Pop Culture

Effie Brown Is Not Done Calling Bullshit on Hollywood

You absolutely are. And to that point, this is your, I believe, first full producing credit since Dear White People for a feature. Is that right?

For a feature. Oh, we won’t talk about The Leisure Class? That fucking thing.

Well, since you brought it up…

I know. I did do that. I did. [Laughs] But yes, this is the one where I put all my eggs in the basket. In 2019, I was going to get out of the business because it was so tough. After Project Greenlight and Dear White People, and just being like, “What is going on? Yeah, I love doing what I do, but does it love me back?” So I’m incredibly happy to come back with a winner. I’m going to be real about that. I’m taking this moment because it has been a wee bit of a struggle. And I love being a Gamechanger. I love being able to write a check.

The company’s philosophy, as you’ve put it—

—“You can’t make something about us without us.”

Right. It does make me think of the Project Greenlight situation.

Well, because that’s the truth.

And that was a unique experience for a producer in that, people like me are watching you in horror at what is going on, but—

—It was like a Tuesday for me.

Exactly. On a really general level, it’s seeing your work as a producer as, really, the only one in the room.

Yeah. And is that sexy? Is that glamorous? I’m like, “No, she’s over by the craft service table eating her feelings.” People are like, “Oh, that was so funny!” and [assumed] that was cut together, right? I’m like, “No, that was real.” I had to go to a lot of therapy after that. The reason why I even did that was because I was super broke after Dear White People. I made, what, $24,000 on that film and I had yet to see a return on investment? Legit, as the lead producer. I didn’t get invited to the television series. I got nothing. I literally got only that check, and it was supposed to last for two years.

Anyway, I’d worked with HBO quite a bit and they were like, “Hey, we need to do this.” And I was like, “Oh, great. I’ll take that job.” I wasn’t supposed to be on camera and I took it because I was broke. Actually, I just had my first conversation with Peter Farrelly maybe four weeks ago. I saw him in Martha’s Vineyard. We haven’t talked since then—

Since the show was filmed?

Oh, 100%. No, that’s what I’m saying. We finally made amends and all is good, and I’m truly glad to hear you say that it was able to bring up a conversation. But it was really just super awful. I couldn’t find work. People were like, “Yeah, go Effie!” But the people with money and the real financials were like, “Ooh, she’s problematic.” And I’m like, “I’m not. This is just what it looks like.” I’m not complaining because I’m not a victim. I’m fine. But literally four weeks ago: “Hey, Peter.” Finally having a conversation and being like, “What did you know?” “What did you know?” “What was your perception?” I’m using my therapy words. [Laughs] Therapy rules. “I understand your point of view but can I share with you my point of view?” And then he was like, “Oh.” We were able to be like, “Oh, that was fucked up, right?” Then hugs and kisses and we’re like, “See ya!”

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