She’s widely recognized as the first Black woman promoted to head writer of a late-night talk show. She’s acted, done comedy, both professionally and personally, and even hosted her own late-night show. But multifaceted entertainer Robin Thede says her current project, HBO‘s A Black Lady Sketch Show, is “100 percent” the thing she’s most proud of.

Ahead of season three’s premiere Friday, Thede told ABC Audio that the purpose of the Emmy-winning sketch comedy series is to serve as a safe space for Black women, like co-stars Gabrielle DennisAshley Nicole Black and Skye Townsend, to “play” and be unapologetically themselves.

Creating it as such, of course meant employing Black women only, to help bring the project to life.

“People are always like the cast is predominantly Black women, the writers are predominantly [Black women]. I’m like no, it’s all Black women, all the time,” Thede said, setting the record straight.

One of the many ways her mission to elevate the Black voice was always evident was through the guest stars Thede invited on set. With appearances from actors and entertainers such as Michael EalyAva DuVernay and Kel Mitchell, Thede admittedly aimed to up the ante with this season’s line up.

“[I want this to be a safe place] for all of these amazing guest stars to come in and be able to play and know that they’re going to be taken care of every year,” she said, adding that Janet JacksonBeyoncé and Blue Ivy all have an open invitation to play when they’re ready.

Thede says her main goal for A Black Lady Sketch Show’s six-episode new season was simply to top what she’s done in seasons past. “I know that we’ve done that this season. I’m so excited,” she said.

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