AUTHENTIC: Cheo Hodari Coker and Lucy Liu in conversation at the Netflix See What's Next event in Rome, Italy. Picture: Netflix

Rome - Six of the thirteen directors for season two of Netflix’s Luke Cage were women.

“Gender has nothing to do with taste and where you place the camera, it’s all about passion and vision. In the past there were always questions on what African American writers can do and accomplish and female sensibility. It’s not about that. It’s about your vision for the characters on the show, that’s the number one criteria,” said writer and producer Cheo Hodari Coker.

Coker was speaking at the Netflix See What’s Next event that took place in Rome, Italy.

Netflix, on Wednesday, gave media from around the world a preview of their upcoming shows and returning series.

Luke Cage, a story about a former convict with superhuman strength who fights crime in Harlem New York, is one of the returning shows.

“I think that the success of shows like this bring their passion to play and will hopefully open doors. The fact that you have to so readily cite the things that you have to go through, it just reminds me of the fact that there is still a lot of work to do but at the same time you have to push forward always,” said Coker.

On authentic representation, Coker spoke about how he has learnt true life lessons from his own family.

REAL DEAL: Cheo Hodari Coker says the lived experiences of black people are embraced on Luke Cage. Picture: Netflix


“My grandfather was one of the first African American fighter pilots- every mistake and every triumph would impact and send out a message to us back home, regardless of that he always said: you can’t forget to fly the plane.”

Coker said having the opportunity to have a character like Luke Cage and knowing that the show deals with so many social issues made him realise just how much impact the show can have.

“You don’t lose sight of the fact it is a TV show and the drama has to be there. I definitely think about the responsibility of a character like Luke and what happens to him but at the same time we are trying to make a show that resonates on entertainment levels.”

He calls the show inclusively black.

“What I mean by that is we don’t water down culture at all, it’s done in such a way that even if you’re not from Hip Hop culture or African American culture; there’s a window into the show and the thing I love about the worldwide reception is that a lot of people that aren’t from the African American experience resonate with the show so it proves people around the world just want a good show.”

Netflix is firmly placed as the world’s leading internet entertainment service. At the event on Wednesday, 10 new European projects were unveiled, seven of which are original series. Netflix also announced the return of hit shows Glow; the young adult phenomenon 13 Reasons Why; the record breaking Stranger Things season three and the all encompassing Black Mirror season five among a host of other shows.

@mane_mpi