Throughout the pandemic, Lazalde-McPherson had two priorities: ensuring Showtime scripted and unscripted series could safely resume production and overseeing high-profile content deals, including “The First Lady” and Michael C. Hall’s return as “Dexter.” She hopes to make an impact on the entertainment industry through deals that bring better representation to both sides of the camera. She recently signed a first-look deal with Regina Hall and brought writer-comedian Ziwe Fumudoh to late night with “Ziwe.” Lazalde-McPherson says honesty is especially important in challenging times. “Throughout my career, transparency has been key in tackling issues both positive and negative. It goes both ways—being receptive to something you don’t want to hear is just as important as being direct and honest at the outset of any project or conversation as far as what is realistic and what you’re capable of.”

Who deserves a biopic made about their life and why?
I would love to see a biopic about Justice Sonia Sotomayor. As the first woman of color on the Supreme Court, not to mention the first Latina, her story inspires me. She has done an incredible amount to advocate for important issues surrounding race and gender, as well as criminal justice reform. I talk all the time about who I think would be a good choice to play her!

My best advice for fostering open, honest communication…
Throughout my career, transparency has been key in tackling issues both positive and negative. It goes both ways – being receptive to something you don’t want to hear is just as important as being direct and honest at the outset of any project or conversation as far as what is realistic and what you’re capable of. Being open around both the good and bad further contributes to set an example for those in your organization to do the same. Especially in challenging moments, honesty can make all the difference.

Favorite current show that you feel embraces D&I?
I am struck every season by our series “The Chi.” Year after year, the show tells interlocking stories that illuminate so many underrepresented communities and groups within the South Side of Chicago. I’m proud of the way it tackles relevant issues facing the city’s Black community while remaining true and honest. The show’s commitment to inclusion expands behind the camera as well, with strong representation across the crew.

Honored For: