Dee Rees is out here making movies that stick to your ribs. From Pariah to Bessie to her latest, Mudbound, which was released on Netflix Friday. It’s because of these amazing films that Rees was recognized on The Root 100 as an honoree, holding down the 42nd spot.

Full Disclosure: Netflix flew The Root to Los Angeles to interview the cast and director and all I could think was, “Mary!”

When The Root sat with Rees in Los Angeles for the Mudbound junket, she was shocked about being honored and said, “Oh my God! I didn’t even know that. Thank you so much! It’s truly an honor.” And when asked about how it felt, she explained that it was not enough to be celebrated for being a black woman: Black women must be excellent.

Speaking of excellence, The Root 100 airs this weekend, so make sure you check it out so you can see all of the black excellence 2017 brought to us.


The Root 100 prime-time special airs on Fusion TV on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 9 p.m.