Filmmaker Kasi Lemmons remembers a hairdresser ‘mansplaining directing’ to her while on the set of her first directing gig

Kasi Lemmons began her career as an actress and writer. In Yahoo Entertainment’s new series, “Game Changers,” Lemmons reveals one of the first people to hire her was Bill Cosby in the late ‘80s. “Bill Cosby hired me as a writer and I wrote a screenplay with two women playwrights,” Lemmons tells Yahoo Entertainment.

In 1997 she wrote the screenplay for “Eve’s Bayou.” “The story was very personal to me and I decided I should direct it,” Lemmons says. It was during this film, her directorial debut, that she recalls: “I can remember when I did Eve’s Bayou the hairdresser saying, ‘Never let them see you cry,’ mansplaining directing and how to be tough.”

In 2019 she directed the movie “Harriet” starring Academy Award nominated actress Cynthia Erivo. Lemmons says on-screen representation has gotten a lot better but it’s behind the camera where there’s still so much more work to be done. “So many of the gatekeepers are not looking for us women,” she says. “People think director they think white man, and I think that takes a long time to change.”