EXCLUSIVE: ABC is rounding out the recurring cast for its limited series Women of the Movement, from creator-writer Marissa Jo Cerar and a producing team that includes Jay-Z, Will Smith and Aaron Kaplan. Joining the cast are Leslie Silva as Ruby Hurley, Chris Butler as Rayfield Mooty, Alex Désert as Dr. Howard, Miles Fowler as Simeon Booker, Tongayi Chirisa as Medgar Evers, Jason Turner as James Hicks, and Daniel Abeles as Chet Packton.
Inspired by the book Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement by Devery S. Anderson, the six-episode limited series is set in 1955. It centers on Mamie Till-Mobley (Adrienne Warren), who risks her life to find justice after her son Emmett (Cedric Joe) is brutally murdered in the Jim Crow South. Unwilling to let Emmett’s murder disappear from the headlines, Mamie chooses to bear her pain on the world stage, emerging as an activist for justice and igniting the Civil Rights movement as we know it today.
Glynn Turman, Chris Coy, Julia McDermott, Carter Jenkins, Tonya Pinkins and Ray Fisher co-star.
Silva’s Ruby Hurley was a famed NAACP activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. A lady badass among men, Ruby was fiercely committed to getting justice for Emmett Till.
Butler’s Rayfield Mooty is Chicago Labor Union Leader, and second cousin to Mamie Till-Mobley. Rayfield was instrumental in getting the NAACP involved in the Emmett Till murder investigation.
Désert’s Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Mason Howard, a brilliant maverick, was an American civil rights activist, surgeon, and one of the most influential Black leaders in Mississippi. Actively involved in the Emmett Till murder investigation and trial, Dr. Howard turned his home into command central for Mamie Till-Mobley’s entourage and Black journalists who were desperately searching for evidence to get justice for her son.
Fowler’s Simeon Booker, a celebrated Black journalist with Jet Magazine, vowed to make sure the killing of Emmett Till remained in the headlines. Sympathetic, brilliant and a man of his word, Booker’s coverage of Emmett Till helped redefine both the publication and the Civil Rights Movement.
Chirisa’s Medgar Evers is the beloved NAACP field secretary who was one of Mississippi’s most prominent civil rights activists. Committed to bringing Emmett’s killers to justice, Medgar risked his life to find key evidence during the murder trial.
Turner’s James Hicks is one of Black journalism’s most prominent reporters, whose investigative work played a huge role in the Emmett Till murder trial.
Abeles’ Chet Packton is a southern gentleman and journalist who unexpectedly becomes part of the Emmett Till murder investigation.
Women of the Movement is produced by Kapital Entertainment. Jay-Z, Jay Brown and Tyran “Ty Ty” Smith (Roc Nation), and Will Smith and James Lassiter (Overbrook) executive produce along with Aaron Kaplan, Dana Honor and Michael Lohmann for Kapital Entertainment, Marissa Jo Cerar, Gina Prince-Bythewood; Rosanna Grace (Serendipity Group Inc.), Alex Foster and John Powers Middleton (Middleton Media Group) and David Clark (Mazo Partners).
Silva’s television and film credits include NBC’s Shades of Blue, CW’s In The Dark, Showtime’s Odyssey 5, the Hulu limited series The Looming Tower and the independent film Reversion. On stage, she starred in the Signature Theatre’s production of Chicago, directed by Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard, as well as The Master Builder directed by André Gregory. Silva is repped by Artists & Representatives and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.
Butler is best known as Matan Brody on The Good Wife and The Good Fight and Dax Minter on Designated Survivor. He aslo appeared on Broadway in 110 in the Shade with Audra McDonald. He is repped by SDB Partners and Pine River Entertainment.
Désert is known for his roles on the long-running CBS show Becker and in the cult indie film Swingers. He is currently the voice of Carl Carlson on Fox’s The Simpsons as well as Mr. Bojenkins on Adult Swim’s, Momma Names Me Sheriff. Other credits include Disney’s Freaky Friday and Let It Shine. He’ll next be seen in Amazon’s upcoming series A League Of Their Own. He’s repped by Imperium 7.
Fowler is a recent graduate from the University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts. He is repped by Authentic Talent and Literary Management.
Tongayi recently starred in Palm Springs alongside Andy Samberg and the Lionsgate thriller Antebellum opposite Janelle Monae. In television, Tongayi recently wrapped season two of Netflix’s sci-fi action series Another Life, and starred as Friday in NBC’s Crusoe. He also had a series regular role in the critically acclaimed comedy The Jim Gaffigan Show. Tongayi is repped by Industry Entertainment Partners and Domain Talent.
Turner is best known for his recurring role as Walt on the CW’s supernatural thriller Legacies. He’s also recurred on BET+’s Bigger, Fox’s medical drama The Resident and has been seen on BET’s American Soul as Milo, ABC’s Scandal and Criminal Minds on CBS. He’s repped by Houghton Talent in Atlanta, GA.
Abeles’ television credits include Strange Angel (2018) and The Good Wife (2009). He also is the founder and co-producing partner of Lesser America, a theatre company.
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