Mara Brock Akil
Screenwriter, producer
Mara Brock Akil
Mara Brock Akil is an American television writer and producer.
Mara Brock Akil's personal information overview.
View family, career and love interests for Mara Brock Akil
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How Issa Rae's 'Insecure' Validates, Expands On The Black Narrative
Huffington Post - 5 months
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Huffington Post article
Why Every Black Girl is Mary Jane Paul
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Almost 3 years ago, Gabrielle Union took over national airwaves with the character Mary Jane Paul (MJ), and all but commanded the attention of every Black woman that took at least fifteen seconds to watch her story unfold. Being Mary Jane, in my personal opinion, has been one of the most captivating viciously honest pieces of work in an American drama series, that I've seen in a long time. The show started out with no fluffs and never promised to please any particular audience or point-of-view. We got so lost in her affair with Andre, her feisty unapologetic tone, and self-righteous temperament, that we let it float over our heads that we just might have been looking into a mirror. Mary Jane embodies that Black woman struggle that is only seen in our living rooms and behind the big oakwood closed doors of an expensive therapy session. This isn't the stuff that we like to talk about. These aren't the issues that we like to admit to others or ourselves that really do exist. The b ...
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Huffington Post article
With ‘Being Mary Jane,’ Mara Brock Akil Specializes in Portraits of Black Women
NYTimes - over 1 year
The show runner gets ready for her final season on this BET series, before aiming for larger network audiences.
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NYTimes article
Did You Know <i>Ash vs. Evil Dead</i> Actress Jill Marie Jones Was in <i>American Horror Story</i>?
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Jill Marie Jones is the female lead and all around badass state trooper turned zombie-killer "Amanda Fisher" in the new Sam Raimi / Starz produced series Ash vs. Evil Dead, premiering on Saturday, October 31st at 9:00 pm ET/PT. Jill Marie Jones' Twitter , AVED Twitter: @AshvsEvilDead , Ash vs Evil Dead Official Trailer Speaking with Jill Marie Jones was total awesomeness for me since I love horror movies, Sam Raimi and you know, Bruce Campbell who are both from one of my favorite shows, Xena: Warrior Princess. I love talkers and Jill Marie Jones is just that! Try to look away from her stunning picture up there long enough to read this interview! Onward! Tell us about your audition. My audition for Ash vs. Evil Dead was hands down the most interesting audition I've had to date. One of the notes was to act out both scenes entirely. Now, that may sound like a regular Tuesday audition, but trust me, it was not. They wanted all the movement, which is not something that is ...
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Huffington Post article
In Defense of <i>Being Mary Jane</i> and Flawed Fictional Black Women
Huffington Post - about 3 years
When I first heard BET had a new show about a 30-something professional black woman struggling to keep her personal life intact, I'll admit I was underwhelmed. Another emotionally suppressed black woman barely staying afloat as she juggles work, family, friends and love. Yay. But after watching the two-hour movie special and Tuesday's premiere episode of Being Mary Jane, I, like many of you, am hooked. The racy BET drama, made for us and by us, tells the story of Mary Jane Paul, a successful, single news anchor with a sick shoe game and a penchant for no-good men. Oh, and she has a lot of sex. While the majority of the country, #BlackTwitter in particular, gave the show two thumbs up, not everyone is loving MJ. In what's become standard protocol with hyped black primetime shows (the handful that exist), the show's come under scrutiny for what some critics are calling an inadequate depiction of powerful black women. In a recent Black Enterprise article, writer Janell Hazlewood argue ...
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Huffington Post article
Danai P. Maraire: New BET Series Being Mary Jane Addresses Black Female Singlehood
Huffington Post - over 3 years
BET's original film Being Mary Jane, which premiered on July 2nd, opens with this quote: "42 percent of African-American women have never been married... This is one black woman's story not meant to represent all black women." The drama tells the story of Mary Jane, who is played by Gabrielle Union, an upwardly mobile African-American anchor-woman experiencing career woes and troubles with love. It is a plot all too familiar to many African-American women. I myself admit, however hesitantly, that I identify with many of the themes laid out in Being Mary Jane. I'm a successful, well-educated woman, a mid-career professional, a homeowner, and I am God-fearing and attractive. Yet, I am unmarried and without children. What single woman hasn't wondered when her Prince Charming would show up and why we've been single for so long? We were reared on Disney tales and societal expectations of mating, marriage and family. Like Mary Jane, I too have thought: "I am the exception to th ...
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Huffington Post article
Chie Davis: ESSENCE Honors Oprah at Black Women in Hollywood Event
Huffington Post - about 4 years
An immaculate baby blue wall stood as the backdrop of the red carpet at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Anchored in a color representing tranquility, the 6th annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards Luncheon, hosted by Essence on Wednesday afternoon, was anything but calm. Wall-to-wall media stacked and crawled from every crevice. Onlookers whipped out their camera phones and lingered in the lobby. Burly security guards held back squeals. Passion thumping -- the energy was palpable. A sea of warm hugs encircled abundant smiles. It was the reunification of a tight clique. Essence magazine dolled out honors, redefining the meaning of 'ladies who lunch.' Six African-American women, among the industry's most inspiring on- and off-camera, were recognized. One of the undisputed most powerful women in recent history, Oprah Winfrey was given the Power Award. Closing out the red carpet, she glided gracefully, stopping to greet press and fans as she led a procession of South African girls fro ...
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Huffington Post article
Jay Weston: Sparkle Is an Exciting Movie... Fun, Flawed and Moving!
Huffington Post - over 4 years
I went to the Academy (AMPAS) last night to see a new film called Sparkle. It's a remake of a 1976 film of the same name which was written by an acquaintance of mine, Joel Schumacher. (At a dinner many years ago at the home of Anne and Arnold Kopelson, Liz Smith and I listened in amazement as Joel told us stories of his days as a window dresser for Barney's department store before turning his talents to film.) I was deeply interested in this new musical for many reasons. It was Whitney Huston's last performance before her unfortunate demise in February, and my Huffington readers will recall the recent article in which I detailed how Whitney got the co-starring role in Bodyguard after I failed in casting Diana Ross and Steve McQueen/then Sidney Poitier, in the leads. And the new film is set in the Detroit of 1968, a period when I was getting deeply involved with singer Diana Ross and Motown record impresario Berry Gordy, her manager, in the pre-production of my film, Lady Si ...
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Huffington Post article
Showbiz couple strive to make it 'Sparkle'
LATimes - over 4 years
The potential for backlash abounds as Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil remake the beloved 1976 original. But they're determined. This is a story about America. Salim Akil's smile froze as he recalled a day last year when he received a studio offer he feared might derail his blossoming career. "I remember coming home and telling my wife, 'You're not going to believe this, but they just offered me "Sparkle,"'" he said, shaking his head. "She looked at me and said, '"Sparkle"'? I said, 'Yeah, the studio wants to do a remake. But I'm not touching it. Black people ain't going to lynch me.'"
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LATimes article
Report: BET picks up Atlanta-based ‘Being Mary Jane’ with Gabrielle Union
ajc - over 4 years
Actress Gabrielle Union will be spending more time in Atlanta because her show “Being Mary Jane” has been picked up by BET, according to The story says the drama is expected to begin production early next year. The pilot was shot in Atlanta in the spring. [The Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Office spokeswoman Stefanie Paupeck says she has not heard anything from BET yet about the status of "Being Mary Jane"] In the show, Union plays an Anderson Cooper-type journalist who has her own cable show. “She’s a bit of a black sheep in her family in reverse,” Union said in a phone interview in April. “She’s by far the most successful in her family.” But she has man problems to boot. Other actors on the show include Lisa Vidal (”The Event,”) Aaron D. Spears (”The Bold and the Beautiful) and Richard Roundtree (”Shaft”). The series is created by Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil of Akil Productions, which produces “The Game.” Union has spent a lot of time i ...
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ajc article
Myrdith Leon Mccormack: Movie Makers and Story Tellers Take Over Miami
Huffington Post - over 4 years
Tyler Perry, Spike Lee, Robert Townsend, John Singleton, Lee Daniels, and Debbie Allen are some of the most recognizable names in film today. Some of their movies include The Five Heartbeats, A Soldier Story, Madea, Why Did I Get Married, Precious, Boyz In The Hood, Jungle Fever, Poetic Justice, Amistad, New Jack City, Love Jones, Cooley High, Mo Better Blues, Malcom X, and Do The Right Thing, to name a few. Denzel Washington, Angela Bassett, Will Smith, Forrest Whitaker, Kerry Washington, Samuel Jackson, Halle Berry, Morgan Freeman, Viola Davis, Isaiah Washington, Vanessa Bell Calloway, S. Epatha Merkerson, Anthony Anderson, Michael Beach, Boris Kodjoe, Larenz Tate, Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs are some of the headliners in todays films. Although these great artists are involved, there is still much work to do. It seems as though we have finally made it. We have found our place, and we can exhale. Or can we really? We have made it in Hollywood. Or have we really? Fo ...
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Huffington Post article
“Being Mary Jane” – Cast Of BET’S First One Hour Drama Revealed
All Hip Hop - almost 5 years
BET recently revealed the cast for their new one-hour original drama, titled “Being Mary Jane.” Production on the new show started on April 23, with Gabrielle Union tapped as the main star. In addition to Gabrielle Union, Omari Hardwick, Tika Sumpter, BJ Britt, Lisa Vidal and Richard Roundtree round out the cast of the new TV series. Mara Brock Akil and Husband Salim Akil “Being Mary Jane” is produced by husband and wife duo Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil of Akil Productions, who also produced the hit series “The Game.” According to a synopsis BET released today (April 25), “Being Mary Jane” centers around “the work, social and family life of a successful African American career woman who has achieved a decorated career as the host of a fast paced 24-hour national cable news network. As Mary Jane juggles her life, her work and her commitment to family, viewers follow how far she’s willing to go to find those puzzle pieces that she, and society, insist are missing from her lif ...
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All Hip Hop article
Gabrielle Union Tapped for the Lead in BET Pilot 'Single Black Female'
TV By the Numbers - almost 5 years
Written by The Game creator <a class="fplink fp-182709" href="/Mara+Brock+Akil+1">Mara Brock Akil</a>
Article Link:
TV By the Numbers article
Mara Brock Akil On Playing 'The Game' In Hollywood
NPR - about 5 years
One of the most powerful writers and producers in Hollywood is black, female, middle-aged and Muslim. Along with her husband, <a class="fplink fp-182709" href="/mara+brock+akil">Mara Brock Akil</a> produces The Game -- one of the biggest hits on cable TV. Last year, the couple collaborated on the comedy-drama film Jumping the Broom. » E-Mail This     » Add to
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NPR article
Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall, Brandy, Kyla Pratt and More Attend BET’s “The Game” and “Let’s Stay Together” Premiere Party in Hollywood [PHOTOS]
Gossip On This - about 5 years
It was a big night in Hollywood Thursday night (Jan 5) as BET celebrated the return of two of their original series “The Game” and “Let’s Stay Together” at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Some of the stars who walked the red carpet of the premiere party were “The Game” actors Pooch Hall, Tia Mowry, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Hosea Chanchez and Coby Bell, as well as R&amp;B singer/actress Brandy, singer/socialite Teyana Taylor, “Let’s Stay Together” actors RonReaco Lee and Joyful Drake, and more. Kyla Pratt even showed up with her boyfriend/baby daddy Danny Kilpatrick, as well as Larenz Tate, Vanessa Williams, Elise Neal, The Game’s creator Mara Brock Akil and a few others. Check out 20+ photos below:
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Gossip On This article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Mara Brock Akil
  • 2012
    Age 41
    In 2012, Brock Akil became a producer and writer for BET's Being Mary Jane.
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  • 2009
    Age 38
    In 2009, Brock Akil became a consulting producer and writer for the ABC suburban sitcom Cougar Town.
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  • 2007
    Age 36
    In June 2007, Brock Akil and her husband signed to The Weinstein Co.
    More Details Hide Details Their first project under the new pact will be a film about a woman who starts a business to investigate the mates of high-powered women after she herself is left at the altar. Mara Brock Akil will write the screenplay and Salim Akil will direct, reports Variety. The pair’s Happy Camper Productions banner will produce.
  • 2000
    Age 29
    In 2000, Brock Akil created and executive produced (along with Kelsey Grammer) another UPN series Girlfriends.
    More Details Hide Details She also created and executive produced the spin-off series The Game.
  • 1999
    Age 28
    She married television director Salim Akil in 1999.
    More Details Hide Details She and her husband are practicing Sufi Muslims. They have two sons; Yasin Brock Akil, born in 2007 and Nasir Brock Akil, born in November 2009. She is also sister to Kara Brock.
    In 1999, she served as supervising producer and writer on The Jamie Foxx Show after writing for Moesha for four seasons.
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  • 1994
    Age 23
    Brock Akil first began her career in 1994 writing for the critically acclaimed but short-lived Fox series South Central.
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  • 1988
    Age 17
    Muslim American born in Los Angeles, California, Brock Akil was raised primarily in Kansas City. She is a graduate of Raytown South High School in 1988.
    More Details Hide Details She is also a graduate of Northwestern University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  • 1970
    Born on May 27, 1970.
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