This new web series is smashing the imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist patriarchy
Unlike the majority of mainstream TV shows, where approximately 75 percent of scripted roles go to white people, the majority of whom are male, Gabby Antonio Smashes the Imperialist, White Supremacist, Capitalist Patriarchy! is a web series that challenges systems of oppression in both its production and its content. Gabby Smashes centers on a woman of color trying to succeed in her first job: working as a community organizer for a nonprofit in Portland, Oregon. Gabby’s feelings of wavering self-confidence are relatable, and her quest to smash the “Imperialist White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy” highlight tensions in society as well as the nonprofit world. You can watch the first episode here
Luann Algoso, star and creator of the show, recently spoke to the FBomb about her new show.
Tell us about your new show, Gabby Antonio Smashes the Imperialist, White Supremacist, Capitalist Patriarchy! and why you created it.
Gabby Smashes features an all-POC cast, and the story is centered on the experiences of a Filipina living and working in Portland, a predominantly white major city. Through the rise in popularity [of Portland itself], due to shows like Portlandia, I've been able to see the city change dramatically over time, and see how that has affected communities of color, particularly Black and Asian communities that have lived in historically disenfranchised areas of the city. Now the city is growing rapidly and pushing out more people from their homes. Through this web series, through storytelling, we can bring more attention to the issues that are happening here in Portland.
Beyond the title of the web series, "The Imperialist, White Supremacist, Capitalist Patriarchy" which is a phrase coined by bell hooks, how else has she influenced the series?
bell hooks has been instrumental in shaping my feminist ideology and mentality in general, and we plan to make her ideas more explicit through Gabby's character throughout the rest of the proposed season. Gabby is fresh out of academia and has been steeped in her gender studies work, so applying what she's learned to real community organizing will show that Gabby won't always know the answers and still has much to learn about how to work towards social change.
Are there any feminists, artists, and/or writers that influenced the series?
So many people! All the characters are fictional, but we do take bits and pieces of their personalities from people we know who have work or do work in nonprofits. One character named Kam, for example, is inspired by a good friend of mine who has worked as a grassroots community organizer both in and outside of nonprofits for years, and is someone who really helped shape me as an organizer. That relationship dynamic was something I was interested in exploring in this web series to show what it looks like to help each other grow as organizers within the Asian and Pacific Islander community.
What advice do you have for young women, and specifically WOC, seeking to create meaningful change in the "The Imperialist, White Supremacist, Capitalist Patriarchy" under which we live?
Start making stuff and don't feel as though you have to wait until you have all the knowledge beforehand. When I initially had the idea for Gabby Smashes, I didn't know how to write a screenplay, but with help from a couple of filmmaker friends — especially Dawn Jones Redstone, my collaborator on this project — lots of research, and trusting my instinct, we have the web series that we're sharing today! Secondly, because this is connected to making stuff, find your community. Getting involved with student activism when I was in school and then in the larger community after helped shaped my analysis and continues to keep me rooted in why I do this work.
More articles by Category: Media, Race/Ethnicity
More articles by Tag: Racism, Social media, Television, Women of color