The debut episode of “All That Matters” has over six million views on WorldStarHipHop.com. The second episode has over five million and the third, that was posted today, already has over 70,000 views. Pretty impressive.
Meagan Good and Tamara Bass set out to create original content that depicts Black women in their natural light. Not every Black woman is as over-the-top fabulous as Cookie on “Empire” or as intimidating as Analise Keating on “How To Get Away With Murder.” While those characters are entertaining, what about the Black women who balances career and family? What about the Black women who’s biggest concern, right now, is planning her wedding? There are so many stories out there and “All That Matters” is one of them.
With TV thriving, but much of it controlled by network heads, Meagan and Tamara opted to use the online platform for their project, allowing them to be in control of their message. And let’s face it, whoever decided to tap into WSHH’s massive Black audience is a pure genius.
During a weekend chat, we spoke to Meagan Good and Tamara Bass about “All That Matters,” why it lives on WSHH and the importance of Black women supporting one other.
HelloBeautiful: What was the inspiration behind “All That Matters?”
Tamara Bass: I wanted to explore that question, ‘What if?’ What if our carefully designed plan, that thing we set out to do, is derailed, propelled? How do you adjust to that? How do you navigate with that? I have this plan, but what happens if my niece ends up on my doorstep and I have to take care of her. I wanted to play with that an idea as a writer and a director.
HB: Meagan, what is your role in the production?
Meagan Good: Tamara and I have our company, Crazy Actress Productions, which isn’t about us being crazy but more about us being fearless and the fact that people could call that crazy. I co-produced and directed [‘All That Matters’] with Tamara. It’s really exciting for us to collaborate because we’ve been like sisters since we were 16 and 19-years-old. As we’ve grown together, we’ve been each other’s champions. We found that out weaknesses and out strengths work really well together and really compliment each other.
HB: How do you feel about the surplus of Black content and how does “All That Matters” fit into it?
MG: It’s amazing. Me and Tamara talk about how beautiful, wonderful and exciting it is for us to see Kerry and Taraji. And to see there’s just so many of now getting the opportunities that weren’t really afforded to us. With ‘All that Matters,’ while there’s lots of incredible content out there, it was about creating a different perspective. Because a lot of times when we are shown, we’re shown very dysfunctional and in some cases, it can be very one dimensional and you don’t really get to see this particular character’s perspective. You’re seeing a representation of a lot of Black people around the world that is different from what is often represented. That’s kind of where we wanted to set ourselves apart and do something a little bit different.
TB: To turn on the TV and see ‘Directed by Regina King’ makes me want to do a dance in my living room. When I found out she was directing Scandal, I was excited as if it were Meg calling me saying she was directing Scandal. It was genuine euphoria that I felt because one of my best friends always says to me ‘When one of us wins, we all win.’ That perspective is how I always look at it. Like Ava DuVernay and Gina Prince-Bythewood getting that shot to tell Hollywood like “Hey, we can tell stories too and our stories are good and relevant and inclusive.”
HB: Why did you choose to go the WSHH route?
MG: We complain about the content that is put out there for us to consume, whether we choose to consume it or not. One of the things that Tamra and I are excited about was ‘Let’s change it.’ Instead of complaining about it, let’s go in there and come with something fresh and new and something positive. Still raw, still honest and conflictive but let’s put something positive into the universe. With Worldstar, one of the things that was very eye-opening for me, was that when I did Anchorman, the people over at Paramount- said we’ve got to get the trailer up on Worldstar, that’s very important because that’s where a lot of eyes are going be. I thought that was very interesting and important to really understand the magnitude of the eyes that are on Worldstar and the people that pay attention to what goes up there.
Q expressed he wanted to put something more positive out there, wanting to find original content that hadn’t been done before, something that he could take ownership over as well.
As we decided that was the better route cause we could maintain control, we could make sure the story that we were trying to tell wasn’t compromised by the networks coming in and saying ‘no one wants a character like this; we want the story to go like this.’ And that’s often what happens. The integrity is compromised when everybody has their hands in the pot.
HB: Tamara, can you talk a little bit about unity in Black Hollywood…
TB: I met Taraji on numerous occasions. Taraji and I met at a table read for a play before we did ‘Baby Boy.’ That bond that we formed on ‘Baby Boy,’ between me, her and AJ still, to this day, stands. When I wake up on Thursday morning and hear ‘Empire’ has shattered another record, I do a dance. I literally dance in my living room because everyone thinks that Black women can’t get along, that we’re trying to tear each other down. But Melinda is the one that would call me & say ‘T, when one of us wins, we all win.’ So we celebrate every moment, we celebrate every accomplishment because it makes it that much easier for the next. If we can make history introducing something on Worldstar. That means that there are two other little Black girls sitting at home like ‘Hey they did it. You’re my best friend. We can do this too.’ So that to me is what I strive for.
MG: The most important thing we can do is support each other. My mother always said ‘there’s no such thing as competition.’ It’s about lifting each other up. I bring God is into everything — what’s mine is mine and no one can take that away from me and what’s someone else’s is someone else’s and you can’t take it from them so why have an attitude or an energy of competing with each other?
It’s a really beautiful time. I’ve been in the business since I was 4-years-old and seriously acting since I was 13-years-old so I’ve seen a lot of different days so it’s really wonderful to honor the Cicely Tysons, the Ruby Dees – who I’ve had the pleasure of working with and the first thing she said to me was ‘Well, if I don’t support you, who’s going to?’ So in a way, the baton has really been passed to each and every one of us. So why would we not encourage each other and support one another?
Watch “All That Matters,” here.