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ABC's "Queens" - Season One

Source: Wilford Harewood / Getty

 

Toxic men and the women who protect them is on full display. Each scene takes a critical look at the nuances of abuse, rape culture and the #MeToo movement. 

 

Damn, Daddy

Jill is in church listening to a sermon on self – forgiveness. She visits the pastor’s office after the service to compliment him on his sermon. The pastor responds by slapping her in the face. The pastor, who is her father reprimands Jill for embarrassing the family with her lesbian antics. Jill takes his abusive language on the chin. 

That evening, Jill visits her father’s hotel room to find it littered with empty liquor bottles. Jill is shocked to find her pious father drunk and lying on the floor. Daddy speaks slurred words of love and affirmation to his daughter as she helps him into bed. Jill sings to her father as he drifts off to sleep. 

The next morning sober daddy is back with venomous words, but this time Jill isn’t having it. She stands up for herself and tells her father that he is using religion to justify hate.

 

ABC's "Queens" - Season One

Wilford Harewood

Lies 

To celebrate the launch of their new record label, the Queens host a showcase to promote their first artist, Lady Z aka Zadie (Remy Ma).  After a 20-year hiatus, Lady Z hasn’t lost her chops. The performance goes well until Lady Z freezes on state after seeing her former manager Frank Black in the audience. After a physical altercation between him and Lady Z, Frank Black had her blackballed. He failed to mention that Lady Z broke his jaw after he sexually assaulted her. Naomi urges Zadie to tell her story. 

Naomi convinces Lady Z to speak to a journalist, a Black woman, who can be trusted to document Lady Z’s story with compassion. Instead, the journalist publishes an article that accuses Lady Z of exploiting the #MeToo movement to promote her new single. Zadie is furious and Naomi feels guilty.

Naomi meets with former rapper Hood Honey who shares that she was groomed, sexually assaulted and impregnated by Frank Z when she was 16-years-old.

 

Bro Code

Frank Z approaches Eric and Naomi at a restaurant. Naomi makes it clear that she has no love for the rapist, but Eric quickly stands to his feet to exchange pleasantries and daps with the pedophile.  After realizing Naomi is perturbed by his pandering, Eric tries to reassure her that he is on her side. But is he? 

 

The Truth Will Set You Free…. Or to Jail

After hearing Zadie’s story, Lauren (also known as Muffin) is noticeably apathetic. She defended Frank Black by saying he never assaulted her when they worked together. She went on to say that she doesn’t “put herself” in situations to be assaulted.  When the girls call her out on her problematic behavior, she defended herself by saying that people should let go of “old-stuff.”

Lauren later admits that not only was she sexually assaulted by Frank Black, but she also has a voicemail that will provide proof of his guilt. The voicemail compels four other victims to come forward and results in Frank Z’s arrest and Zadie’s vindication.

When Zadie asked Muffin why she lied, she didn’t give a clear answer …

 

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