ABC is exploring a “Black-ish” spinoff starring Yara Shahidi (Zoey) in college. It is still in the early stages, with no script and deals in place.
Smart idea. The stylish and talented Shahidi is dazzling and perfect for her own series.
InStyle listed “5 Reasons Why Yara Shahidi Deserves A Black-ish Spin-off Show”1. She’s a role model.
The 16-year-old founded “Yara’s Club” with the Young Women’s Leadership Network, which helps students in low-income communities get access to better education. “Right now, this nation is in a state of melancholy, and for anybody who is going through personal confusion or isn’t feeling their best, just know that there is a community of girls here to support you–I am one of them,” she told InStyle in November. “And you’re not alone.”
2. She’s going through the same things as her on-screen character.
The Minnesota native applied to colleges last fall and has her eyes set on a sociology major. “That process has started and it’s started for Zoey as well,” she previously told InStyle. And since the actress is open to having a “more unorthodox college experience” by deferring her enrollment by at least a year, schedule-wise could still manage being the lead in a new show.
3. Her style is on point.
The young star’s fashion sense is well beyond her 16 years, something she credits to her role model (and former Scandal co-star) Kerry Washington. “I frequently wear things that are far too conservative for a teenager,” she said. “I’ll roll up with saddle pants and blazers and button-down shirts and oxfords. taught me that, as a young actress, not to change you who are or your values or morals for a role, because what’s really authentic is when someone is true to who they are.”
4. She knows the person her character is based on IRL.
Shahidi went to school with Black-ish creator Kenya Barris’s daughter–whom she based Zoey off of–for a year. “I didn’t know that my character was based on her going into it. It’s interesting to compare what I originally thought of Zoey with how she’s developed,” she told InStyle. “All I knew is that she was sassy, technologically advanced, and went to some preppy private school.”
5. She knows Zoey is the television character American needs right now.
While accepting an award for her philanthropy at the Points of Life Conference on Volunteering and Service last June, Shahidi said she felt it was her obligation to be a part of a “truer representation of the colorful world that we live in.” Zoey, she added, is her form of activism through art. “It is through my character and characters like her that the barrier of racism, ageism, sexism and other -isms can be broken down,” she said.