Queen Sugar season 5 now on Oprah Winfrey NetworkSaturday, February 27, 2021
Season five of Ava DuVernay's critically acclaimed drama series Queen Sugar is now being aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network ( OWN ).
The series, which premièred on February 16, has been lauded for its powerful portrayal of an African-American family in the US deep south and for DuVernay's continued hiring of women directors. It was helmed entirely by three film-makers, including producing director Lauren Wolkstein, Lisa France, and Cierra Glaude.
A release from the network said that during the production “stop-down in 2020 due to COVID-19, DuVernay decided to completely revamp the season five storyline” to address the very real issues the US was facing through the lens of the Bordelon family and the fictional community of St Josephine.
“DuVernay reconceived the character arcs and storylines, writing alongside returning showrunner Anthony Sparks and supervising producer Norman Vance to tackle head-on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protest movement that swept the US, and corruption in politics to showcase the specific impact and ramifications these issues have on communities and people of colour,” the network said.
“Through it all, viewers will see the joy around the pain, and humanity's ability to persevere and find light in the darkest of times.”
“Led by the talented cast of Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe, Queen Sugar's storylines continue to delve into important topics such as police brutality, addiction and recovery, and systemic racism, among many others,” the network added.
“The way Ava creates space to allow these characters to embody real-world experiences is television at its finest and we are proud to continue this ground-breaking series,” the release quotes the network's CEO Oprah Winfrey.
“I hear from so many people that they see themselves in the Bordelon family, and my hope is that through this kind of storytelling the hearts and minds of people are opened for a deeper understanding and empathy of one another,” Winfrey said.
OWN President Tina Perry said “When Ava came to us with the idea to revamp the storyline for the new season after production was halted due to the pandemic, we knew it was the right decision to give our viewers her unique perspective on the very real issues impacting their daily lives and the affect the demand for racial equality has had on the black community and our society as a whole. We are grateful to Ava, her creative team, the incredible cast and tireless crew for all the hard work they have put into the show.”
At the outset of production, beginning with the first season, DuVernay established an inclusive initiative to hire an all-female directorial team. Since the September 2016 début of the series, 37 women have directed episodes, 34 of whom made their television directorial début on the series.
Queen Sugar has been awarded the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series, and for three consecutive years was named Best TV Show Drama by the African-American Film Critics Association. It was also nominated as Television Show of the Year by the American Black Film Festival.
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