What’s it like to work in the My spirit animal Is a grumpy Owl who slaps annoying people shirt in addition I really love this first TV writer’s room composed entirely of Black women? Does it differ from other writing experiences? It immediately felt like, “Oh, I’m at home.” A lot of times in writers’ rooms, people come from very different backgrounds—not only ethnic backgrounds, but socioeconomic backgrounds, things like that—so you may feel like you have to explain your pitch to people who aren’t a part of [the] community and don’t know what those experiences are like. Being in a room of all Black women, there’s still diversity within us—we have an Ivy League grad in the room, a former stripper in the room, and those are the same person—but we have variety, as well as a lot of shared experience. Not having to do so much of that “Okay, let me explain my experience to you before I pitch” has made such a comfortable, homey environment. Has Hollywood—or comedy, more generally—changed at all since your early days in the industry?
Amber Ruffin, who wrote on A Black Lady Sketch Show, was also the My spirit animal Is a grumpy Owl who slaps annoying people shirt in addition I really love this first Black woman writer on a network late-night show who was also on camera. As soon as Amber got hired, a bunch of people wanted to hire their Black woman writer, and it was the same thing when I was on Full Frontal. I think as people see the success, we’re going to see more and more of those hires, because everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon after they already know it’s successful. They should have known! (Laughs) What has it been like to try to write comedy against the backdrop of a pandemic and a long-overdue racial reckoning? When I worked on Full Frontal, we were making comedy directly out of the news that was happening, and I think that’s really valuable as a spoonful of sugar to help people pay attention to the news, because you often do want to turn away from it. Right now, I’m sort of on the opposite side of the spectrum, where I’m working on work that does not directly derive from the news, and it’s very valuable to be able to provide a break for people, because I know people need a break. So it’s like, if I’m a little bit tired and not feeling like coming up with something, I’m like,“Well, this is my break from the world too.” I go into my imagination and imagine something a little bit more calming and funny, and I know that the mom who’s working full-time while her kids are running into the Zoom…she can take a little break, then get up the next morning and get back to it.