Josiah Johnson talks with Michael Starrbury on the return of the NBA and his upcoming Colin Kaepernick project.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: Yo, pleased to welcome a certified legend. In fact, he was one of the co-creators of "Legends of Chamberlain Heights," did the voice of Malik. Teamed up with Ava DuVernay to do "When They See Us," which was also Emmy-nominated. And just recently announced that they will be teaming up again and working with Colin Kaepernick. My friend, a Milwaukee Bucks fan through and through, Mr. Michael Starrbury. What's going on with you, bro?
MICHAEL STARRBURY: What up, yo. Man, thanks for having me, bro. I appreciate it.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: Obviously got to get right to it. Big news last week that was announced. Netflix and Kap, you, Ava DuVernay teaming up together for "Colin in Black and White," a limited series. So you know, just-- this is the first time being a showrunner. What was that experience like for you? And what can people expect from this miniseries.
MICHAEL STARRBURY: Experience was cool, man. You know, it was something that I always wanted to try. And I got an opportunity because Ava was looking out for me. She thought I was ready to do it.
But the team, you know, the-- the writers that, you know-- and you were one of them-- that I got to work with helped, you know, make my experience a lot easier than, you know, I heard it would be. You know, we became a family during that time. And I think we all created something that's going to be fun for people. They'll learn a lot about Colin, and you know, learn how persevered, and some of the things that we went through that helped him become the man that he is.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: And now let's shift gears. Obviously you're a big NBA fan, big Bucks fan. You know, there's been a lot of talk this season about, you know, this championship having an asterisk. Giannis, last week, said that, you know, this will be the toughest championship ever. I wondered if you agree with him. And do you think the Bucks have enough to keep King James and Lakers off the throne?
MICHAEL STARRBURY: Let's not forget that what happened in Milwaukee, the Bucks did--
JOSIAH JOHNSON: [CHUCKLES]
MICHAEL STARRBURY: --the Bucks did beat LA, beat the Lakers earlier in the season. I think the answer is, it's going to be tough. But I also think that, when we look back at it, everybody is going to have something to say about it. But I do think it's going to be tough. But I also don't believe that anybody's beating Milwaukee this year. I-- I just don't. I mean, I understand that Laker fans and-- and LeBron fans, like yourself, you're used to it. You know what I mean? Like, you know, it's just-- it's natural for you to say, OK, you know, LeBron, championship.
It's a new era, bro. It's a new ear. And this is Giannis's era. LA has probably, you know, the second and third-best player. They do. But Milwaukee has a [INAUDIBLE] has a better overall team. I think Milwaukee wins.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: And now you're joining forces with another Twitter legend. You know, none of than Matt Cherry, Oscar Award winner for "Hair Love." You guys got a project coming out on New-- with New Line, called "The Come Up." What can we expect from this movie?
MICHAEL STARRBURY: In-- in the time where we are, by the time this comes out, everybody will be ready to laugh again. But the idea was, you know, just-- let's just-- let's just have some fun. You know, let's-- let's tell a story about, you know, people overcoming, and you know, slip in a little message about capitalism in there too.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: There's a lot of talk about the lack of diversity in Hollywood. But how do you think the situation can be-- be addressed, can be fixed, and, you know, really allowing black creatives to kind of, you know, really go out there and get it?
MICHAEL STARRBURY: You know, other than the obvious, where the people in charge have to look at us as more than just, like, a diversity hire, and start seeing our real talent, and believe and trusting our talent, that's obvious.
The other thing is, we need to recognize our talent. You know, there's been black writers in position before that can help elevate us who, for whatever reason, decide they don't want to be a part of that. But I think that with guys like you, guys like me, guys like Matt Cherry, like, we are going to see a change. We're going to start seeing people that look like us get elevated because we care about each other and we want to see each other to do great.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: What advice would you give for people that are trying to break into the industry and-- and you know, don't have kind of all the means and advantages that a lot of-- and the privilege that lot of people have, but-- but want to break in? What kind of advice would you give them if they want to follow your footsteps?
MICHAEL STARRBURY: First of all, I would say, write something that you feel like you can go and make yourself. I think, you know, the more content that you can present to people who are the Hollywood types, you know, and shown them that you can do it on your own, the better off you'll be.
But when thinking about that content, you also need to write something that's sincere to you and comes from you. Think about something that you can write better than anyone else. That's the advice that I always give people. If you feel like that story is unique to you and that nobody else could write it like you, and it's going to be good, that's the thing I would say you spend your time on. And then people will recognize your voice in that work. And I think, you know, you'll be on your way.
JOSIAH JOHNSON: I appreciate you for taking the time out your schedule. I know you're busy out here, you know, changing the game, taking over the game. So thank you for coming on "Dunk Bait," and giving us some-- some of that ism.
MICHAEL STARRBURY: All right, peace out, "Dunk Bait." I appreciate y'all having me, man. Thank you.