EXCLUSIVE: ‘A Luv Tale’ Show Writer Gives Black Queer Women A Voice

·3 min read
A Luv Tale
A Luv Tale

Source: BET + / BET +

Slowly but surely the quantity and quality of Black stories being told on television is beginning to increase in numbers that are more reflective of our population and influence in society. Still, representation for Black women of all age groups and identities could stand to be improved. Enter: A Luv Tale. The series, which streams exclusively on BET + follows the lives of Taylor, Candice, Akila and Tammy as they navigate their journeys living as queer women in Harlem. Throughout the series, the women, who are well beyond their 20s and 30s, help each other become more of their authentic selves.

Recently, MADAMENOIRE had the opportunity to speak to one of the show’s writers, Erickka Sy Savane about the series and why its necessary. See what she had to say below.

MADAMENOIRE: What attracted you to this project?

Erickka Sy Savane: Sidra Smith and I had always wanted to work on a project together since the time we met and she became a fan of my relationship column Bitches Brew. I’ve always been attracted to stories that deal with the rawness of relationships so when she decided to bring back her 1999 film, A Luv Tale, as a series, based on lesbians of color, I was all in. I felt that it was a way to stretch my writing chops in an exciting and under-served genre.

A Luv Tale
A Luv Tale

Source: BET + / BET +

MN: Can you tell us a little bit about Sidra Smith’s creative vision for the show?

Sy Savane: She always saw the show as a way to give Black women in the LGBTQ space a voice, a place that they could see themselves–their struggles and their joy. There’s so much research that went into talking to women in the LGBTQ community. We met with different trans women in New York and different African American LGBTQ organizations. But due to budget, so much didn’t make it to the screen. So we really are crossing our fingers for a season 2. This isn’t just our show, we want it to represent real LGBTQ women of color.

MN: On your IG story, you discussed Run The World but how there hasn’t been a depiction of older Black women navigating the dating scene. Can you expound a bit on some of the differences between the two shows and what these characters have to offer audiences?

Sy Savane: Well, the difference with this show and others is the obvious focus on them being lesbians, for one. But also, the main character, Candice, played by Vanessa Williams, is middle-aged and so is her best friend, Michelle. Candice is in a relationship with a younger woman so we show both sides. In the episode I wrote, (episode 5), Candice’s best friend is not happy about her choice to potentially ruin her marriage over what she considers a fling with a young woman. We don’t always get to hear from women in this age bracket. In Run the World and Insecure, the women aren’t really married yet so they don’t have the same things to lose.

Vanessa Williams and Leon A Luv Tale
Vanessa Williams and Leon A Luv Tale

Source: BET + / BET +

MN: What do Vanessa Williams and Leon bring to their roles?

Sy Savane: Leon, the person, brings comedy. I always laugh when he’s on screen. He also reps that Black man who is out of touch with what his woman wants and needs. Vanessa Williams represents someone who is taking a chance with a different type of character. Obvi, she said yes. And we’re all happy she did. Her character, Candice represents a woman who is ready to finally say yes to what she wants, even if it means that some people may be hurt.

All 6 episodes of A Luv Tale: The Series are streaming now on BET +