Women Behind TV One | Susan Henry
Sr. Director, Original Programming and Production
During Women’s History Month, the world highlights the contributions of women throughout history!
At TV One, we are celebrating Black women who have broken down barriers to excel against the odds in their fields, and whose actions have made profound and lasting impacts on American culture. Among the women paving the way and inspiring, uplifting, and empowering Black women, are actually those behind our network.
Join us throughout the month of March, as we pull back the curtain to highlight our own! In Q&A style, learn more about the women who make things happen every day at TV One with their hard work and dedication.
Introducing Susan Henry
What led you to TV One?
It was important for me to be able to create content for a diverse audience. I knew that TV One was in the business of serving Black communities, so it was a natural progression for me to explore opportunities at the network. Being able to tell our stories through our lens and provide a platform for African-American content creators has been an incredibly rewarding experience.
Why is it important for women to have a seat at the table, especially in the entertainment industry?
Our voice has been missing for so long in so many places, and the entertainment industry is no exception. As women, we have consistently been underrepresented, misrepresented, and misunderstood when others try to depict our stories. Although we have shared experiences that many of us can relate to, as women of color, we are not homogeneous. We have rich cultural, relational, and familial stories that are as different as our complexions and those stories deserve to be told in an authentic way. For years, women have been marginalized and kept out of the industry both on and off the screen, but I am hopeful a new crop of creatives–directors, writers, costume designers, actors etc. are continuing to break those barriers.
If you could only pick one, who is the most influential woman you know? And how does she inspire you?
I’m blessed to still have my maternal grandmother in my life. She has been an incredible force not only for me, but for the many people who she’s touched along her journey. I’ve watched her overcome incredible obstacles with a grit and determination that would make most men quiver. She taught me to be kind, to care about people, to go after my dreams with aplomb and to be fiercely independent. Most importantly, she taught me to go out into the world and do good. I hope she is proud.
What advice do you have for young women starting out in their careers?
Never be afraid to fail. Failure is not fatal, and it’s often the best teacher. Use those experiences to learn, unlock your potential and level set your expectations–then try again
What legacy would you like to leave?
Tough question since I feel like I’m just starting to live my legacy now, but I hope that I’ve contributed content into the world that’s made it a little bit better than it was before. More than anything, I would like to know that my experience has contributed to the next generation of creatives. That somewhere along the way, I was able to open a door, inspire someone to reach for their dreams, or give them the tools they need to excel in this industry. Our biggest challenge as black women is not only to pass the torch, but to keep it lit.