Dr. Holly Carter speaks on Image Award noms and bringing her own seat to Hollywood’s table
Carter executive produced 'The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel' nominated for four awards this weekend
Dr. Holly Carter is a woman making some serious moves in Hollywood. The Founder and CEO of Relevé Entertainment already has a first-look deal with OWN under her belt and has several promising projects in the works.
This week it was announced that her Relevé Entertainment, an All3Media America Company, would be partnering up with Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary’s Revelations Entertainment to develop and produce a new docu-series, History In Color. The project explores the contributions of African American trailblazers, disruptors and unknown heroes who rejected the status quo and changed the course of modern history.
Each episode of History In Color is directed by a leading African American icon and is their personal exploration of the lives of often-unknown people who blazed the trail for their career. Each episode will focus on a distinct discipline: Entertainment, Business, Science, Armed Forces, Education, Sports, and Faith. Morgan Freeman is set to direct the premier episode.
“I’m really proud to bring this project to life. This pivotal time in history affords us a unique opportunity to give a platform to African American contributions that have long been overlooked,” Carter said in a statement.
TheGrio sat down with the industry veteran to discuss her journey through Hollywood. She kicked off her career casting hit shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Roc, and In Living Color and has managed stars like Usher Raymond and helped countless others navigate Hollywood’s murky waters. Her work has been seen on screens big and small and often blends two of her passions: faith and music.
“My dad was a performer and then became a preacher. We can all sing. Everybody in my family is musically inclined, and so that was like a natural progression for me,” she says.
Last year, Carter executive produced the most-watched TV movie of 2020, Lifetime’s The Clark Sisters: First Ladies of Gospel, nominated for four NAACP Image Awards including Outstanding TV Movie, Mini-series, or Dramatic Special.
“I know God’s timing is perfect because had we did it any other time, I don’t know if that would have been the reaction and the response, but they needed that movie at this moment,” she says of the film that stars Aunjanue Ellis as the infamous Mattie Moss Clark.
Carter has always kept her faith at the forefront and she revealed how that informs the way she navigates her career.
“I balance my faith and this work in Hollywood by being adamant on not compromising, by leading with integrity, by always being willing to ask for forgiveness, always being willing to find my place in an issue and resolve it,” she says. “And then by standing by what I believe, what I’m passionate about fighting for what I believe.”
As part of her partnership with OWN, Carter is almost ready to unveil her latest special on the network, Our OWN Easter featuring Deborah Joy Winans. The spiritual celebration that hits OWN on March 30 also features performances from Fantasia, Ledisi, Kirk Franklin, Koryn Hawthorne, Anthony Hamilton and the Hamiltones, and others.
“It’s been a real blessing,” Carter says of her deal with OWN. “They allow me to do what I know how to do and they have been great partners.”
As the founder and CEO of Relevé Entertainment, Carter specializes in talent partnerships, brand development and television/film production delivering high-quality, breakthrough family and faith-inspired programming. Other upcoming projects include Mahalia!, a feature film Carter is producing with Jamie Foxx and Queen Latifah that stars Jill Scott and is based on gospel legend and activist Mahalia Jackson.
She also weighed in on the changing Hollywood landscape and her experience with negotiating fair salaries for Black talent. “It’s certainly difficult to navigate a system set up for a certain group of people,” she says. “I think we all are fighting for those pay inequities to change.”
Check out the interview above.
For more with Dr. Holly Carter Carter, check out this week’s episode of Acting Up.
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