My Hope for the New HBO Series “Brown Girls”
(This piece was originally written by Farouk Kannout on March 7th, 2018 on our old host website, Medium)
In case you haven’t heard, there’s a hit web show called Brown Girls that first debuted on Elle’s website.
The series is set in Chicago, and follows the friendship of 2 girls: Leila, a queer Muslim woman, and Patricia, a young black woman. Some critics compare their story to Abbi Jacobson & Ilana Glazer’s Broad City, but the director Samantha Bailey says it’s closer to Issa Rae’s Insecure or Donald Glover’s Atlanta. It has been officially confirmed that HBO is going to be adapting the web series, similar to what happened with Insecure.
So what’s the hype about? Brown Girls’ writer Fatimah Asghar said in an interview that “without Issa, and all the things she did to knock doors open, people would not have looked at us or taken us seriously.” Thanks to the hard work of Issa Rae and the success of her show Insecure, which has been renewed for a 3rd season, more inclusive TV shows told from the perspective of people of color are starting to get notoriety. Atlanta is another great example, winning the majority of their many Golden Globe comedy nominations.
Not only does Brown Girls and shows like it feature black and brown actors and actresses, but is written and directed by people of color as well. One of the big selling points is the fact that one of the main characters is a queer Muslim woman, an intersection of identities that is never seen or represented in mainstream media.
For many queer Muslims out there like me, this might be one of the few times we get representation. Our voices are constantly erased due to cultural constraints, racism and homophobia. Brown Girls, and all the other shows that will soon follow it, will begin to feature more and more diverse stories told by people who actually come from those backgrounds.
Here’s a link to the first episode.
Big shout-out to Issa for making this a possibility, and hopefully, this will open the floodgates.