Scene 2 Seen Podcast: Prentice Penny Discusses Black Twitter Docuseries And How Black Twitter Influenced Social Media Platforms

Hello, and welcome to the Scene 2 Seen Podcast!

I am your host Valerie Complex, an associate editor and film writer at Deadline. Today, I’m chatting with Prentice Penny, an Emmy nominated, Peabody, and Golden Globe winning writer-director-producer who has brought his unique voice and sensibilities to some of today’s most beloved film and TV projects.

Penny and his multi-media production company, A Penny For Your Thoughts Entertainment, have dedicated creative efforts towards telling stories that offer fresh perspectives and explore beyond the beaten path to challenge the way we think about our culture and one another.

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His upcoming projects include Black Twitter: A People’s History, which he directed and produced. Based on Jason Parham’s Wired article A People’s History of Black Twitter, this three-part docuseries charts the rise, the movements, the voices, and the memes that made Black Twitter an influential and dominant force in nearly every aspect of American political and cultural life. It is set to have its world premiere at SXSW 2024 and will debut on Hulu later this year.

Penny is best known for his role as showrunner, executive producer and recurrent director for HBO’s hit award-winning comedy Insecure The culture-shifting series has garnered awards recognition for star Issa Rae, supporting cast, crew members and creative team from The Peabody Awards, Emmy, and NAACP Awards, among others. Since its debut, the series has been praised for its honest, powerful and poignant conversations about race, relationships, and sexuality.

His upcoming projects include “New Kid”, which is currently in development and Penny will direct for Universal based on the # 1 New York Times bestseller, produced through A Penny For Your Thoughts Entertainment.

In 2009, Penny founded his multi-media production company, A Penny For Your Thoughts Entertainment, which has an overall deal with Onyx where it develops and produces projects for all Disney platforms, including Hulu, which serves as the primary home to Onyx films and television. In addition, Penny and A Penny For Your Thoughts Entertainment banner launched The First Up, a new program for writers of color at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Penny’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is exemplified through the creation of the First Up program, which provides BIPOC writers with a platform to showcase their work and gain real-world experience.

Penny’s past credits encompass several films and comedy series, including the Netflix original film Uncorked, marked the multi-hyphenates feature directorial and screenwriting debut.  He was also co-executive producer on the Golden Globe-winning freshman season of Fox’s comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, working as a supervising producer on Happy Endings, and worked on The Hustle, Scrubs, and Girlfriends.

In this episode, Prentice and I discuss the history and importance of Black Twitter, how it revolutionized social media platforms, and how the concept of Black Twitter has changed over time.

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