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'P-Valley' Creator Speaks On The Importance Of Uncle Clifford 'Being Loved On,'Embraced By Community

J. Alphonse Nicholson (left) and Nicco Annan (right) in a scene from "P-Valley." (Image: @nalodarling Instagram)

Season 1 of the hit Starz series P-Valley may have come to an end, but that hasn't stopped fans from binge-watching the series again from the beginning or analyzing what writer Kellee Terrell calls the "surprise queer romance of 2020"—the passionate relationship between characters Uncle Clifford, the nonbinary owner of The Pynk, and closeted rapper Lil Murda.

Terrell recently interviewed P-Valley creator and showrunner Katori Hall for Elle Magazine where she discussed the importance of seeing characters like Uncle Clifford and Lil Murda entangled on screen. Hall also speaks on the intentionality behind showing how elders in the Black community can and have often been accepting of their queer relatives, which turns the narrative that the Black community is largely homophobic on its head.

"P-Valley" creator and show runner Katori Hall. (Image: Diane Zhao for Elle Magazine)

Next to Niecy Nash and her new wife Jessica Betts, Uncle Clifford and Lil Murda (J. Alphonse Nicholson) are the best surprise Black queer couple of 2020. Why was this storyline so important to you this season?

We just needed to show folks like Clifford being loved on like that. Lil Murda can't control himself around the two spirits that is Uncle Clifford and is turned on by more than how beautiful and fearless Uncle Clifford is—it's truly a soul match happening in real-time. Lil Murda would take a bullet for her. He would take off his mink and put it over a puddle for this non-binary beauty. It's beautiful.

Not to mention Uncle Clifford's grandmother Ernestine (played by Loretta Devine). Despite us knowing that Black parents and grandparents have and can love their LGBTQ family members, sadly, we don't get to see that very often onscreen.

I know Ernestine is real because I've seen it. I've witnessed Black mothers and grandmothers be accepting. Yes, we hear that Black folks are just so homophobic, and there is some truth to that, but it's not the whole truth. It's complicated. And with Ernestine, you have this older Black woman who always had two fucks to give and has been radical in her love for her grandchild, and that's important to put out in the world. These stories are putting out empathy and there is power in that relationship, that kinship.

Loretta Devine as Miss Ernestine and Annan as Uncle Clifford. (Image: Kyle Kaplan STARZ)

Hall also spills the tea (well, as much as she can divulge this early) on season 2.

Can you tell us anything about season 2?

We have not started, but I've started it in my mind. There are a lot of things to work out with scheduling and who can return to the writers' room and it's very complicated, but I have kept a log of all the stories I've wanted to tell and a lot of threads to pull, especially after the season finale. This is an interesting moment, what's happening in our world with the virus and the uprisings, and I am definitely thinking of how we can participate in those conversations through this art. But just know, it’s not coming any time soon. [Laughs]

Watch the intense moment between Uncle Clifford and Lil Murda in the clip below from the season one finale that had fans shook.

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