‘Queen Sugar’ will cover COVID-19, BLM, and election in 5th season

The OWN series created by Ava DuVernay is ready to resume production in New Orleans

It looks like Queen Sugar is coming back in a big way. According to OWN, the series created by Ava DuVernay is ready to resume production in New Orleans after being halted due to the coronavirus crisis.

In a press release, the network revealed that the upcoming fifth season of the hit series will tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the ongoing racial unrest across the country, and the upcoming election.

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As filming halted and the world faced multiple upheavals throughout 2020, DuVernay decided to completely revamp the season to address the very real issues our country is facing through the lens of the beloved Bordelon family and the fictional community of St. Josephine. DuVernay reconceived the character arcs and storylines, writing alongside returning showrunner Anthony Sparks and co-executive producer Norman Vance to tackle head-on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protest movement that swept the country, and the lead-up to elections to showcase the specific impact and ramifications these issues have on communities and people of color. Through it all, viewers will see the joy around the pain, and humanity’s ability to persevere and find light in the darkest of times.

(Queen Sugar)

In an effort to continue to close the inclusion gap in Hollywood, the upcoming season’s lineup has added some first time, all-women directors. The show’s episodic director Lauren Wolkstein has been promoted to producing director, alongside helmers Lisa France and Cierra Glaude. The inclusive hiring extends in front of and behind the camera, with female department heads from casting to post-production and music supervision.

Queen Sugar was recently recognized by the Television Academy Honors for its powerful portrayal of an African American family in the Deep South that sheds light on complex issues and challenges facing our society. Led by the talented cast that includes Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe, the drama’s storylines have delved into important topics such as police brutality, addiction and recovery, and systemic racism. We can’t wait to see hoe they highlight all the hardships the country and community continues to face.

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Here’s what we can expect in season 5:

Charley (Gardner) remains thick in the battle with the Landry family as she uses the system of local government to protect the community and the farmers who own land, while coming to terms with her son Micah (Nicholas Ashe) as he navigates his freshman year at Xavier University, an HBCU. Nova (Wesley) launches her new website to support the community while moving out of the Ninth Ward and settles into her romantic relationship with Calvin (Greg Vaughn). Ralph Angel (Siriboe) works to manage fatherhood with son Blue (Ethan Hutchison) and a healthy path forward with girlfriend Darla (Bianca Lawson) despite constant threats to his land and home.

The expansive cast also includes Tina Lifford as the siblings’ free-spirited Aunt Violet, who manages her expanding pie shop despite her Lupus diagnosis; Omar J. Dorsey as Violet’s husband Hollywood Desonier, who wants to create a safe space for Black men to come together and talk about their emotional challenges; and Henry G. Sanders as Prosper Denton, a farmer and longtime friend of the late Bordelon family patriarch, Ernest. Recurring guest star Timon Kyle Durrett portrays Charley’s estranged husband and pro basketball player Davis West. 

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