Courtney Kemp, During The Creation Of Power Series, Made It Her Mission To Showcase All Of NYC With Representation Compared to Friends & Sex In The City


Courtney Kemp’s Power has expanded well beyond the first series. The series related the life of a drug kingpin, James “Ghost” St. Patrick (Omari Hardwick). Deciding he wanted to go completely legit; Ghost tried to stay away from the drug game. But his best friend/business partner, Tommy Egan (Joseph Sikora), and his wife, Tasha (Naturi Naughton), were skeptical.

Rather than just unpacking Ghost’s story, Kemp wanted Power to be as accurate as possible, including by representing the Latin American community in New York.

Power was a blessing to Starz. This helped put the network on the card as it had not been previously. Moreover, the ratings of the drama series rivaled those of Game of Thrones. Since then, the Universe of Power has continued to grow. Still, nobody believed in Kemp’s vision until Power landed on Starz.

“When we pitched Power around town, a lot of places said no because a show with Black leads at that time was very much not what people wanted to buy,” Kemp told The Hollywood Reporter.

“Now people have had the opportunity to see that they can make good money on those shows. I’ve said it before, but the color that matters in Hollywood is green. And I think people look to me to provide a certain demographic of viewer. I’m very committed to, BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and women. Those are the areas where I’m committed to telling stories and amplifying voices — which isn’t to say that if you’re a straight white man, you can’t have a great story. But I’m pretty sure you’ll get that on [the air]. That door will open to you. Whereas if you are a queer woman of color, maybe people aren’t listening as much. They’re starting to listen more.”

Often on shows such as Friends and Sex and the City, viewers watch a version of NYC that is almost empty of people of color. This is surprising and deeply disturbing as New York is one of the most diverse cities in the world. As she developed her show, Kemp knew she wanted the city represented correctly.

From Ghost’s lover, Assistant Distract Attorney Angela Valdez (Lela Loren), to the head of the Lobos cartel Felipe Lobos (Enrique Murciano) and Ghost and Tom’s right-hand man, Julio (J.R. Ramírez), the Latino community is well represented on the show.

“To have Dominican, Cuban, Mexican actors be from where they are from… that was my passion and Starz was totally behind me on that even though it’s detail work that people don’t usually do,” Kemp told Showbiz Cafe.

What do you think?

Written by Byron Nelson

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