Queen Latifah’s New Venture Puts Ladies First & Behind The Camera
Early in her career, Queen Latifah was known for her skillful rapping and singing. The Flavor Unit standout splashed onto the scene with her debut album, All Hail The Queen. Nearly 30 years later, Queen Latifah’s work in entertainment could never be pigeonholed, as the now mogul found her career trajectory catapult, first on the small screen with her role as “Khadijah James” on the FOX sitcom, Living Single. Today, Latifah has 82 acting credits to her name, including wildly popular, critically acclaimed films like Chicago. Additionally, the artist also known as Dana Owens has nearly 40 credits as a producer and is the first female Rap artist ever to be nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the aforementioned musical, Chicago.
As a passionate and well-versed pioneer of both Black and female entertainers alike, Queen Latifah has now partnered with Proctor & Gamble to jump-start, the Queen Collective, a venture started to inspire, challenge, and assist aspiring female filmmakers of the future. Latifah, who struggled with prejudice as a young, Black actress in her early career, wants to provide others with similar opportunities she was given by those who extended a helping hand. In an interview with People magazine, she expands on the help she once received, “I owe a lot of people credit out there for helping me along, as well as what we were able to do to create for ourselves. One thing I swore that I would do if I got to a position of power, I would make sure that when I looked out behind that camera, that people would look like what America looked like.”
The Queen Collective’s hope is to accumulate submissions from women of all walks of life with a story to tell. Once all submissions are received and reviewed, two women will be chosen to bring their story to life, and the Collective will work closely with them to provide financing so that the film will be made, in full, and distributed, with Latifah’s mentorship close by. But ultimately, Latifah’s goal is to change the landscape of Hollywood against the grain of prejudice and assist those who face it.
“I think it’s a continuing narrative in Hollywood, unfortunately, and we want to change that entire narrative,” she says. “We want to even the playing field a little bit. Partnering up with P&G for the Queen Collective has been an amazing thing. This is kind of one step of the plan to make things a little different.”