1. Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington has been in the game for quite some time, but her portrayal as Olivia Pope on Shonda Rhimes’ “Scandal” is one of the most dynamic characters on television in 2015.
2. Shonda Rhimes
Talk about a super producer! As if we needed another reason to stay glued to our televisions, super-producer Shonda Rhimes is set to develop a medical drama that we’ll probably add to our list of must-watch Shondaland shows. The drama — based around a team of military doctors in Baghdad — will join a growing empire of Rhimes’ shows, which already includes Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder, and Scandal.
3. Viola Davis
Viola Davis made history in September as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for outstanding actress in a drama series, bringing a sisterhood of Black actresses to their feet at the announcement of her accomplishment. In a powerful speech, Davis called for more representation of Black women in TV, media and film.
4. Gabrielle Union
After years of playing many roles, Union finally gets to explore all the facets that make her a powerful Black woman on BET’s Being Mary Jane. She shows all types of viewers week after week that a successful Black woman isn’t too off from her counterparts, and she still deserves the same amount of respect.
5. Tracee Ellis Ross
Widely known for her role as Joan in “Girlfriends,” Ross is taking the world by storm in the hit ABC show “Blackish” which explores what it means to be a person of color in America today. Did we mention she brings us all the laughs on Wednesday nights?
6. Mara Brock Akil
Akil, producer, TV writer and overall advocate for Black women, has historically made a space for Black women in television over the years. This year, with the success of “Being Mary Jane,” Akil is proving that she’s dedicated to making Black women on TV the norm.
7. Taraji P. Henson
Who could forget Cookie? For years Henson has played dymanic roles, but in 2015, she nearly breaks the internet every Wednesday night in the hit show “Empire.” She was also Viola Davis’ number one supporter when she made history at the Emmy’s.