Concrete Park co-creator Erika Alexander has a rocking new blog and a rocking new post to kick it off. The blog is called Showbiz Is Glamorous and the post is called “Why I Wrote A Mad Men Episode With Negroes by Erika Alexander”, and it’s already generated a ton of discussion. As a black actress, she was tired of the lily-white landscape of cable TV drama, and really tired of the reasons show creators gave for why it had to be so.
So she did something about it. She wrote a Mad Men script with negroes, just in time for the season 6 premiere this past Sunday. You can read the script (called “Uptown Saturday Night“) in its entirety on her blog. It captures the Mad Men tone and time period, and commenters have praised her both for how skillfully she wrote it and what it represents.
One commenter wrote: “1. simply put, you pulled together a great story. I enjoyed reading, you captured Mad Men perfectly, you get the characters, and it just WORKS. Could EASILY be a story line on the show. 2. You are showing Matthew Weiner that he (and others like him) can’t keep making these excuses.”
Erika writes “I needed to find a different way to contribute to the conversation, to answer the constant refrain from show creators that they don’t want to just “shoehorn” black characters into their shows. Respectfully, I believe a storyteller has permission to imagine and create unusual situations in his or her fictional world to tell a larger truth. But I get it, race is complicated.”
Judging by the comments and the record number of views, it seems she has done just what she meant to do, contribute to the conversation. Check out Erika’s post and her Mad Men script and let us know what you think!