“The Queen Latifah Show” returned for a second season on September 15, 2014! Since season one, Queen has welcomed plenty of Hollywood’s biggest stars and entertainment legends and inspiring heroes from all around the world to her stage. This season she’s boasting guests like Denzel Washington, Mo’ne Davis, Toni Braxton and Jada Pinkett-Smith.
#TeamBeautiful got the chance to chat with the Queen (ok, so it was a conference call) about her second season and we were very surprised at her candidness. She opened up about not only who she wants on the show this season, but also her disdain for the way Black people are portrayed in the media, the lack of Black men on TV and even spilled the beans on what legendary singer she’s going to be playing in a biopic! It was like we were talking to Dana Owens. “This show is truly the embodiment of my journey. Nothing makes me happier than to have the opportunity to share my experience with others and give people a chance to realize their dreams,” she said with a smile in her voice.
Check out the interview below:
On Her Dream Guests For This Season:
On The Topics She Will Cover This Season:
We’re going to cover a lot of topics and really it’s about having a lot of fun, dealing with whatever topics are important to people. I think one of the things we were able to do last year that I think we’ll take even one-step further, is our panel discussions. Bring in really interesting women to share discussions about things that are relevant.
Whether it’s, you know, the minimum wage or whether it’s equal pay for women, or whether it’s hot topics going on in society right now. Things happening in Missouri or, you know, things that are important to us.
Whatever is important, that’s what we’re going to deal with. I’ve never really been afraid to tackle any subject in my whole career. I mean, I have built a career being able to do that, being able to step into these different zones and hopefully do them in a way that is respectful to everyone. That’s something we want to be able to do again this year that we’re already working on.
On The Lack Of Diversity On TV:
I absolutely think that we could get more diverse in television, period, particularly with African American men. I’d like to see more brothers on TV personally. But, I think it is what it is to some degree. And, we have to take it one-step at a time to create the right vehicle for people to shine.
I think we just need to work with each other and look at different avenues in that there’s so many ways to tackle the media these days. There are so many different ways to create shows, other than just thinking about, okay late night, all right, daytime. Well, what about something online?
We have those opportunities now. We don’t have to just go one way with it. So, I think it’s important for us to just keep working with one another and other people and trying to create those vehicles for the talent that is out there that hasn’t been shown as much as they need too.
On The Black Image On TV:
I think America is absolutely ready for images of us in different ways. And, I think it’s always been about the media and what is actually released to the people. Half my interviews I’ve spent trying to explain rap to people and not defend, but really almost be a part of the wheel, a spoke in the wheel for African Americans–particularly for the world to understand how we truly are. And what they’re actually seeing is not the true picture of what life is really like for us.
The more positive images we’re able to get out there of ourselves doing all these dynamic things–which I had a skateboard at 8-years-old. I played soccer as a kid. My uncle was a BMX racer. You never saw that, you know? You look at Drake and you see half his family’s Black and half his family is White. You see him reflect both sides of who he his, you know–what his family background is and you see that on television.
There are people who really don’t care about telling the true stories. And so, it’s important for each person to do what they can to change that image. But, I think, younger people know the media the way it is, and with social media, the Internet is going to make those barriers come down, because those barriers can’t be controlled by mainstream media.
It’s not just African Americans, there’s a lot of people on this planet, period, who are depicted in ways that are kind of stereotypical or in one lane or two lanes and that’s just not how life really is. So, that’s the goal, for me. I have been influenced by a long line of strong positive black men, who have been a big influence on who I am. You know, from my father to my grandfathers, uncles and cousins, not to mention the people in the business who have been helpful to me. So, I know that they want to see themselves portrayed in a more positive light then they’re often portrayed.
That’s why I try to stay in a lane where I show positive images of people and people in a positive light, the things that are happening that are really good out there in the world that people are making a difference with every single day. And, we’ll continue to make that happen.
On Who She Will Be Playing In A Biopic:
I grew up watching Pearl Bailey and I opened up a book one time and I thought it was me in this book! I was like, I don’t remember taking this picture. And then, as I looked closer, I realized it was Pearl Bailey, but we looked so much a like that I thought it was me.
She was a big influence on me as a kid, because she was so spunky and she was out there, she related to everyone, and had crossed barriers. So, I would love to be able to bring her life to the screen in some way. But, next up to bat for me is the Bessie Smith Story for HBO. So, I’ll be playing Bessie. Let me get Bessie done first and then I’ll jump into Pearl.
On Giving Back & Transformational Life Work:
I was raised to volunteer, to help, to give back to my own community and it’s something my parents raised me with. It’s something I saw them display. It’s something I saw my mom do for years as a high school teacher. I went to high school in New Jersey and it’s something that became part of our careers, as young rappers and entrepreneurs. Whether it was a toy drive or what we would call a lock-in, where we would spend the night in the high school, just to stay off of the streets, and, be encouraging and do positive things and have great conversations and dance, and have fun and to be connected to positive things. So, I’ve watched that my whole life and I’ve done that throughout my career and this is just a continuation of what I think everyone can do, regardless of what you do or how much money you make.
There’s always an opportunity to help someone else. So, having a platform like this is wonderful to me. It is amazing, to have something that allows us to be able to reach out and find people who you would never even know about, who are doing such amazing things and give them a chance to continue to do those things. They are the boots on the ground for us, in this world, for positive change and doing great things to make our entire world better. So, we have a chance to really help them.
Be sure to watch “The Queen Latifah Show!” Check your local listings.
The Queen Latifah Show is a daytime talk-variety series that showcases Queen Latifah’s extraordinary range of talents as a global entertainment icon. The show is produced by Flavor Unit, Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television and is cleared on major station groups around the country, including the CBS Television Stations. Todd Yasui is Executive Producer with Co-Executive Producers Jack Mori and Ianthe Jones.