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Kerry Washington Says ‘I’m Not Drawn to Political Work,’ but I Am a Black Woman: ‘When I Center Stories About Me It’s Considered Political’


Kerry Washington joined the Variety Studio presented by Audible at the Sundance Film Festival, where she is an executive producer on the documentary “Daughters.” The movie centers on four girls in Washington D.C. as they prepare for a Daddy Daughter Dance with their incarcerated fathers.

“People always ask me why I’m drawn to political work,” Washington said about boarding the documentary. “I’m not drawn to political work. It’s just I am a woman and I am a Black person. In this body, when I center stories about me or stories that star people that look like me, it’s considered political because the world wants to push us out into the margins and we all deserve to be at the center of our lives.”

“A story like this that centers people that society often ignores — incarcerated fathers and young Black woman — that’s so important to us,” she continued, adding that her goal is to always be “pulling people away from the margins and into the center so we know our stories matter.”

“Daughters” is directed by Angela Patton and Natalie Rae. Washington is an EP alongside the likes of Joel Edgerton and Jessica Seinfeld. The doc hits close to Washington’s acting career, as she plays the daughter of an incarcerated man in the Hulu comedy series “UnPrisoned.”

“It was so exciting to learn about the documentary and see this story being told in a reality-based way,” Washington said. “Our show is inspired by a real story, but these are the real people themselves. To see this level of vulnerability and love and generosity and healing is so powerful and it’s beautifully told in this format. We’re so honored we can continue to open people’s lives to the justice system and how it’s impacting people’s lives, not just the people incarcerated.”

“Daughters” is seeking distribution out Sundance.