“Girls Trip” writer Tracy Oliver says she had a “dream situation” as the creator and executive producer of the new BET Plus comedy ” First Wives Club .”
“When I met with them I said, âI love the movie, but itâs not something Iâm interested in if I canât do it with women of color,'” Oliver said at the Tribeca TV Festival in New York City Thursday night. “I can honestly say we went into it with me saying what my parameters were up front, and they agreed to it.”
Oliverâs ” First Wives Club ” is inspired by the 1996 revenge comedy of the same name that featured Diane Keaton, Goldie Hawn and Bette Midler. Her version stars Ryan Michelle Bathe, Michelle Buteau and Jill Scott. The project was originally set up at Paramount Network, moved to BET in late 2018 and then announced to be part of the launch slate for BETâs new streaming platform, which hits Sept. 19.
Maria Cecilia Suñe Ramos
The ability to tell a variety of women of colorâs stories in “First Wives Club” was a powerful experience that impacted Oliver, as well as Scott, who plays a woman scorned by a cheating husband.
Maria Cecilia Suñé Ramos
“I remember Day 1 of shooting the pilot she came up to me and said, ‘Thank you for having two big girls in your cast,'” said Oliver. “I think for me that [conversation] was probably more than race. It was just, âLetâs expand what the definition of beauty is and what we traditionally have with friend circles. And letâs not make all skinny women. Letâs really diversify what everyone looks like.â â¦ That was important to me.”
Knowing that her creative choices may still be considered unique in Hollywood, Oliver went on, “And thatâs not something that you necessarily get unless someone behind the scenes is fighting for it. Because normally Iâm having to tell people this will resonate with women. We want to see women who look like this.”
Popular on Variety.