Rikki Hughes: Supporting Black Leadership
I'm thrilled to see increased representation coming to film and television spaces alike. Specifically, Black women are finally writing, directing, producing, and filling the C-Suites in record numbers, and I'm confident these numbers will continue to rise.
As Black women, we are innately leaders and nurturers. It's our nature to problem solve, organize, and galvanize. Historically, we've maximized limited resources, created opportunities, worked countless hours to support our communities which has always led to reform in the workplace. Black women consistently show up and stand up for the greater good. It was true 100 years ago and it's true today.
Traditionally, we have not seen women of color in leadership, but we've always been there. Our job titles may not have reflected it but our work ethics have. As we become more visible behind the camera, in video village or at the head of the writers table, our talent, our drive and visions must be respected. It's natural to question differences and be uncertain with the unfamiliar, but a difference of perspective doesn't have to create a divide. Differences could create the perfect opportunity to get to know us better by making an attempt to understand an experience you've never known before.
The question of the hour is "How can I be an ally?" The answer is, work with us to celebrate a new perspective. I welcome a collaborative environment, but ultimately, I will make the final decision to lead the project. If the last year during the pandemic has taught us anything, it's to embrace the uniqueness of who we all are. True equity within diversity is not just a seat at the table but respect for that seat and confidence in the person sitting in it.
As a showrunner, I bring my full authentic self, including the values that lead my life: unity, gratitude and kindness. On every project I have one goal, to execute the vision and deliver premium content while creating a sense of unity for everyone working on the team.
Having executive produced for over 15 years, I'm thrilled that some of the greatest networks have continued to call on me to bring my vision to their platforms. I am humbled that I have had such an expansive career and that icons like Will Smith and Dave Chappelle trust me with their biggest and personal projects. Working with them has been my highest honor.
Different is good!
Rikki Hughes is an Emmy-winning producer whose credits include The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion, Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones, and All Def Comedy.
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The statements and viewpoints expressed in the article above are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions or viewpoints of the Television Academy, the Television Academy Foundation, or their members, officers, directors, employees, or sponsors.