Rolling Stone



FROM ‘BLACK PANTHER’ to Octavia Butler’s Kindred, Afrofuturi­sm has seen a steady rise over the past five years. The latest entry: Netflix’s My Dad the Bounty Hunter, out Feb. 9. The 10-episode animated series chronicles the life of Terry (Laz Alonso), a father co-parenting two strong-minded children with his estranged wife, Tess (Yvonne Orji), while also fighting aliens trying to colonize space. “We never see [sci-fi] from a Black point of view,” says co-creator Everett Downing Jr., who cites Billy

Dee Williams’ portrayal of Lando Calrissian in Star Wars as an influence. “As a kid, [that] blew my mind. I was like, ‘There’s a Black dude in space!’ ”

Still, co-creator Patrick Harpin stresses that the show’s tensions are not overtly about race. The writers room, which is majority-Black, focuses on a positive narrative about family, where the characters’ blackness is neither a plot point nor a discussion. “[Everett and I] both love The Incredible­s,” says Harpin. “But no one questions ‘Why is the family white?’ That movie doesn’t have to answer that.”

In My Dad, they place Terry at the center of a battle for the future — the larger world’s and his own. “You throw these people who have all this strife from Earth into space, and to the aliens, they’re just Earthlings,” says Harpin. “Now the family is watching exploitati­on, and they have to decide, ‘Am I going to step in?’ ”

 ?? ?? Terry, dad and space explorer
Terry, dad and space explorer

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