Brow Beat

The Couple Behind Being Mary Jane on What It’s Like as Muslims to Watch the Rise of Trump

Writer and showrunner Mara Brock Akil and director Salim Akil are one of the most powerful couples in television right now, having put forth beloved shows such as Girlfriends, The Game, and Being Mary Jane, and having just signed a multiyear deal with Warner Bros. TV to develop a new series with the studio. At the American Black Film Festival last summer, I spoke with them about their creative process, what it was like to leave Being Mary Jane for new ventures, and how politics influences their work.

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And as is pretty much always the case in 2016, the conversation eventually turned to Donald Trump. The husband-and-wife team, who are Muslim, gave their perspectives on the presidential candidate and how the potential of a Trump win made them feel. Said Salim: “It’s less about Trump and more about the people … If the American people are willing to elect someone like that president, then that’s more of a problem.”

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