The co-creator of OWN’s hit church drama, Greenleaf is not only a white man, but he use to be a minister. Craig Wright recently spoke at the United Theological Seminary, where he discussed being a white guy capturing the nuances of the black mega church on the show.
Here is what Wright had to say about being a white guy who write, produce and capture all the nuances of the Black megachurch on Greenleaf:
In a sense, the show was created by someone Black, or at least co-created. The show came about from conversations between me and Oprah. She and I met around her documentary Belief that she aired on [OWN].
Our discussions about that turned into discussions about whether to and how to create a show about the Black church. So, I said to Oprah, “[Did] you know I used to be a minister?” And she said, “Of a Black church?” So we just continued talking. Oprah and I shook hands and decided to make it happen.
I’m certainly not a person that has lived all of these experiences. My success at this job was going to be dependant on how closely I listened to people about their experiences and enfranchising my Black partners to make this show their own.
So, to say I created the show is a bit of a misnomer. It started with me and Oprah and grew from there as we hired writers, consultants and people living the Black church experience everyday to weigh in on what needed to be talked about and said. The actors weigh in all of the time because it’s a very communal show.
Oprah and I believe that the Black church is a foundation for the community. As Oprah likes to say, “It’s the doctor, it’s the lawyer, it’s the food bank; it’s everything.” As such, it is sturdy enough and has a rich enough history that it can endure being questioned.