‘Grown-ish’ cast talks new season, global pandemic and Black Lives Matter

Yara Shahidi, Halle Bailey, Chloe Bailey and more discuss how the new season -- though shot in 2019 -- is very relatable to what many young people are going through today

Grown-ish is back and picking up right where season three left off, seeing Yara Shahidi’s Zoey Johnson leaving college to pursue a passion in fashion and Trevor Jackson’s Aaron Jackson getting back to his activist roots.

The cast sat down with theGrio‘s Sade Spence to discuss how the new season — though shot in 2019 — is very relatable to what many young people are going through today, considering the state of the world.

Read More: Freeform drops new ‘Grown-ish’ trailer for season three

“It’s really almost scary the way art imitates life and vice versa,” Shahidi said while reflecting on the global pandemic and the rise of the Black Lives Matter protests in the past summer. “But it’s been really wonderful to think about in this setting, when surrounded by people that you love and care about, to be able to have these discussions about topics that really matter to us.”

Yara Shahidi Peter Pan Tinker Bell
Yara Shahidi will play Tinker Bell in a live actio version of ‘Peter Pan.’ (Image: Getty)

She continued, “Considering the fact that, once again we shot this in 2019, it only further proves that what we’ve been experiencing is more than a moment. But we are genuinely a part of a movement and there are so many different sectors of social justice and equity in which we all have to be involved in order to make the progress we aspire to have.” 

Shahidi’s co-stars Chloe Bailey and Halle Bailey, who play Jazz and Sky Forster, echoed a similar sentiment, stressing the importance of the show featuring these sensitive topics.

“I feel that seeing the reflection of what’s going on in the world right now on our TV screens is a little bit of a piece of therapy,” said Halle. “It’s a comfort to know that it’s being reflected in its truth, its honesty.”

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She continued, “For me, I just feel like as a community, it’s grateful to just have surrounding arms hugging you, and you feeling that extra love, because at times like this, you definitely need it. You need to know that other people are going through things that you are as well and emotions and feeling the way that you are.”

Read More: Saweetie makes her acting debut in ‘Grown-ish’ as new character Indigo

“Experiencing all of the heartache during this quarantine, it has really been overwhelming,” Chloe shared. “But because of that, I’m happy to have my family and a sense of community that reminds me that I am worthy no matter what the world is saying right now. So I think just seeing how all of our friendships intertwined and how we love each other, no matter what our background is, I think that’s very important to see right now.”

This season the show delves into topics surrounding adulting, love, religion, celibacy, pregnancy, and more. Grown-ish season three features guest appearances from Joey Bada$$ and Saweetie, and airs Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.

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