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Vinessa Antoine Becomes First Black Woman to Helm a Primetime TV Drama in Canada

Vinessa Antoine Becomes First Black Woman to Helm a Primetime TV Drama in Canada

 Photo: TV Source Magazine 

Vinessa Antoine is the first Black Canadian woman to play a lead role in a primetime television drama in Canada. 

Prior to accepting the role in her home country of Canada, Antoine spent four years in the US playing Jordan Ashford on the long-standing soap opera, General Hospital. However, when the opportunity arose to helm the Canadian drama, Diggstown, Antoine saw an opportunity to help make representation matter.

Last year, during her departure announcement from General Hospital, Antoine tweeted, “It’s time to make room for more women of color in prominent roles on television.”

Mirroring the path that women in the United States like Teresa Graves, Diahann Carroll and Kerry Washington traveled, she has blazed a similar trail that will allow girls and women like her to see themselves during one of the most coveted time slots in television.

The daughter of Trinidad born parents, Antoine recently shared her struggles with identity development growing up in Canada where representation in media was limited and Black history wasn’t taught in schools.

"Growing up in Toronto, seeing faces on television like your own was virtually non-existent," Antoine shared with eBoss Canada. "But if a young person turns on the television in the future and thinks that they are being represented, that there is a possibility out there for me, then hopefully things will change." 

Congratulations Vinessa! We look forward to cheering you on as you impact the way young girls dream and see themselves in Canada and beyond!