Yvette Lee Bowser Reveals Network Wanted To Cut Maxine Shaw From ‘Living Single’ Because She Was “Unapologetically Black”

Posted June 19, 2019

image via TC Carson Instagram

The fight for black creatives, writers, producers, directors and story tellers to have their voices and art heard and seen–and told in authentic ways, has always been and continues to be a fight.

Despite there being more doors opening, diversity seems to be an ongoing issue in Hollywood, and ‘Dear White People’ show runner, Yvette Lee Bowser recently confirmed this.

Bowser recently spoke during Netflix’s “Make A Scene” event about the time she had to fight for her vision on her very first show, ‘Living Single,’ which she created. That fight was centered around keeping the character of Maxine Shaw, the vivacious lawyer played by Erika Alexander, on the show.

Bowser revealed that the network wanted to cut the character in an attempt to essentially make the show less “urban.”

“I’d have to say that the moment that I felt unseen in this business was also kind of a pivotal and career-defining moment for me. And it was the moment when I got my first set of notes on the first show I created, Living Single. And they wanted me to remove the character of Maxine Shaw from the show because she was unapologetically Black and female and fierce, and all of the things that, if I wasn’t at that time, I wanted to be ultimately,” she said. “And I knew that that would be a powerful force in the world ’cause I know that our art is, you know, our art is our activism, and I knew that that voice had been missing. And I was told to take the character out of the show in order to get the show picked up. And even though I had everything to lose, I stood my ground and said to take Maxine Shaw out of the show is to take a big part of me out of the show and I’d rather not do the show.”

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