Marsai Martin Brings Black Skating Culture to the Disney Channel in Epic Collab

By Andréa Butler

Marsai Martin understands her power — and she’s wielding it oh so brilliantly. Now 16, the youngest executive producer ever (and co-founder of Genius Productions) is furthering her commitment to telling diverse stories, especially for and about Black girls in her generation, with a new Disney Channel pilot for her original comedy series Saturdays.

According to Deadline, this sitcom is set amidst the backdrop of a local, old-school-style, “galaxy-painted rink,” complete with “cool parquet floors,” “neon lights,” and a “killer DJ spinning the latest music.” Besides celebrating ’90s-era Black skating culture through the lens of 13-year-old Paris Johnson (played by Danielle Jalade) and her skate crew, this show will also bring light to a rare disease that disproportionately affects Black people around the world — sickle cell disease.

Ya’ girl has been about creating narratives that give a voice to people often sidelined in mainstream plots, despite being discouraged from doing so by a (former) agent. “It was a reality check because it was like, ‘Oh, so you want to support us, but you don’t want to support us.’ So, what I took from that was if there were no projects for me, then there were no projects for people who look like me,” Marsai previously told Sesi during her summer 2019 cover interview. “There should definitely be more opportunities [and] I feel like if that happens on the daily, it’d be fine and it’d be diverse and universal around the world, and no one would have any hate for it.”

Currently, Marsai stars as Diane Johnson on the ABC comedy series Black-ish. She also conceptualized, produced, and starred in the movie Little with Issa Rae and Regina Hall back in 2019.

Main Photo: Jim Cornfield for Sesi


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Quarterly print teen magazine for Black girls ages 13 to 19. Covering The Black Girl's Mainstream™