Black women have been taking back the comedy scene and turning what was once a “boys club” into a diverse space with female representation and equity on the stage. From London Hughes’ To Catch A D*ck Netflix special to Tiffany Haddish’s milestone as the first Black woman to win a Grammy for best comedy album since 1986, Black women have proven that not only is there more than enough space for us but we are more than deserving of that space.
All Def Digital, the largest Black-owned digital publisher on YouTube and Facebook, has officially launched a new channel made for women, by women. All Def Women, led by Head of Production of All Def Megan “MegScoop” Thomas and Creative Director of All Def Women Cynthia LuCiette, will launch with five original programs, including Comedy Bars, Check The Chat, Momfessions, and The Touch Up and will feature up-and-coming Black women creators and comedians, including Kanisha Buss, and Joncea.
“Being in comedy, whether you’re doing standup or content, it’s kind of a lonely field for women because it’s dominated by men. However, women are just as funny, and working at All Def, we really saw that there was a need to fill that space,” Thomas told ESSENCE. “Sometimes we’re like, ‘Hey, we want to talk about boys, makeup, and our periods.” And of course, they’re like, ‘We don’t get that,’ but it’s funny. I can’t have a man tell me what it feels like that first or second day of my period, he doesn’t understand. How could he make a funny scene about that, if he doesn’t really get it?”
Noting that women comics receive more hate than their male counterparts, LuCiette said, “It’s the trolls for me. Laughing as she chimed in, she added, “I’m really excited for our demo to be women because we get to be ourselves. We don’t have to be this super-tough person who can hang around guys. Like Meg said, we can talk about our periods and laugh on period.”
While men can certainly chime into All Def Women, LuCiette and Thomas expressed relief that they don’t feel the need to reach the male audience. With the entertainment industry catching up with the culture from Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion performing “W.A.P.” at the Grammys and Beyonce being the most decorated NAACP Image Awards recepient, Black women have been dominating in influxes and LuCiette thinks comedy should do the same.
“The comedy industry needs to catch up to the music industry. We’ve seen women hit the mic in the hip-hop industry within the last three years. It’s been dope to see a lot of female rappers dominate the charts. Yet for the women side of comedy, I don’t think we’ve really seen that flood in that equality yet,” LuCiette added. In an effort to create an all-female pipeline, LuCiette and Thomas have been consistently hiring and working with crews of women including photography directors and editors.
“There’s just a uniqueness that comes from a woman’s perspective about different things in our life that nobody else, who’s not a woman, to really understand, and be authentic voices where All Def is known for,” Thomas said about the importance of platforms like All Def Women. “That’s why our comedy stands out. That’s why people love it.”
In celebration of All Def Women’s launch, the channel is hosting a live launch tonight at 5pm PST/8pm EST.