“The industry is certainly better than it was… but still not quite where it needs to be,” says Scott-Young, who believes Monami Productions is at the forefront of “kicking in ceilings to provide greater voice and visibility for Black and Brown people who might not otherwise be heard or seen.” The company’s “Love & Hip Hop” franchise continues to draw eyeballs and spinoffs on VH1 in the unscripted space, and Scott-Young is embedded on new projects with OWN, BET, Lifetime and others as she stretches production boundaries across the continent of Africa. In addition to her robust development slate, she continues to manage multiplatinum rapper, singer and songwriter Missy Elliott as part of Monami Entertainment.
How would you rate the industry regarding gender bias in shows/characters?
The industry is certainly better than it was or has been but still not quite where it needs to be. I’ve always been proud that Monami Productions has been at the forefront of kicking in ceilings to provide greater voice and visibility for Black and Brown people who might not otherwise be heard or seen. With “Everybody Loves Natti”—a doc follow featuring Latina Reggaeton artist Natti Natasha—being on Amazon Prime, we now have a massive platform and opportunity to showcase Latin culture to a global audience. It’s not going to happen overnight but kudos to the industry at large for continuously moving forward, being committed and staying the course in its attempt to do better with not only representation but also opportunity.
Do you have an example of male allyship that made a difference to you?
I’ve always worked well with both men and women alike but the relationship with my husband Shawn comes to mind immediately as we are truly partners, not just in marriage but also in business. He has been my personal support system and my biggest champion but he doesn’t hesitate to push me whenever he thinks I might not be living up to expectations for myself. Having someone around who knows me as well as I know myself and can hold the mirror up and challenge me is very important for my growth. Being a woman with a very strong personality can be intimidating to some men but I’ve been fortunate to have men in my life who are secure enough to allow me to lead and trust my ability to do so successfully. Whether it be my late partner Chris Lighty—who I built an incredibly successful talent management company with—or any number of the men who work for and alongside me every day, I’ve always felt empowered, inspired, challenged, and most importantly respected.