Tichina Arnold and Teyonah Parris On Having A White Showrunner For 'Survivor’s Remorse'

ESSENCE.COM Aug, 17, 2017

Tichina Arnold and Teyonah Parris discuss having a white showrunner, Mike O’Malley, and how much has been learned on both ends. 

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[BLANK_AUDIO] A lot of people are talking about how white people can't really tell black stories, so it's a collaborative effort to work with you. How do you feel about that criticism though? Is it a valid criticism? Yeah. I think it's- Hit it, Tiana. [LAUGH] I see it. I get you. She got militant, like she's able to convey. [LAUGH] Yes. Tell us. I think that is absolutely a valid concern in our community. We want our stories to be told with authenticity. We want our stories to be told with heart, and Accuracy. And not to say that someone who is another culture can't do that. As you see, Michael Malice is doing a great job doing it. But there is validity in wanting a story about you, told by you. Right. As well as what we're doing over here on Starz with Mike O'Malley. It's a different perspective. You're having the two cultures coming together and seeing what that does. And it's a lot of dialogue. There are moments where Heated on set, or in the room, because someone feels like, I think that is a valid way of saying that, or that this family, no matter who they are, would go through that. And there are strong opinions on that set. You have some very Strong opinionated actors and it's a great debate though. What a balance. Where is it just human, where is just a human experience and where does that split come where this is particular to our species as an African-American family. Michael Mally is not afraid to ask question. [MUSIC] And that's good You know we love the fact that we play out an irish catholic family. [MUSIC] Because we still get his perspective. So you have two worlds that collide that meet but then That tell a new story. Right. So it' wonderful to be a black family in a different position, kind of, because I've never played a Catholic before. I had no idea what Catholicism was or how to go about being a Catholic until I asked questions to Mike. I was like hey. What does it mean to be a Catholic? So we share our stories, and we, but I love the fact that he's not afraid to ask us. Yes, it's important to ask the question. He asks us about the black culture. I love that. I know nothing about the white Catholic Irish culture. I ask questions. So I think that's a win-win situation for us with survivors. And that's why it's doing so well. [BLANK_AUDIO]