Mara Brock Akil may be ranked one of Hollywood’s most powerful TV showrunners, but her successful trajectory has just begun.

The Los Angeles native has worked in TV for 20-plus years, writing for such notable shows as “Moesha” and “The Jamie Foxx Show” and creating “Girlfriends,” “The Game,” and, most recently, BET’s hit show “Being Mary Jane.” She and her husband, Salim Akil, joined forces to launch their production company, Akil Productions, in 2000.

Despite her successful track record creating one of BET’s highest rated showssome critics have questioned if the network’s lack of resources has contributed to Akil’s name not being mentioned in the same sentence as say, Lee Daniels or Shonda Rhimes, both of whom have attained success on FOX and ABC, respectively.

Not that Akil seems to mind. “There was a time in my career when I thought being celebrated was important, but now I’m really more interested in being able to do the work,” she said during an interview with The Huffington Post. “And the interesting thing is, I can’t be this successful and nobody know who I am. I think the audience that I’ve had a conversation with over my 20-year writing career are primarily black women, and I think that statement is more about society than it is about me. And that is, there’s no value in the audience that I value. But now, the tide is turning; things are changing.” 

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