In a whitewashed media landscape, there are only two Black people who have the privilege of hosting their own talk shows, bringing viewers across the country the issues and triumphs not only meaningful to the Black community but to us all.
One of those women is Tamron Hall, who launched her very own daytime talk show last year. Before COVID-19 shut down her New York City studio, we saw the former Today anchor dig into another college admissions scandal, speak with our favorite celebrities from Real Housewives’ Kandi Burruss to Tracee Ellis Ross and even wed one of ESSENCE’s very own in a virtual ceremony.
But back in March, Hall empowered another Black women to lead her show, tapping Candi Carter as showrunner and executive producer. Carter replaced Talia Parkinson-Jones.
“You always need a coach,” the former trackrunner said last month to a group of journalists on a Zoom call. “I don’t care how good you are, you need a coach.”
“She is my Phil Jackson,” Hall said of Carter, who left her post at The View, where she became the first Black woman to be an executive producer, to join the daytime talk show. “I know this show is in great hands and I know the quality of what we’re seeing right now in this makeshift studio is because of her. Point blank, period.”
Carter told ESSENCE that it was a no-brainer to join Tamron Hall, even if she did raise a few eyebrows when leaving The View, a long-running ABC series known for hard-hitting interviews with politicians, during a presidential election.
“It feel great being back to my storytelling roots,” Carter explained. “That’s what I did for 15 years and it was exciting.”
The mother of two isn’t new to this. She’s true. Before making history at The View, the Emmy Award-winning producer spent 15 years as a senior/supervising producer for The Oprah Winfrey Show, which went off the air back in 2011.
“To me, it’s a really exciting prospect to take a new show, with somebody who’s so smart and amazing and game for anything, and to see what we can create and build for the next decade,” Carter continued. “I joined a 19-year-old show and shockingly, we were able to create something really incredible and now we’re at the beginning of this journey and I’m excited to jump on this train because I actually think we’re going to blow people out of the water.”
Plus, “everything is political,” Hall chimed.
It’s why the Tamron Hall show will host “Hear Us Now” on Friday, a special to highlight young protesters demanding change after George Floyd’s murder. Not only will political analyst Bakari Sellers and his dad Cleveland Sellers, Jr. join, but I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness author Austin Channing Brown and White activist Jenny Booth Potter will be part the discussion as well.