‘The Walking Dead’s’ Danai Gurira: Why ‘Women Must Run’ for Office in Trump Era (Guest Column)

I want to thank our new president. I thank him for making it painfully clear that anyone can get into government. It should boost our confidence that there truly are no barriers to entry.

And so, in light of that, I have one thing to say about the coming years: Women. Must. Run. We must work with every fiber we possess to put women in government, to assure that our voices and choices are not stripped away and ignored. We cannot just march; we must organize, and we must run.

JAKE CHESSUM for Variety

When President Obama was elected, we saw a clear response from those who opposed the country’s presidential choice; the Tea Party formed, and within two years it had flooded the branches of government. If we do not see this as a moment where we must galvanize and do exactly the same, we may just deserve what we get.

The power of the March on Washington in 1963 could not have been imagined at the time. It broke every precedent and put the fight for civil rights front and center. There were fewer chances, back then, to run for office if you fit into the category of “other” — fewer ways to be heard. But in 2017, with a black president finishing an eight-year term, we are in a different time; we must take on a more intricate strategy in our response to a new government that seems unabashed in its exclusion of the voices of women and other “others.”

“We are on the right side of history.”
Danai Gurira

We can run for office and we can win — this has been proved time and time again. So we do not lament. We run. We don’t commiserate. We run. We don’t express fear and trepidation about the coming years. We run. We stand on the shoulders of the giants who paved the way. We are not back to zero. We are at the moment when we prove that we were built for such a time as this. We are at the moment when, to break through as women, as “others,” and as those who desire to progress, we must strategize to bring about a new government — a time when we show young girls that their voices do matter by making sure that our voices are in the rooms that matter.

Politics, believe it or not, is where I feel breakthrough is most feasible, where certain ceilings are yet to be broken. We recognize this moment as one in which we can exact the type of change we have yet to see. We are on the right side of history. We have nothing to apologize for; we voted for equality, tolerance, and lower taxes for the middle class. Now is the time to stand up and get to work. There are two branches of government up for grabs in two years. Like the great heroes and heroines of the Civil Rights era taught us, let’s keep our eyes firmly on the prize. Women, don’t just march — run!

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • James Corden Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke

    James Corden Got a Little Help From Paul McCartney on His Drive to the Emmys

    Saying “Baby, I could drive your car” has proven to be a very good strategy for James Corden — never more so than when he put Paul McCartney into the highly sought passenger seat. The primetime special “Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney, Live From Liverpool” is a contender in five Emmy categories this year, [...]

  • Starz Logo

    Starz Orders Horror Comedy Pilot 'Shining Vale'

    Starz has put out a pilot order for “Shining Vale,” a horror comedy which hails from “Divorce” creator Sharon Horgan and “Trial & Error” co-creator Jeff Astrof. The prospective series is about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one [...]

  • Bethenny Frankel at the showtime Emmy

    Bethenny Frankel to Exit 'Real Housewives of New York' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bethenny Frankel is stepping away from the “Real Housewives” franchise. Variety has learned exclusively that Frankel is poised to exit Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York” ahead of its upcoming twelfth season. Frankel first joined the acclaimed reality series back when it premiered back in 2008 before exiting the series in 2010 during the [...]

  • Dolly Parton

    BBC Commissions Dolly Parton Feature Documentary

    The BBC has commissioned a feature length documentary about country music legend Dolly Parton, it announced Wednesday. The documentary, tentatively titled “Dolly’s Country” will air on BBC Two this fall as part of a season of programs dedicated to country music. The broadcaster announced earlier in the day that it had acquired Ken Burns’ upcoming [...]

  • UCP to Develop Ann Shen’s 'Bad

    UCP to Develop Ann Shen’s 'Bad Girls Throughout History' as Anthology Series

    Universal Content Productions (UCP) is developing an anthology series based on Ann Shen’s book “Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World.” The project will be titled “Bad Girls,” with each episode featuring a different influential woman throughout history, including famous figures like Ada Lovelace, Rosa Parks, Mata Hari, and Ruth Bader [...]

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends a

    Bolsonaro LGBTQI Outburst, Subsidy Freeze, Stirs Outrage

    Ramping up the drive into censorship in Brazil, its Minister of Citizenship, Omar Terra, has suspended a call for applications for governmental TV funding – until new criteria are established for its application. The country’s secretary for culture, Henrique Pires, who reports to Terra, has resigned in protest of the incentive freeze. The suspension, for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content