Game Changers Shonda Rhimes, Debbie Allen, Ava DuVernay, Mara Brock Akil, Issa Rae Cover Essence

Shonda Rhimes, Debbie Allen, Ava DuVernay, Mara Brock Akil Cover Essence-the jasmine brand

Hollywood Game Changers Shonda Rhimes (producer/creator of Scandal, How to Get Away With Murder, Grey’s Anatomy), Ava DuVernay (director of Selma), Debbie Allen, Mara Brock Akil (Being Mary Jane) and Issa Rae (creator of Awkward Black Girl) cover ESSENCE’s latest issue.

Check out a few excerpts.

Shonda Rhimes on the fact that Black women are heating up the TV world, in front of and behind the camera, is not a trend to be dissected:

It’s an economic fact. There are more people of color than ever before…When the shows start doing bigger numbers than what they think are going to be their top ten shows, it becomes really hard to suggest that it’s a trend.

Ava DuVernay on wanting to see many more people of color behind the scenes:

Of course that has to happen. But it is more about people working autonomously, independently, to create their own structures, mechanisms, companies, outlets. Look at you, Issa—nobody was giving you anything, so you created your own work and your own platform and your own way to distribute.