“When I was coming up, there were no gay Black filmmakers I could look up to… I was alone,” said Hollywood producer Lee Daniels. “Jordan will never be alone,” referring to his mentee Jordan E. Cooper, currently the youngest Black playwright on Broadway. Cooper and Daniels are disrupting the Great White Way with their new show Ain’t No Mo’. In series of vignettes depicting Black life—from the mundane to the absurd—Cooper also stars as “Peaches,” a queer-identified drag performer and flight attendant on a U.S. government sponsored, one-way trip to Africa. In conversation with Native Son founder Emil Wilbekin, Daniels shared: “Jordan is my voice, and then some. He’s unafraid, and when I saw his work, I knew that I saw someone I could mentor. I knew immediately that I’d be able to throw him on a couple of shows.” The Emmy-nominated Ms. Pat Show on BET+ marked Cooper’s debut as one of Hollywood’s youngest television show-runners. “I’m so grateful to Lee for using his access and his power to push this story forward,” Cooper shared. “He’s teaching me how to do it for the next generation.” —T.T.
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