‘Black-ish’ star Yara Shahidi Talks Pushing Doors Open & “Burning Down Traditional Infrastructure”

At 20 years old, Yara Shahidi is looking to push systematic change and “burn down the traditional infrastructure that has kept us out for so long.” Best known for her star role on ABC’s sitcom Black-ish and its spinoff show Grown-ish, the actress makes a point to let fans know she is not an activist, but a ”creative and socially engaged human.”

Speaking with the Wall Street Journal, she states, “The goal at the end of the day is to make powerful media but to also push the door wide open.” She is currently working hard to find what her role is, so she can raise awareness and push for change in the best way she can.

It appears her mother is the one who planted the seeds originally. She tells WSJ, “At 20, I’m working on honoring all of my desires, honoring what I’m passionate about. The lesson that my mother taught me at a really young age is the fact that my voice belongs in these spaces.”

As a strong, young black woman with a voice, Yara plans to start her own production company. She goes on to relay her own experiences within the industry.

“But we know that the digital space, especially for Black and brown creators, is extremely divisive. When you put content out into the world [and social media], based on those terms and agreements that we all click through, the content isn’t ours. It ends up being co-opted, and it ends up being taken and not credited.”

A few weeks back, Yara solidified an exclusive deal with ABC Studios alongside her mother, Keri Shahidi, highlighting diverse and underrepresented creators in the industry. Together, they will develop and produce scripted content on both cable and streaming platforms.

Yara Shahidi

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