INTERVIEW: Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney talks “David Makes Man” and the importance of Black LGBTQ visibility in Hollywood

On Wednesday, Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney (“Moonlight”) stopped by the GLAAD headquarters in New York to speak with journalist George M. Johnson about the new OWN original TV series “David Makes Man.” The series, which premieres on August 14, is McCraney’s first TV project, serving as the creator and co-executive producer alongside showrunner Dee Harris-Lawrence ("ShotsFired," "Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G."). Michael B. Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Mike Kelley, and Melissa Loy also serve as co-executive producers for the series.

Check out the full interview below:

When asked about the reason for including LGBTQ characters in “David Makes Man,” McCraney stated that “the fabric of the story could only be told with them in it because of the experiences that I had, and a lot of people who have helped to collaborate and make this story all have LGBTQ folks in their lives.” He continued, “The people you see are a representation of the people who were part of my community and are a part of my community. It was important to tell the truth, but also easier.”

In a discussion regarding the "room for growth" for Black storytelling in Hollywood, McCraney mentioned: “The fact that we have to talk about ‘room’ means there is still stuff to do. But you know...we’re not where we were 10 years ago and that’s to be celebrated and to be advanced.”

The one-hour lyrical drama “David Makes Man" focuses on the life of a “14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend and relied on by his hardworking mother to find a way out of poverty.” The series, which is set in South Florida, is inspired by events in McCraney's own life, looking at the themes of “childhood trauma and the power of imagination to survive.” The new series features a star-studded cast, including Akili McDowell ("The Astronaut Wives Club"), Isaiah Johnson ("Hamilton"), Travis Coles ("Liza on Demand"), Phylicia Rashad ("Creed II"), Nathaniel Logan McIntyre ("Celebrity Ghost Stories"), Cayden K. Williams ("Girls Trip"), Ade Chike Torbert ("East Los High”), and Jordan Bolger (Peaky Blinders).

“David Makes Man” airs on OWN on Wednesdays at 10pm ET.