Viola Davis To Produce And Star In Film About Political Trailblazer Shirley Chisholm
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When Viola Davis made history as the first Black woman to win an Emmy Award for Lead Actress in a Drama series in 2015, she put Hollywood on notice about its lack of opportunities for actors of color. “You cannot win an Emmy for roles that are simply not there,” she said during her unforgettable acceptance speech.
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Davis didn’t merely call Hollywood out, she started producing projects that featured talented Black creatives as well. With JuVee Productions, a company she founded with her husband Julius Tennon, Davis is committed to creating content for and about Black audiences. Now, just days after the company inked a first-look feature film deal with Amazon Studios, Davis is bringing Shirley Chishom’s story to the screen. According to Deadline, Davis will produce and star in The Fighting Shirley Chisholm, a film about the trailblazing New York Congresswoman who launched a historic 1972 presidential run. Written by Adam Countee, directed by Maggie Betts, and produced by Stephanie Allain (Dear White People, Burning Sands) and Mel Jones, The Fighting Shirley Chisholm will tackle the Congresswoman’s legendary struggle for racial and gender equality.

Deadline reports: “Countee had long been interested in telling Chisholm’s story and his research led him to write the feature script on spec about the trailblazing congresswoman who never backed down as her bid drew ridicule and bigoted backlash.” This isn’t the only exciting project Davis and JuVee Productions have in the works. The company also has films about Harriet Tubman and Barbara Jordan on its upcoming slate. There’s no word on when The Fighting Shirley Chisholm will hit theaters, but we absolutely can’t wait to see it.


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