August 11, 2022

By Zon D’Amour

Contributing Writer


Prime Video hit a homerun with their new series, “A League of Their Own”. Inspired by the 1992 film directed by Penny Marshall, the series takes a more in-depth look at the lives of women who played professional baseball in the 1940s in the midst of World War II.

Though the worlds of Carson (Abbi Jacobson) and Max (Chanté Adams) seem vastly different, the two share a myriad of similarities including their relentless pursuit to become professional baseball players amidst their family’s disapproval. Then it’s their self-acceptance as closeted queer women who are forced to present themselves as feminine as possible. Coupled with the sexism they face in the workplace all the while being trailblazing women. “A League of Their Own” is relevant in showing that a “coming of age” story isn’t just for teens.

There are many adults who have spent their lives being the most palatable versions of themselves in order to maintain the status quo until a pivotal moment challenges their very existence.

Series co-creator, executive producer and star Abbi Jacobson as well as her co-star, Chanté Adams speak with the L.A. Watts Times about the importance of creating an authentic, yet endearing narrative as well as what motivates them to persevere through their most difficult times. 

L.A. Watts Times: I had some hesitancy prior to watching the show because it’s based in the 1940s. However, it's beautifully written and phenomenally acted. Can you share the importance of watching the series without any preconceived notions?

Chanté Adams: I know exactly what you mean, and I had the same reservations going into the project as a Black woman with this being set in the 1940s. I didn’t want to be a part of something that’s just about our trauma because that's the first thing we often think of when considering projects in this era, [we assume] if you’re Black it’s about racism and oppression.

What's so special about our project is that Max’s life is uplifted and supported by the joy and love she has in her life.

We wanted to display that at the forefront while remaining authentic to the time period of course. She was a Black queer woman in the 40s for sure but also highlighting having a two-parent household with two parents that are in love: Black love, Black friendship. We wanted to make sure that was at the forefront at the end of the day.

Abbi Jacobson: I agree. [As far as] Max’s journey, that was my big fear too, that people would think she would try and join the Peaches [baseball team] and it would be revisionist history. That's not the story we were trying to tell. Max's community and her journey to find her baseball team takes a beat longer and there are more obstacles there because that door is not open for her on the all-American girls' professional baseball league. It was really important for us to show that and unfold that which was really happening and that's what the scene from the film was alluding to. So, Max's journey to find her team has more twists and turns but she's surrounded by so much love and along that journey there's so much joy in her life and that was so important. I hope people will watch and see that and not think that we're trying to rewrite history.

LAWT: When Max’s mother Toni (played by Saidah Arrika Ekulona) said to her, “I’m all for you having a dream, I just want you to pick one that’s possible” that resonated with me as a creative. Have you ever felt like your dreams were unattainable and if so, what kept you going?

CA: For me it's about remembering my purpose and my “why”.

Remembering that there are little girls that look like me that are looking up to me and coming after me and I have to keep pushing for them. When I would get really down in the dumps, I would watch Halle Berry's Oscar speech on YouTube and that would ignite a fire under me and remind me that the fight is worth it, and I have to keep going.

AJ: Early on I felt like I was treading water for so long and it was hard to see other people getting success and getting the thing you want. I was very insecure at the time, and I think that's why I tend to love playing characters with insecurities. During this time a teacher said to me, ‘When are you going to take responsibility for who you are?’ I often think about that because that could be taken positively or negatively but I took it as I have to find a way to believe I can do this and I know that it can be very difficult at times, but I have to put my head down, not look at what anyone else is doing and just focus.

Category: Arts & Culture