Dear Culture

It’s A Celebration, Okay?! Deniese Davis

Episode 100

Read the full transcript here. 

Come through, milestone! This week on the Dear Culture podcast our hosts, Managing Editor of Politics and theGrio Washington Correspondent Gerren Keith Gaynor and theGrio Social Media Director Shana Pinnock, celebrate 100 episodes of DCP and talk with producer and founder of Reform Media Group, Deniese Davis, whose work and impact in Hollywood is shaping the what’s new and what’s next in Black culture.  

For the past decade, Davis has worked behind the scenes to bring some of the culture’s most beloved stories and characters to life through her work as an executive producer of show’s like The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black GirlInsecure and A Black Lady Sketch Show.

Now, she’s building her own legacy and lane with Reform Media Group and hoping to change the landscape of American media. 

Film producer Deniese Davis attends the 25th Anniversary Of University Of North Carolina School Of The Arts School Of Filmmaking Senior Film Showcase at Linwood Dunn Theater at Pickford Center on May 07, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for University of North Carolina School of the Arts)

According to research from UCLA, people of color are approaching proportionate representation among cable and digital scripted leads, but they remained underrepresented in other industry positions during the 2019-20 television season. Davis says there were only a handful Black women television producers when she began her career.

“I’ve always wanted to make sure that I’m providing a pipeline and a pathway for more Black female producers because I don’t want to be the only one. More importantly, I don’t want this industry to look like it did when I first started either,” said Davis.

“So, I hope that my legacy and my impact will be opening doors will be helping to provide those types of opportunities for more of us.” 

Sonequa Martin-Green, Issa Rae, and Deniese Davis attend The BAFTA Los Angeles Tea Party at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 6, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/BAFTA LA/Getty Images for BAFTA LA)

This week’s show also marked a deeply important milestone for Pinnock and Gaynor as they celebrated 100 episodes of the Dear Culture podcast. 

“It’s humbling that our experiences and our reflections really resonate with our listeners,” said Gaynor. “I believe that the topics that we cover and the people that we have on the show mean something. DCP has continued to be a place where we highlight honor and amplify Black culture authentically.” 

Tune into the Dear Culture podcast to hear the entire inspiring conversation, including why Davis says you probably shouldn’t expect an Insecure spin-off anytime soon and her thoughts on more visibility for queer folks of color.