Why ‘Swarm’ Co-Creator Janine Nabers Assembled an All-Black Writers Room | How She Did It Sponsored by Prime Video
When “Swarm” co-creator Janine Nabers went to Amazon Prime Video with her hit horror limited series, she told the streamer she wanted an all-Black writers’ room.
As soon as “Swarm” hit Prime Video, buzz about the thriller show, well, swarmed. The BeyHive-inspired series centers on a violently obsessed fan (played by Dominique Fishback) who stops at nothing to see her favorite superstar artist. The idea for the series was a co-creation between Nabers and Donald Glover.
“When we approached the idea for ‘Swarm,’ it was really about how can we as Black people tell a story from a Black woman’s perspective that gives it that cinematic lens,” Nabers said in the latest installment of TheWrap’s “How She Did It,” sponsored by Prime Video.
While working together wasn’t new for Nabers and Glover as the pair previously worked together on FX’s “Atlanta,” coming together to pitch the unique, Black woman-led series was foreign territory.
Malia Obama Wrote for Donald Glover’s New Thriller ‘Swarm’ for Amazon
“I knew, Donald knew. We just had one shot,” Nabers said. “We literally sold this serial killer idea to a bunch of white people at Amazon and wanted an all-Black writers’ room. I wanted more Black female writers than male writers, which we did.”
A Black woman’s leadership and voice were key for Glover from the beginning of the show’s ideation.
“He gave me the idea of a Black woman obsessed with a pop star, and we built on it from that,” Nabers told TheWrap back in March. “I think it was something that he wanted to explore, but he really wanted someone else to write it, and he wanted to direct the pilot. The process was him kind of stepping more into a director and co-creator role and allowing a Black woman to write a series about a Black woman.”
Nabers says in the same way Glover “changed her life” as her first Black boss as a TV writer, she too wants to open the possibilities and opportunities for people like her coming up.
“Black people can tell stories within Blackness that can elevate or change your worldview or change your idea of Blackness,” Nabers said in “How She Did It.”
“I’m committed to hiring Black people, I’m committed to hiring Black women. I had so many people open doors for me as a writer. I want to pay that forward,” she added.
“Swarm” stars Dominque Fishback, Chlöe Bailey, Damson Idris, Paris Jackson, Leon, Nirine S. Brown, Karen Rodriguez, Rory Culkin, Kiersey Clemons, Cree Summer, X Mayo and Billie Eilish. The series is streaming on Prime Video.
‘Swarm’ Co-Creator Janine Nabers Says Stan Culture ‘Scares’ Her: ‘I’ve Seen People Trying to Take Ownership’ of Donald Glover