×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Underground’ EP Breaks Down Harriet Tubman’s ‘TED Talk’ in ‘Minty’

This week’s episode of “Underground” focused solely on Harriet Tubman, played by Aisha Hinds, as she gives a speech to a group of white abolitionists. Series executive producer Anthony Hemingway explained to Variety the creative decision behind the episode, which takes place almost entirely in one location with Hinds having the overwhelming majority of the lines.

“In doing the research, [Misha Green] and [Joe Pokaski] found that in the 1850’s Harriet Tubman was actually doing public speaking,” said Hemingway, who also directed this episode. “That was how they found her way in. They said, ‘Harriet Tubman is going to do a TED Talk!’ Of course we label it and hashtag it ‘TUB Talk.’ It was fun to learn that at at time when she was being sought and hunted, she was willing to give and share and risk her life to do this public speaking in front of like-minded people to encourage them to keep fighting for the cause.”

Hemingway also said that Green and Pokaski had been looking for a chance to do an episode all about Tubman since before production began on Season 2 of the WGN America drama series. “We all talked about it at the beginning of the season, but once you really start to do it you have to say, ‘Now this is serious,”‘ he said. “You can’t tell this story without giving the right capacity and space to honor and respect the legacy and the heroics of Harriet Tubman. They really wanted to give her this platform that was very much like going to the theater and having her be on stage and come at it from an unusual approach.”

Hemingway also had nothing but praise for Hinds , who joined the show as the legendary Underground Railroad conductor this season. “We shot this episode in three days, and Aisha only had the script a week beforehand, which is a testament at how well she was a vessel for Harriet to really tell this story,” he said. “Aisha really understood the responsibility that was necessary and what it meant to really take on this call to duty. She excellently and exceptionally championed it and took it on. She evoked such a chilling performance. She and I have been friends outside of just working together for a long time. During casting when I was coming to find who Harriet was, she was the first person in my mind.”

More TV

  • Writer-Director Dominik Moll on Series Mania

    Writer-Director Dominik Moll on Series Mania Competition Contender ‘Eden’

    LILLE, France — “I must down to the seas again,” Amaré, an teen African illegal immigrant, reads aloud in a poetry lesson at a refugee center near the beach in Greece. Thoughts of wander-lust seen comically out of place. Amaré has just been seen in the prolog to “Eden” leaping out of a dinghy beaching [...]

  • John Simm Talks ‘Cold Courage' as

    John Simm Talks ‘Cold Courage' as Lionsgate Boards International Drama (EXCLUSIVE)

    John Simm plays a rabble-rousing populist politician in “Cold Courage,” and Lionsgate has stepped up and taken international rights to the series. Based on the series of novels by Pekka Hiltunen, the drama is billed as the biggest yet out of Finland and will bow on the Viaplay streaming service in Scandinavia. With a cast [...]

  • "Raven's Home" Executive Producer, Eunetta Boone.

    Eunetta Boone, Showrunner and Creator of 'One on One,' Dies at 63

    Writer-producer Eunetta Boone, creator of the UPN comedy “One on One” and showrunner of Disney Channel’s “Raven’s Home,” died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 63. Boone was found dead at her home of an apparent heart attack. Boone had most recently worked as showrunner on the third season of the Disney [...]

  • Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Series

    Global Sales for ‘Les Miserables’ Starring Dominic West Ahead of Series Mania

    The BBC and Masterpiece adaptation of “Les Miserables” will play on a numerous international channels after a raft of deals were sealed for the series, which features Dominic West, David Oyelowo, and Lily Collins. Andrew Davies’ adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic has been acquired by broadcasters in Scandinavia and southern Europe, and by several buyers [...]

  • Kevin Hart

    TV News Roundup: Kevin Hart Netflix Comedy Special Drops First Trailer

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases the official trailer for the comedy special “Kevin Hart: Irresponsible” and Josh Charles joins Showtime’s Roger Ailes series “The Loudest Voice.” DATES Season two of “Yellowstone,” starring Kevin Costner, will premiere on Paramount Network on June 19 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The sophomore season will continue the story of rancher John Dutton [...]

  • adidas game of thrones

    5 New 'Game of Thrones' Collaborations Coming in Time for the Final Season

    Some of the biggest lifestyle brands in the world are jumping on the “Game of Thrones” bandwagon this spring, hoping to capitalize on the fandom and popularity of the HBO hit, as it enters its eighth and final season. From sneakers to spirits, these officially-licensed collaborations extend the characters and colors of the show beyond [...]

  • Nicole Richie

    Nicole Richie Joins Fox Comedy Pilot 'Richard Lovely'

    Nicole Richie has been cast in a series regular role in the Fox single-cam comedy pilot “Richard Lovely.” The project follows Richard Lovely (Thomas Lennon), the disgruntled author of the best-selling children’s book series, “Mr. Mouse.” He doesn’t hate children, but rather just everything about them. After a publicity fiasco involving an unexpectedly savvy 9-year-old [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content