Growing up immersed in cinema in Chennai, I developed a passion for storytelling, which led me to pursue screenwriting at Emerson College in Boston. Despite excelling in my program, I faced the harsh reality of being one of the few female, international, and persons of color writers in Hollywood.
Post-graduation, I worked on various shows, including the children’s animated series, “The Mindful Adventures of Unicorn Island,” where I infused my Indian background, language proficiency, and love for pop culture to add authenticity.
Participating in Women in Animation’s ‘TV Writing for Animation Mentorship Program,’ I connected with industry veterans and worked towards creating opportunities for female and POC talents in Hollywood.
In discussing Hollywood’s inclusivity, I acknowledge the progress made with an increasing number of female-centric stories. However, true inclusivity requires women supporting each other, creating spaces for networking and mentorship.
Despite Hollywood’s slow progress, my optimism is fueled by my recent experience working on a mainstream Hollywood show about an Indian family. The majority female and Indian writers’ room, along with a largely female production team, signifies positive change.
I envision a future where Hollywood portrays Indians beyond stereotypical narratives of arranged marriages and spicy food. Representation should go beyond ethnicity, showcasing multifaceted characters with diverse identities and experiences.
Personally, I aspire to contribute to this change by developing docu-series projects that authentically tell diverse stories. Additionally, I am working on an original pilot for an Indian sitcom, breaking conventional norms by featuring a sex therapist running her practice from her family home.
Looking ahead, the future for women of color in Hollywood appears promising. Hollywood is realizing the global audience’s diversity, prompting the need to hire talents from around the world for more authentic storytelling.
Re-reported from the article originally published in The shethepeople