taken in the original movie, Jacobson explained, “There’s a scene in the film with Penny acknowledging that a Black woman would not have been allowed to try out and then nothing happens. Our [series] is about what happens when that door opens for some women — white women and white-passing women — and that door closes for someone else. How do they go find their team?”
Check out our full interview with Abbi Jacobson in the video above. A League of Their Own will be available for streaming on Prime beginning August 12.