Yes, you read that right. Actress LisaRaye McCoy has joined the ranks of those calling the shots behind the camera, directing her first feature film, "Skinned," for the Atlanta-based production company Studio 11 Films.
More accurately, McCoy co-directed the film with Avery O. Williams, who is a professor at Morehouse College, and who also wrote the film’s script with co-producer Clarice Kulah.
As hinted by the title, the film addresses colorism within the black community, and centers on a young woman named Jolie, "whose insecurities about her skin color, misconception about beauty, and search for romance causes her to bleach her skin beyond recognition in an attempt to capture the heart of the perfect suitor, leads to the detriment of her health."
The story doesn’t end there, taking a more melodramatic turn when it "fast forwards to 15 years later, with Jolie, now a… model with a wonderful husband, who discovers she cannot conceive due to certain chemicals found in skin bleaching creams. To make matters worse, she has skin cancer and has 6 months to live. Now, with the assistance of a psychiatrist, Jolie must go on a journey into her past to face her demons."
Jasmine Burke plays Jolie.
According to the production company, "Skinned" is a very important project for LisaRaye, not only because she is entering a new phase in her career, but also because she is “determined to speak on behalf of this epidemic with hopes to change lives on a global scale. Young girls that are thinking about bleaching and those that follow the trends of known celebrities who have bleached, she hopes to steer in a different direction."
TV One has announced today that the network has picked up "Skinned," with a premiere set for Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 at 8 p.m. ET.
"We set out to produce a film not only to address the global epidemic, but more importantly, the history among people of color regarding the way we think and the acceptance of our given gifts," said McCoy. "’Skinned’ will impact those who are struggling with their own identity and self-worth. There hasn’t been a film to address this epidemic since Spike Lee’s School Daze touched on the subject matter."
Joining Burke in front of the camera are Brad James who plays her husband, Cycerli Ash as psychiatrist Dr. Smith who assists Jolie, LisaRaye McCoy as Mother, Drew Sidora as Clarice, Jolie’s sister, Tasia Grant as Melissa, and Nollywood star Van Vicker as Bobby.
"Skinned" was executive produced by CEO Sharon Tomlinson of Studio 11 Films; CEO Dr. Clarice Kulah of Divine Entertainment Intl., and CEO Lotten B. Yeaney of Lot10 Productions in collaboration with Sky+Orange Productions. Robyn Greene Arrington serves as vice president of original programming and D’Angela Proctor is head of original programming for TV One.