The Writing Team Behind The Black Pearsons Opens Up On All Things ‘This Is Us’


With This Is Us finally completely wrapped, many fans have been left wondering what would be next for the Pearson clan, particularly the beloved Black Pearsons. The story of Randall, wife Beth, and daughters Tess, Annie, and Deja captivated audiences for six seasons, bringing laughs, tears, and opening the doors of discussion on many a hot-button topic among couples and parents alike.

For writers Kay Oyegun, Eboni Freeman, and Jon Dorsey, the end of the This is Us era is a bittersweet one. On one hand, it’s hard to bid farewell to such a beloved property that they each worked so hard on. But on the other, it spells a new chapter of great beginnings and grand opportunities – not to mention time for some well-earned rest.

“People are asking you that question a lot. Like, ‘how do you feel?’ Are you sad? Is it bittersweet?’ And yeah, all those things,” Freeman said, noting that the finality still didn’t seem all that real since this is normally the time the show would be on hiatus anyway. “When I watched, I got really emotional. Surprisingly, more than I thought I would. Like, ‘dang, it’s really over.’ Just thinking back on the last four seasons that I’ve been on the show, it has been such an amazing experience. I mean, everyone that works on the show is such incredibly talented and just so generous.”

This is Us was actually the first staff seat in the writer’s room for both Dorsey and Freeman. For Oyegun, a veteran of the writer’s room and the director’s chair, it was something she prepared for.

“I know for myself I had been emotionally preparing for a while,” Oyegun said. “Just sort of basically taking Jack’s advice and savoring every moment.”

THIS IS US — Exclusive Screening with Dan Fogelman and Cast — Pictured: (l-r) Sterling K. Brown, producer/writer Kay Oyegun at The London West Hollywood on Monday, November 4, 2019 — (Photo by: Randy Shropshire/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

“All the variety of things that have happened, it all feels so complete,” she continued. “I’ve been looking on Twitter. People are like, ‘What about Jack Junior’s wedding? What about Annie’s last haircut?’ They just want to see people brushing their teeth,” she laughed.

“It’s so lovely and so wonderful. But the truth of the matter is, there was a very clear story about the big three that was being told that was completed.”

For Dorsey, now that the story is completed, it’s all about the next opportunity for himself and his coworkers.

“On to the next,” he said. “Everyone is so talented. I’m very excited to see what everybody has coming up.”

Often heralded for depicting an atypical presentation of Black parenting, the writers find it interesting when people are struck by the positivity aand patience Randall and Beth exercised with their children, especially when it came to discipline and handling teenage hormones and attitudes.

THIS IS US — “The Challenger” Episode 601 — Pictured: (l-r) Lyric Ross as Deja, Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth, Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Eris Baker as Tess, Faithe Herman as Annie — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

“We got to feed into Randall and Beth, but we didn’t create Randall and Beth,” Oyegun pointed out, noting the diversity of the writers’ room. “They were created from the mind of Dan [Fogelman, show creator]. So there are things [included] about the way he would approach parenting or the way he would approach certain things. If people didn’t recognize it, it was because a person who is not [of our culture] wrote it.”

“I also knew Black parents – including my own growing up – that were like them,” Dorsey added.

Having a multitude of voices weighing in on the depictions of the Black Pearsons made for a viewing experience many in the audience found refreshing and thought provoking. But they did chime in for authenticity’s sake on more than one occasion.

“Sometimes we had debates,” Freeman recalled. “There was that scene with Beth and the girls [arguing, in season 3]. It was a conversation had after it was already written. And the page turned in the room where it was like, ‘hold on, now. These girls, they’re going a bit too far.’ We’re not going to see Beth spank them or call them outside [of their names] or anything like that. But she has got to say something because this is still a Black woman parenting these young girls.” 

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – JUNE 17: Writer Eboni Freeman poses for a photo prior to the “This Is Us: From Script to Screen” panel during the 2022 American Black Film Festival at the New World Center on June 17, 2022 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by J. Countess/Getty Images)

Thankfully, This is Us‘ uniquely open, collaborative environment gave way for discussion and agreement to give viewers the most authentic depiction possible staying true to the stories the entire staff sought to tell.

“There would always be a back and forth in so many of these situations, but it always ended up being like, ‘what’s the version?,’” Oyegun added. “How about this? What’s the version that every, single one of these, at that time, 10 people in the room can agree upon?’”

This Is Us bar none was one of the healthiest, most loving, most collaborative, most thoughtful environments on the planet,” Oyegun continued, noting that she has been privy to some horror stories in writers rooms that were more homogenous and less cooperative.

THIS IS US — “The Challenger” Episode 601 — Pictured: (l-r) Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth, Sterling K. Brown as Randall — (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

This Is Us is by far the most diverse [writer’s room I’ve been in],” Dorsey shared. “Beyond that, everyone is just so chill and patient and gracious with their time and talents. I’m curious, though, what a room is like when it’s predominantly Black. Frankly, I know that’s a mirage or something,” he laughed.

Hey was reminded of one particular day on set when there was a Black episode director, and an all Black cast, working right alongside the Black members of the writing team, signaling the change that is steadily sweeping through mainstream Hollywood.

“It was just really a great experience. There was one moment when Susan [Kelechi Watson] walked by Video Village and she did a double-take because it was so shocking to her that everyone at Video Village was Black for that episode, which – it’s so rare,” Dorsey shared. “The director, the writer, the writers mentor, Sterling was sitting there. It was like, ‘oh wow, we’re kind of doing something interesting.’ Maybe the industry is progressing a little bit.”



Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archive

Most commented

This is how sperm can be a vehicle for monkeypox infection: Experts

This is how sperm can be a vehicle for monkeypox infection: Experts

Researchers in Italy who were first to identify the presence of monkeypox in semen are broadening their testing, saying ...

Friday night’s jackpot is worth a guaranteed R65 million

Friday night’s jackpot is worth a guaranteed R65 million

The PowerBall jackpot for the first draw of the month of July will be worth a guaranteed R65 million ...

Female police officer remains in custody for alleged murder of colleague

Female police officer remains in custody for alleged murder of colleague

A female police officer faces charges of murder for allegedly shooting her colleague during patrol in Gqeberha. Constable Iris ...

Tour de France Stage 1 time trial start times: When to watch all 176 riders

Tour de France Stage 1 time trial start times: When to watch all 176 riders

The opening stage of this year’s Tour de France is a 13.2km individual time trial around Copenhagen, Denmark on Friday, ...

59-Year-Old Mom Who Reversed Diabetes and High Blood Pressure Launches Health & Wellness Retreat For Black Women

59-Year-Old Mom Who Reversed Diabetes and High Blood Pressure Launches Health & Wellness Retreat For Black Women

After an early diagnosis with high blood pressure and diabetes, 59-year-old Jacqueline Glass from Harlem, New York City began ...

DEAR ASHLEY: I Love Pleasing My Man But His Junk Is Too Big For My Trunk

DEAR ASHLEY: I Love Pleasing My Man But His Junk Is Too Big For My Trunk

Source: fotostorm / Getty Dear Ashley, I am looking for tips on how to make anal sex more comfortable. ...

WHO authorises new Covid-19 vaccine

WHO authorises new Covid-19 vaccine

The World Health Organization on Thursday gave the green light to Chinese manufacturer CanSinoBIO’s Covid-19 vaccine — the ninth ...

Lost in translation? Gupta extradition held-up by BIZARRE snag

Lost in translation? Gupta extradition held-up by BIZARRE snag

The wheels of justice may have started turning in the Gupta extradition case – but has South Africa hit ...

Five actions African countries can take to prepare for the next pandemic

Five actions African countries can take to prepare for the next pandemic

Globally, cases of COVID-19 and related deaths are lower in June 2022 than they were at the beginning of ...

Enoch Nkwe to be appointed new Director of Cricket

Enoch Nkwe to be appointed new Director of Cricket

Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith was appointed to the role as director of cricket at the end of 2019, ...

Chef Kardea Brown Releasing First Cookbook Celebrating Food Of The Sea Islands

Chef Kardea Brown Releasing First Cookbook Celebrating Food Of The Sea Islands

John Lamparski/Getty Images for NYCWFF Food is the way to many of our hearts and certain dishes can also ...

World Health Organization To Rename Monkeypox To Avoid Discrimination

World Health Organization To Rename Monkeypox To Avoid Discrimination

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced it will rename the monkeypox virus to avoid discrimination and stigmatization as the ...

Biden urges ‘guard against Monkeypox’

Biden urges ‘guard against Monkeypox’

Monkeypox has caught the attention of US President Joe Biden, who said Sunday that people should be on guard ...

SASSA R350 grant application rejected? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to appeal

SASSA R350 grant application rejected? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to appeal

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) finally paid COVID-19 social relief of distress grants (SRD) grant beneficiaries in ...

War in Ukraine: Latest news

War in Ukraine: Latest news

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine: Russia a ‘direct threat’ to NATO NATO leader Jens ...

Super Saturday: EVERY Test scheduled for this weekend!

Super Saturday: EVERY Test scheduled for this weekend!

International rugby is back – and it’s back in a BIG way this weekend – with no fewer than ...

Vice President Harris Launches New Task Force To Address Online Harassment And Abuse

Vice President Harris Launches New Task Force To Address Online Harassment And Abuse

On Thursday, Vice President Kamala Harris launched a new national task force aimed at helping to address and combat ...

Black Woman-Owned Travel Agency Will Immerse You In Black Luxury Travel And Wellness

Black Woman-Owned Travel Agency Will Immerse You In Black Luxury Travel And Wellness

OMNoire founder Christina Rice holds retreats to give attendees a chance to recharge in a space brimming with solidarity and ...

Monkeypox does not constitute a global health emergency

Monkeypox does not constitute a global health emergency

The World Health Organization’s chief said Saturday that the monkeypox outbreak was a deeply concerning evolving threat but did ...

15-year-old sangoma suspended from school for her attire commits suicide

15-year-old sangoma suspended from school for her attire commits suicide

A 15-year-old sangoma who was a learner at Nombika High School in Ndwedwe, KwaZulu-Natal has reportedly committed suicide after ...

Second body retrieved with that of Refiloe Malope in Benoni mine shaft

Second body retrieved with that of Refiloe Malope in Benoni mine shaft

The body of  31-year-old Refiloe Malope, who was reportedly abducted, was retrieved from the depth of a mine shaft ...