Writer Mike Gauyo (Ginny & Georgia, Insecure) is moving the needle when it comes to inclusivity in the writers room. Under his Black Boy Writes banner, Gauyo has launched a new mentorship initiative that focuses on providing support and resources to preWGA Black writers.
The initiative was launched in partnership with Culture Creative Entertainment and Writ Large and includes a comprehensive program for 11 newly inducted mentees. This includes writer Round tables with established writers in the industry including Amy Aniobi (Insecure), Kay Oyegun (This Is Us), and Golden Globe-winning writer Kemp Powers (Soul, One Night In Miami). In addition, writing workshops will help prepare mentees for fellowship and staffing season and they will have the opportunity to participate in general meetings with networks and production companies.
And at the end of the program, each mentee will have the opportunity to be read by Culture Creative and Writ Large to be considered for representation.
“McKinsey & Co released research reporting that a lack of Black inclusion in film and television costs Hollywood upwards of 10 Billion dollars a year, yet the amount of Black talent exists in droves,” said Gauyo. “So, why don’t they see us? Why isn’t Hollywood letting us in? With the Black Boy Writes Mentorship Initiative I aim to create a sustainable pathway program for up and coming black writers that not only provides them a way in, but amplifies their voices in the process.”
Read the bios of the mentees and their genre specialties below.
Jarrell Brown (Comedy, Drama): A Black boy from the Midwest, Jerrell loves telling mental health-driven stories that explore the varied intricacies of the Black experience; stories that are meant to help you laugh to keep from crying. Jerrell wants to create imagery for little black gay boys growing up in households where they don’t feel it’s safe to be themselves.
Kai Grayson (Children’s Content; Animated & Live Action): Kai is a Black, queer woman from Los Angeles who writes scripts that inspire and spark wonder in the minds of the newest generations. Her stories combine aspects of magic, imagination, and life lessons to entertain children all over the world.
Nathaniel (YA, Fantasy Drama): Nathaniel is a sci-fi/fantasy writer who creates Afrofuturistic worlds to explore tradition, responsibility, family, and the stewardship of life. His writing is influenced by his Haitian heritage, his Christian background, and his ambition to center marginalized imaginations.
Tiffany Beacham (Dramedy): As the child of two college athletes and a former college athlete herself, writing sports stories and family dramas, dealing with transitions and identity is literally Tiffany’s life. A stage 5 dialogue junkie and USA Network addict, Tiffany leans towards dramas with a soapy comedic charm.
Blake Williams (Drama): Growing up gay and mixed raced in a small conservative Christian town, Blake Williams has always been a bit of a misfit. A former Social Worker, he moved to LA to tell the stories of misfits and marginalized people whose voice aren’t often put at the center of the narrative. He recently published a book of poetry celebrating being black, being brown, and being queer.
Keila Hamilton (Comedy, Dramedy): Count on Keila bringing dysfunction and trauma to your screens, AGH! Kidding. Kind of. Not really. Her stories celebrate the humanity within the dysfunctional. She grew up a sheltered kid, which stunted her journey of self-discovery, so she opted to live vicariously through her characters… but if you see Keila stealing a Baby Phat crop top at the mall, mind ya business!
Reed Douglas (Drama, Comedy): Reed has been creating worlds since his parents bought him his first Barbie. His experiences growing up as a gay, black, awkward kid in the South blur the line between comedy and tragedy. The truth is, he’s always been fascinated with finding humor in painful experiences. As a writer, Reed tries to write interesting and complex parts for the people who were once considered the weirdos, the outcasts, and the unaccepted.
Rob Hill (Comedy): Rob likes his comedy dry with a splash of drama, and some chaos on the rim. He enjoys merging the “what had happened was” parts of life with “the shoot me now” moments to create an experience that pokes fun at the life mistakes we all tend to make.
Desjah Altvater (YA Drama, Children’s Content): As a writer, Desjah’s philosophy is to never glamorize reality but reflect it. She writes about tough subject matter in a digestible, yet entertaining way that resonates with kids and young adults.
Joshua L. Myers (Drama): Josh hails from South Carolina, but now living in Los Angeles. Raised by a father he calls “Black Panther adjacent,” he grew up surrounded by powerful conversations regarding his place in the world. As a drama writer, he hopes to craft stories that will spark important conversations, provide a few well-needed laughs, and, who knows, maybe makes things a little easier for the next Black kid whose told he watches too much television.
Tamara S. Hall (Drama, Horror, & Rom-com): Tamara placed as a Quarterfinalist in the 2021 Atlanta Film Festival Screenplay Competition and the 2020 ScreenCraft Horror Screenplay Competition. Tamara seeks to be a vessel for stories that capture the nuances, complexities, and softness of Black women.