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'We Allowed These Women To Just Be': Leigh Davenport On TV Show 'Run The World'

(CBS Local)-- There a lot of good new TV shows streaming these days, but one series that is getting a lot of buzz is "Run The World" on Starz from creator Leigh Davenport. Davenport wrote and created the series about four Black women living in Harlem, New York as they strive for world domination. The show is based off of Davenport's own experience at the beginning of her career with her friends in New York.

CBS Local's DJ Sixsmith caught up with Davenport to discuss the series, the importance of portraying Black women on television and what it was like to make a Wendy Williams for Lifetime.

"I have been on the quest to make this show about these fabulous Black women for about 10 years now," said Davenport. "To be able to turn my real life and real friends into a show that people are really loving and responding to is and feel like they're seeing themselves on screen is such an honor. It is beyond exciting. The biggest hurdle was committing fully to this. I lived in New York, worked in digital and had a pretty intense job. I was writing on the side and it took quitting that job, moving across the country and full-scale committing to his journey before anything really happened."

Davenport got to shoot the show in Harlem and her friends got the chance to visit the set. She says it was pretty surreal to see production trucks for her show in the streets of Harlem after she remembers walking down the block and wondering what show was shooting in her neighborhood when she used to live in New York. After everything she went through to make the show, Davenport made sure every decision about casting, the script and even sex scenes were extremely specific.

"Every single part of this show was intentional," said Davenport. "When you spend 10 years working on the thing, you have a lot of time to think about it. Particularly about Black women being flawed, there's so much pressure on Black women to present a strong and tough exterior. I am a huge fan of affirmation and Black girl excellence and Black girl magic, but that comes at a cost sometimes. Sometimes that's our mental health and sometimes that's our emotional health. We were able to show whole human beings who are not always making the right decisions. It felt like something that should be normal, but it ended up being this profound thing. We allowed these women to just be."


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