Marsai Martin on ‘No Black Pain’ Approach to Projects Made at Her Production Company Genius Entertainment

Marsai Martin, founder of Genius Entertainment, recently picked up two more NAACP Image Awards for her performance on 'black-ish' as Diane Johnson.


Image via Getty/Jennifer Johnson


Marsai Martin, fresh off being honored with the 2021 NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Youth and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in black-ish, has detailed her “no Black pain” approach to selecting projects to bring to life under her Genius Entertainment banner in a new interview.

In an interview with Kirsten Chuba for the Hollywood Reporter, Martin was asked about the currently-in-progress Disney Channel series Saturdays, which she produces. As the 16-year-old multi-hyphenate explained, the series was born from both her fondness for the aesthetic of roller skating and her desire to “shine a light” on sickle cell anemia.

“It’s never been seen on TV or film before so I wanted to make sure this was a moment to shine a light on it—in not a bad way because we don’t do Black pain, but to where our main character is still celebrated, still loved and lives her life the way that she wants to,” Martin told THR. “It’s just very fun and very exciting.”

Later, Martin was asked to elaborate on what she looks for in projects she wants to produce, prompting the nine-time NAACP Image Awards winner and Little star to go deeper on the personal importance of her “no Black pain” rule.

“I have a couple of rules when you come into my office,” Martin said. “When you come into my office, don’t give me this—I don’t do no Black pain. If it’s Black pain I don’t go for it because there’s so many films and projects about that, so that’s not who I am. I want to make sure that it is diverse and real in its own way.”

Peep the full THR interview here.

Genius Entertainment, based in Los Angeles, was co-founded with Marsai’s father Joshua Martin and counts her mother Carol Martin as its Vice President and Prince Baggett as its Head of Motion Pictures. Nicole Dow, meanwhile, serves as Genius’ Head of Television. For more on the Genius mission, click here.

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