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Reflecting on her time in the industry, “For Life” executive producer and writer Sonay Hoffman considered all the times she walked on set and was assumed to be a PA. It’s part of the reason…
Reflecting on her time in the industry, “For Life” executive producer and writer Sonay Hoffman considered all the times she walked on set and was assumed to be a PA. It’s part of the reason she believes it’s her duty to open doors for others.
“I think early on in my career, it’s been almost 20 years, and I decided a long time ago, well, OK, this is not just about writing, but it’s my purpose,” Hoffman said. “I gotta blaze this trail with the other women that are doing this and then I’m going to extend a hand and pull someone up.”
Hoffman opened up to Variety co-editor-in-chief Cynthia Littleton as part of Sony Pictures TV Virtual FYC House panels. The Women in TV discussion also included “The Goldbergs” executive producer Annette Sahakian Davis; “The Good Doctor” executive producer Erin Gunn; “Shark Tank” executive producer Yun Lingner; “For Life” actor Joy Bryant and “Them” actor Alison Pill.
The gravity of Hoffman’s presence on the “For Life” team was felt by Bryant.
“The importance of having someone who knows how to do your hair properly and curl patterns and what that matters to storylines, and I don’t have to tone anything down. I don’t have to translate, she gets it,” Bryant said of Hoffman, alluding to the fact that white on-set stylists often do not understand Black hair. “If she weren’t there, I would have done my job, but she just made doing my job so much easier and so much lighter.”
Pill, who plays the vehemently racist Betty on “Them,” pivoted to considering the role of white women in the ongoing proliferation of white supremacy.
“I don’t think she’s an anomaly at all,” Pill said of Betty. “Yes, [‘Them’] is a period piece, but I also don’t think it’s too far from so much of white womanhood today… I’m constantly struck by how much is still a fight for seeing and believing the work of women. I have hope and I have gratitude for all the women working today.”
Watch the conversation in full above.
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