Lena Waithe has praised Viacom-owned BET for speaking the same language as her on the half-hour comedy Boomerang. Waithe and Halle Berry are exec producing the remake of the 1992 movie, in which Berry starred alongside Eddie Murphy. They are joined on the team by by Dime Davis and Ben Cory Jones, who is showrunner on the series from Paramount Television and BET Networks.
“Most of the shows I do are being pushed through a white filter. The most exciting thing about BET and Paramount is that we speak the same language,” Waithe said Monday at TCA. “There is no, ‘Well can you have more joy in that moment of black pain’ – I don’t have to do that. That’s no shade at other partners I work for but the best thing is working with people who look like me and trust me. Black and honest as hell.”
The Chi creator added, “I’m a big believer that if there’s a show with black people that too many white people like, chances are it’s not for black people.”
The 10-episode Boomerang, which premieres Tuesday, stars Tequan Richmond, Tetona Jackson, Leland Martin and Lala Milan. It follows the lives of Jacqueline Boyer’s son (Richmond) and Marcus and Angela Graham’s daughter (Jackson) as they try to step out of their parents’ shadows and make a legacy of their own.
Richmond’s Bryson is resourceful, tough and charming. Raised by a single mother, he’s self-assured and doesn’t hide his vulnerability. Every bit as driven as Simone, Bryson wants to make his mark on this world.
Jackson’s Simone is privileged, beautiful, cool and driven to a fault. She has an easy confidence that she inherited from her father, but a down-to-earth, chill vibe, which she inherited from her mother. The shadow of both her parents looms large and she is eager to step out of it and make a name for herself.
Martin will play Ari, a digital producer with big dreams. He is handsome, charming, effortlessly confident, and has an edge and swagger that is completely disarming. Ari doesn’t believe in labels. He’s an equal opportunist when it comes to dating.
Milan is Tia, a misguided performance artist with high ambitions. She is a classically trained dancer who wants to topple the patriarchy. She’s charismatic and wildly unique. Tia is an activist at heart, but she doesn’t mind being a little ratchet every now and then.
Berry revealed Monday that she may also make an appearance in the small-screen version, which she called a fresh take on the 1992 film. “I wanted to tell the story in a fresh way and deal with all of the issues that millennials are facing, which is very different to the issues of 1992, and to carry on the legacy of the original movie.”