Thursday, October 6, 2022

Tarana Burke: #MeToo Creator ‘Deeply Offended’ by Lee Daniels’ Plan to Create a Comedy Based on the Movement

*The founder of the #MeToo movement says she’s ‘deeply offended’ by Lee Daniels’ plan to create a comedy that’s reportedly inspired by the movement.

Tarana Burke created the #MeToo movement more than 12 years ago, but it’s only been within the last year that it went global primarily due to the endorsement of white women.

When it was announced that Daniels was gearing up to make a comedy based on the movement she created, Burke immediately took to Twitter to note that while her work supports all survivors of sexual assault, it “has always centered on Black and Brown women and girls. And it always will.”

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Deadline reports that “2 Broke Girls” co-creator Whitney Cummings has teamed with the “Empire” co-creator for a timely half-hour comedy, which is in development at Amazon.

The publication breaks down the plot:

The untitled project revolves around the staff of the ombudsman’s office at a college that navigates PC culture and the #metoo climate. The lead character, played by Cummings, must reconcile the dissonance between different generations of feminism, and the struggle to reconcile our primal desires, and socially constructed identities with current ethical obligations regarding race, class and gender.

“That’s exactly why it’s important to get in the writers’ rooms now and to connect with Hollywood now,” Burke explained to the New York Times. “Before it gets to be such a catchall phrase that they dilute its meaning, that we help people understand the gravity behind the words and that it’s not just used as, ‘Oh, look who got Me Too’d, ha-ha,’ like a punch line.”

Continuing, she added: “I just read something the other day that said Lee Daniels is making a Me Too comedy. The hair stood up on my arm. To put Me Too and comedy in the same sentence is so deeply offensive and not because I’m uptight and I don’t see comedy in things. We’re not ready for a comedy and it’s just so offensive that you think in this moment when we’re still unpacking the issue that you can write a comedy about it. And that’s the type of thing I’m talking about. We have to get out in front of that.”

“We can’t wait for white folks to decide that our trauma is worth centering on when we know that it’s happening,” Burke explains.

“We know that there are people, whether they’re in entertainment or not, who are ravaging our community. We have to be proactive, unfortunately without the benefit of massive exposure. That’s our reality, but it always has been.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.




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