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  • -My next guest is an Emmy-winning director, writer,

  • and producer who has made films like "Selma," "13th,"

  • and "A Wrinkle in Time."

  • The fifth season of her show "Queen Sugar"

  • airs Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. on OWN.

  • Here is Ava DuVernay.

  • -Oh, my good-- -Hey, Jimmy!

  • -Thank you so much for being here.

  • Thanks for doing the show.

  • It is so nice to finally meet you.

  • -I love you.

  • And I watch you every night.

  • You really helped me get through quarantine,

  • and I just want to say thank you.

  • And I just want -- One day,

  • I want you to call me "buddy" or "pal."

  • That's all I want.

  • -Wow, you really do watch the show.

  • -So I can feel it, you know what I'm saying?

  • -You are the best. I love that you know that.

  • You are honestly -- Not only do I love your work,

  • but I love your work ethic, and I love how much you do.

  • And you go, "Yeah, check this out. I'm going to write this."

  • And then you write it. Then you produce it.

  • Then you direct -- I'm like,

  • you are one of the busiest people in the business,

  • and it's quality stuff.

  • There's something I want to ask you about.

  • Your company, ARRAY, launched last week.

  • It is called ARRAY Crew,

  • A-R-R-A-Y Crew, C-R-E-W, dot com.

  • Can you explain what this is, and how can people get involved?

  • -Yeah, ARRAY is a collective

  • that I founded about 10 years ago,

  • and we do all kinds of things.

  • We distribute films for women and people of color

  • who otherwise wouldn't have their films distributed.

  • We make TV shows and film,

  • the "When They See Us" and the "Queen Sugars" of the world.

  • But we also know that from being on all these sets,

  • you know, when we make film and television

  • that most of the people behind the scenes

  • kind of all look one way.

  • They look like you more than they look like me.

  • And so what we want to try to say

  • is both of us should have a place on set.

  • And we want to open it up and make sure

  • that people who are hiring crews --

  • producers, studios, networks --

  • know about people of different cultures, colors,

  • different identities, ages, physical abilities.

  • The people who usually we don't see, we want them to be seen,

  • and so that's what ARRAY Crew is.

  • -That's wild, and it's taking off.

  • -It's really taking off.

  • The big thing is, we knew there were crew members there

  • who would want to be in the platform, in the database.

  • But the question is, could we get the studios

  • and the networks to get behind it?

  • And when we launched last week,

  • every single major studio and network,

  • every single one, every streamer, committed to use it.

  • And they're using it, and people are getting jobs

  • and getting connected. And that's all we wanted.

  • We're a non-profit, so we just wanted people --

  • -That's the key. -It's free, you know?

  • It's just connection.

  • -Great. I love that you did that. Good for you.

  • I want to talk about "Queen Sugar."

  • This is a show you created and you produced.

  • And the fifth season just premiered,

  • and it's already been renewed for a sixth.

  • It's very up-to-date, very 2020, very present.

  • You ended up rewriting the whole thing.

  • Tell everyone what's going on.

  • -Well, you know, this was the first series I ever did.

  • You know, I was making movies, so I was used to kind of make the movie, and it's over.

  • And this is like, make a movie every week,

  • oh, and you're renewed for six years!

  • Like, we're still telling the story.

  • But one of the things about it

  • is that it's about a contemporary Black family.

  • We always took pride in the fact that we were telling the story

  • of Black people in the here and now.

  • And so when the here and now changed

  • and it was COVID, and it was, you know, politics,

  • and it was, you know, a real racial reckoning

  • that seemed to be happening in some corners,

  • we wanted to deal with that.

  • And so we changed the story that we had written

  • so we could stay true

  • to contemporary stories of Black folk,

  • and we rewrote the season

  • that's basically a flashback to everything in 2020.

  • So just, you know, we opened with, it's the month before.

  • It's like February 2020,

  • when no one was really tuned in on the fact

  • that this was going to be something that affected us,

  • not just people in other countries.

  • Then we get to March, and it's like "Oh, yeah,

  • I heard something's happening in Seattle

  • with old people in a old folks home.

  • Not to do with me."

  • And then each episode, it starts to really happen

  • in the way that it happened for most of us

  • where it starts to confront you head-on.

  • -Yeah. The show is on the OWN network,

  • which is Oprah Winfrey's Network.

  • All the Oprah wisdom and advice

  • that she's given over the years, that I've taken --

  • I mean, I do dream journals.

  • Everyone -- Please, she's touched everybody.

  • Is there anything specific that's always stuck with you?

  • -The idea of nothing bad is happening to you,

  • it's happening for you. -Wow.

  • -That was really a big one for me.

  • -Is there anything that Oprah would say

  • that you've taught her?

  • -[ Chuckles ]

  • I think I've taught her how to put GIFs on her IG.

  • I've taught her... -No! Did you teach her --

  • [ Laughs ] You upped her GIF game?

  • -...how to do a Boomerang. Okay, these are important things,

  • just like it's not happening to you, it's happening for you.

  • -I wish you could teach me how to do a Boomerang.

  • I want to show everyone a clip

  • from next week's episode of "Queen Sugar."

  • Take a look at this.

  • -What about getting your crop loan?

  • Couldn't that help?

  • -Banks ain't given loans to no farms right now.

  • To be honest, I'm happy we ain't harvest.

  • It would have went to waste

  • like all them other farms throwing out all they product.

  • [ Sighs ]

  • Next year,

  • the soil will be three times as rich.

  • We could recoup everything we didn't make this year,

  • so I'm -- I'm not worried about that.

  • Feel like the land's gon' take care of us.

  • Just got to be patient.

  • -You have a really beautiful outlook on this.

  • -[ Chuckles ]

  • I mean, it ain't come easy.

  • We've seen the ups and downs, but,

  • hell, this is where we at.

  • Guess it is what it is, right?

  • -Ava DuVernay!

  • Season 5 of "Queen Sugar" airs Tuesday nights

  • at 8:00 p.m. on OWN.

  • Thank you so much again for coming on the show.

  • I'm a big fan. Please come back. Bye, buddy.

  • -Thanks, buddy.

-My next guest is an Emmy-winning director, writer,

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Ava DuVernay Taught Oprah How to Up Her Instagram Game | The Tonight Show

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/02/25
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