Can you imagine Living Single without Maxine Shaw, attorney-at-law? If you answered no, then you’re correct. If you answered yes, then you must be one of the brainless execs who urged then-showrunner Yvette Lee Bowser to cut the iconic character from the hit 90s series.
Bowser, who currently writes for Netflix’s Dear White People, recently revealed during an interview with the platform’s “Making A Scene” that she had to fight to keep Max, played by actress Erika Alexander, on the show.
“I’d have to say that the moment that I felt unseen in this business was also kind of a pivotal and career-defining moment for me. And it was the moment when I got my first set of notes on the first show I created, Living Single,” Bowser began.
“They wanted me to remove the character of Maxine Shaw from the show because she was unapologetically Black and female and fierce, and all of the things that, if I wasn’t at that time, I wanted to be ultimately,” she explained.
Bowser continued, “I knew that that would be a powerful force in the world because I know that our art is, you know, our art is our activism, and I knew that that voice had been missing. And I was told to take the character out of the show in order to get the show picked up.”
The writer said that “even though I had everything to lose, I stood my ground and said to take Maxine Shaw out of the show is to take a big part of me out of the show and I’d rather not do the show.”
Thankfully, executives backed down and let Bowser run the show with four memorable characters, allowing audiences to fall in love with Shaw and all she represented.
A world without Maxine Shaw is not a world we want to live.