HBO’s comedies have been pretty solidly white, from “Curb Your Enthusiasm” to “Eastbound And Down” and “Veep,” with “Girls” in particular attracting criticism for its lack of diversity in its depiction of its slice of Brooklyn hipsterdom. But the premium network’s recently announced a slew of half-hour projects featuring creators who are people of color — like Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin’s Atlanta-set pilot or the comedy that Issa Rae’s developing with Larry Wilmore — signaling a welcome shift.
The latest comedy in development at HBO comes from Salim Akil, who with his wife and producing partner Mara Brock Akil has created, directed, written, produced and/or otherwise overseen multiple projects on the big and small screen, from “Jumping the Broom” and “Sparkle” to “The Game” and the upcoming “Being Mary Jane,” BET’s first scripted drama.
The project is a single-camera comedy called “Mr. Director” that Akil will write, project and direct, and that Deadline describes as “being in the vein of Larry David’s documentary-style HBO comedy series ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ but with the backdrop of Black Hollywood.”
Akil would play a version of himself in the series, which would pull from his path toward being a Hollywood power player — he first wrote and acted in the indie “Drylongso,” which premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival.