Webseries 'Brown Girls' Is a Love Letter to Queer Women of Color
The new show about 20-somethings living in Chicago has drawn comparisons to "Broad City" and "Girls," but creators Fatimah Asghar and Sam Q. Bailey have made something even better. They tell us about their new project and how ethnic minorities are taking
According to a 2016 study, only a third of TV speaking roles are played by non-white actors and only a quarter go to women. Queer characters are practically non-existent and show up less than 2 percent of the time. Basically, media is hyper-saturated with stories about straight white people doing straight white things. It's rare to find an outlet or story that puts people of color—let alone queer women of color—front and center. Shows like Insecure and Jane the Virgin began to reclaim the spotlight, but for those without TVs, let alone an HBO subscription, these stories can still remain out of reach. Brown Girls, a new webseries from writer Fatimah Asghar and filmmaker Sam Q. Bailey, is about to be the beacon of accessibility and hope we've been waiting for.
The show follows two women: Leila, a young South Asian woman played by Nabila Hossain, who is exploring her queerness for the first time, and her best friend Patricia (Sonia Denis), a black musician working through her commitment issues. They lean hard on each other as they explore their 20-something lives in Chicago. And while the series has already been compared to Broad City and Girls, presumably for its female-driven comedy, Asghar says it's not a response to the two more mainstream comedies. It's something else entirely.