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The Most Underused Black Actress On A Comedy Television Show Is…

The Most Underused Black Actress On A Comedy Television Show Is...

If you’re a sitcom tv watcher, occasionally you’ll come across actors or actresses that you think deserve more face time and actress Retta Sirleaf is definitely in that category.

She plays Donna Meagle on NBC‘s comedy show Parks and Recreation, a series that follows Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), the Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation department in the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana.

In the beginning of the show, her scenes were very minimal but gradually her appearances have increased. AolTV.com also put her on their list of characters deserving more screen time.

At first, I was apprehensive about her role because I wasn’t sure if we would see the same stereotyped formula used in television. You know the one…black woman + plus size = sassy and wise, nurturing woman. Luckily, that hasn’t happened. Hopefully, NBC will wise up and take notice.

Below is a montage of Donna clips from the show.

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Comments

Nadell

hahaaaa! too funny! she’s awesome!
and i remember her from ‘First Sunday’ she was in the choir & Kat Williams was always pinpointing her. LoL!

Uchenna

I had no idea Retta’s last name was Sireaf. I take it she’s of Liberian descent?

(Come to think of it, there was one episode where Donna mentioned calling a relative in Liberia…)

There were one or two clips in that montage that I don’t recall seeing in the original broadcasts, btw. I gotta watch seasons 2 and 3 again… Parks & Rec has got to be the best sitcom on TV right now.

Uchenna Ikonne

I had no idea Retta’s last name was Sireaf. I take it she’s of Liberian descent?

(Come to think of it, there was one episode where Donna mentioned calling a relative in Liberia…)

There were one or two clips in that montage that I don’t recall seeing in the original broadcasts, btw. I gotta watch seasons 2 and 3 again… Parks & Rec has got to be the best sitcom on TV right now.

jessie's girl

OMG she’s awesome! If she had been on any of the episodes I tried to watch I would’ve kept watching for her alone.

ChgoSista

She’s a stand-up comic, too–I know I saw her on one of those comedy competition-ish type shows some years ago.

Adam Scott Thompson

Agreed. But that cast so choc full of talent, everybody needs more screen-time. Too bad only dramas get the hour-long treatment.

Shak

Ok, I don’t watch the show, but she got me and I’m gonna have to check it out.

starfishncoffee

Yes. Yes. YES. She is BRILLIANT.

“Are you Nell? From the movie Nell?”

They’ve been using her more this season especially the ep when she was a foil for Rashida/Anne. Very, very interesting and HILARIOUS.

Rena

Thanks for this post. I gotta say, though, the “no stereotypes present” argument is somewhat undermined by the eye action…throughout. That’s real familiar…not in a good way.

Laura

damn she loves that car lol

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