All photos via: Elle Magazine
Elle Magazine announced its twenty-fifth anniversary Women in Hollywood honorees on Wednesday, which includes a whole lot of Black girl magic. From “Black Panther” stars Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, and Angela Bassett, to television powerhouse Shonda Rhimes, to actress and activist Yara Shahidi.
Representing the women of Wakanda, Bassett, Gurira, Nyong’o, shared their thoughts on their characters and the impact of “Black Panther,” now the highest grossing superhero movie of all time.
Bassett explained: “We all felt the anticipation but had no idea how it would mushroom, or that it would be so global and smash whatever preconceived notions we’ve heard for decades—that stories like this about these people won’t travel as well or won’t generate financially on such a huge scale.”
Gurira said of her character Okoye taking off her own wig during combat: “I loved doing that, from the minute she’s wearing that wig and complaining about it, to the minute she gets rid of it very pragmatically. That spoke to so many things about feminine aesthetics.”
Nyong’o added: “In our story, the emphasis is on many different women holding their own space,” describing the film as “a Marvel universe that is unapologetically Black.”
Read the powerful trio’s full story here and check out some powerful excerpts from Rhimes and Shahidi’s story below.
When asked how important it was to show a diverse cast, Rhimes responded:
“It’s hugely important, but I didn’t know how conscious it was until I was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. I was trying to figure out my speech, and I realized it was about how you cannot be what you cannot see. I talked about having grown up watching Oprah every single day of my life. How this was a woman of color, who did not look a certain way, who was (based in) Chicago, and who took over the world through television, basically. When I started writing TV shows, I wanted to represent everybody, because it should look like the real world. It should feel normal when you turn on the television and see people who look like you.”
Read Rhimes’ full story here.
In Shahidi’s interview, she talked about the issues that are most important to her, stating:
“All of them! Immigration, gun control. There’s been a lack of humanity, especially in the policies of these past two years, policies that alienate minorities, whether it be a person of color, an immigrant, or someone differently abled. The list goes on and on. Going into the midterms, it’s important to keep in mind that as much as you’re voting for yourself, you’re also voting for your community.”
Read Shahidi’s full story here.
“There has been a major paradigm shift in the entertainment industry since Elle’s last Women in Hollywood and this year we are celebrating women who are standing up for what’s right and advocating for change in the industry,” Elle Editor-in- Chief Nina Garcia said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.