Only 35% of writers’ rooms for the 2016-2017 television season had a black writer on staff, finds a new report by Color of Change released today. And within that 35% of rooms, less than 5% of writers were black. That means that 65% of writers’ rooms examined for the report, entitled “Race in the Writer’s Room,” featured no black writers at all. “The outrageous level of exclusion in writers’ rooms has real-life consequences for black people, people of color and women,” said Rashad Robinson, executive director of Color of Change, in a statement.

--Variety, November 1, 2017


LOS ANGELES (December 18, 2017) – As it concludes its critically acclaimed first season next month on SYFY in the US, the TV series SUPERSTITION will roll out internationally in 189 countries in Spring 2018, marking a milestone in multicultural TV for a global audience.

“From the start, SUPERSTITION was created to bring a diversity of voices, backgrounds and fresh ideas to the horror/thriller genre to engage a large worldwide audience. We created SUPERSTITION to be the most diverse genre TV series ever created for the global market.  This is reflected by its uniquely inclusive writer’s room. Netflix and SYFY deserve credit for embracing the show from inception, and their support and vision were invaluable in getting it made,” said XLrator Media CEO Barry Gordon.

SUPERSTITION revolves around the African-American Hastings family, owners of the only funeral home and graveyard in the fictional Southern town of La Rochelle. The Hastings provide funeral, burial and cremation services for all faiths, as well as “afterlife care” for the unexplained deaths of people at the hands of demonic forces that have invaded La Rochelle.

As the Hastings family patriarch and series co-creator, producer and director, industry veteran Mario Van Peebles has a unique perspective given his half-century in the entertainment industry on both sides of the camera.

“The show was created for and has been embraced by men and women of all ages and colors, but the outpouring of support has been especially strong among African-American women, who have rarely seen themselves depicted on screen in the genre/fantasy world. We saw recently in the Alabama senatorial race how important, powerful and under-estimated this constituency has been,” said Mario Van Peebles. 

SUPERSTITION showrunner and co-creator Joel Anderson Thompson, who cut his teeth writing episodes of “Battlestar Galactica,” “House M.D.” and other popular shows, was determined to build one of the most diverse and eclectic writer’s rooms in all of Hollywood, bringing in women and men of all races, religions, backgrounds and sexual orientation. “We had a dynamic mix of personalities and life experience that we were able to draw upon to create a rich tapestry of stories that would appeal to audiences around the world,” said Joel Anderson Thompson.

The show has built a dedicated and growing fan base and has an engaged cast that has made #SuperstitionSYFY a top-trending Twitter topic during the airing of each episode. 

Produced by XLrator Media, MVPTV and Epiphany Pictures in association with SYFY and Netflix, the 12-episode series was created by Mario Van Peebles (“Roots,” “Bloodline,” “Hand of God,” “Empire,” “Lost”) and Joel Anderson Thompson (“Battlestar Galactica,” “Boomtown,” “House M.D.”), executive produced by Laurence Andries (“Alias,” “Six Feet Under), and produced by Barry Gordon, Mario Van Peebles, and Mitchell Galin.  It stars Mario Van Peebles, Robinne Lee, Brad James, Demetria McKinney, Morgana Van Peebles, Tatiana Zappardino, T.C. Carter, Jasmine Guy, Bruce Bruce, Diamond Dallas Page and W. Earl Brown.

SUPERSTITION airs on SYFY Thursdays at 11pm/10pm Central. The season finale will air Thursday, January 18th.



One of the fastest-growing independent film distribution companies in North America since its creation in 2010, XLrator Media, LLC ( will release 25 films in 2017. Recent releases include Academy Award®-winner John Ridley’s Jimi: All is by My Side starring Andre Benjamin as rock legend Jimi Hendrix, CBGB starring Alan Rickman, and SXSW hits Housebound and The Diabolical. XLrator Media is the home of four acclaimed releasing labels: MACABRE for horror/genre (American Mary, Banshee Chapter), TURBO for action/thrillers (The Machine, Ironclad: Battle For Blood,), LIFEFRAME for documentaries (Storm Surfers 3D, Queen Mimi, It’s So Easy and Other Lies) and PACE for multicultural films (Five Star, Allegiance, We The Party).  



From Melvin Van Peebles directing and acting in the groundbreaking film Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song to his son Mario directing and acting in the blockbuster hit New Jack City      20 years later, the Van Peebles family has survived and thrived in a family-run business over generations much like a cinematic version of the Hastings.

From his first break acting alongside Clint Eastwood in Heartbreak Ridge to his portrayal of Malcolm X alongside Will Smith in Michael Mann’s Ali, Mario Van Peebles has charted a unique multi-hyphenate career as an actor, writer, director and producer. His film Baadasssss! about the making of his father’s Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song was one of Ebert and Roeper’s ten best films of 2004. He directed the multicultural western Posse and directed and produced Panther (written and produced by his father) about the Black Panther Party’s rise to power, which won the Locarno Film Festival’s Silver Leopard Award.

Mario Van Peebles brings decades of film experience to television, where he has directed dozens of shows such as “Roots,” “Bloodline,” “Hand of God,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Empire,” “Lost,” “Boss,” “Being Mary Jane,” and others. SUPERSTITION is Van Peebles’ first foray into genre television as a co-creator/producer and marks the launch of his MVPTV production company.