hollywoodreporter.com - 6 days ago
How The CW's 'Black Lightning' Hopes to Have a Lasting Impact on Culture
Showrunner Salim Akil talks with THR about the pressures of bringing a black-led superhero series to broadcast TV â and why it won't crossover with the rest of the network's DC Comics programming.
Black Lightning is ready to suit up, and to hear showrunner Salim Akil tell it, it's about time. The CW drama stars Cress Williams (Hart of Dixie) as retired superhero Jefferson Pierce — aka Black Lightning — with the actor and DC Comics adaption poised to make history as one of the first major broadcast network TV shows with a black superhero in the lead role. While Netflix has Marvel drama Luke Cage, starring Mike Colter, and The CW has already featured such secondary black superheroes as Arrow's Mister Terrific (Echo Kellum), The Flash's Kid Flash (Keiynon Lonsdale), Supergirl's Guardian (Mehcad Brooks) and Legends of Tomorrow's Firestorm (Franz Drameh), Black Lightning represents a major step forward for representation in the comic book TV arena with Williams No. 1 on the call sheet. "As time progresses, we'll see more," Akil tells The Hollywood Reporter of his hopes for additional representation in the genre. "Why did it take so long? You have to put it in context of American history. We're just about one generation up out of Jim Crow, at a point in time where I couldn't drink from the same fountain as a white man or a white child."
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