‘Pariah’ at 10: When Black Lesbian Characters Had the Spotlight

“The distribution model didn’t work out for us. As Mabry said: “The people didn’t.” She also pays tribute to Ava DuVernay, whose film distribution arm, Array, helped bring the film to Netflix in 2015.

While working with DuVernay on “Queen Sugar,” Mabry got her first televised directing job, much like Rees following the release of “Pariah,” and she’s worked steadily in Hollywood ever since.

Indeed, there are indications that things could be about to change. Four Hollywood studios are currently developing feature film projects with Mabry, some of which feature Black queer women as the protagonists, but none of these projects has been completed yet.

It was still the belief that playing a lesbian could doom one’s career when Robinson made her debut feature, “D.E.B.S,” a 2004 lesbian teen spy film that has since become an instant classic, according to Robinson.

After seeing “D.E.B.S.” at the Sundance Film Festival, Disney studio executive Nina Jacobson hired Robinson to direct Lindsay Lohan’s “Herbie Reloaded.” A record-breaking $144 million in ticket sales made Robinson the first Black woman to direct a film that grossed over $100 million at the box office. Despite her appreciation for Jacobson and the crew, she still felt alone as a result of the experience.

Robinson Described the Situation as “Me And 200 White Men.”

The L-Word, a groundbreaking show about the lives of high-powered lesbians in Los Angeles, became her new home on cable, and she accepted an offer from showrunner Ilene Chaiken to direct episodes of the third season.

There have been no studio-backed films by Robinson since. “Professor Marston & the Wonder Women” (her 2017 feature film) was an indieAs a result of her decision to cast women of colour in the lead roles in her upcoming all-female action movie at Warner Bros., she says she received no pushback from the studio.