Queen Latifah Previews New Film About Young Black Woman Who Feels ‘More Human’ As A Police Officer

The project is part of her Queen Collective Film showcase which airs on BET on June 13.

Queen Latifah, in partnership with Procter & Gamble and Tribeca Studios, is aiming to promote gender and racial equality among filmmakers through the Queen Collective, a short film development program which is in its second year.

The rapper-turned-actress became the first woman to receive a Grammy for Best Rap Solo Performance for her song “U.N.I.T.Y.” 25 years ago. The track addresses the disrespect of women in Hip Hop and in society in general. In speaking with Yahoo Entertainment, Latifah says the Queen Collective is an extension of that message personified in her Grammy-winning song, the lyrics of which she says “still apply today.”

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“We still have to find respect for one another. We’re still watching people get killed in the streets, murdered, and at the hands of police officers whose hearts just are hardened. It’s heartbreaking,” said Latifah. “And we still have domestic violence. The things that I talk about on that record … nothing has changed. As far as my mindset, it’s just sad that we still have to talk about the same things 25 years later.”

Furthermore, Latifah says while some progress has been made, she is dedicating her celebrity reach and platform to make a way for even more, particularly when it comes to delivering an authentic narrative particular to the Black experience. 

“We want to give people opportunities to create careers and be able to tell a unique story. We want to make this playing field a little more even,” Latifah told Yahoo. “I think diversity is a challenge, because we need to be in the room and we need to have our voices heard. And if our story is not told through our lens, then are you really getting the true story? It’s not just about, ‘Hey, let's take some money and give it to someone who has a story to tell.’”

Titled Gloves Off, Queen Latifah says the film is based on a real-life story about Tiara Brown, a young Black woman from Washington D.C. who feels “more human” as a cop than she did prior to joining the force. Brown, who serves her community within the confines of a system that often brutalizes African Americans, is also a boxer who is depicted on her journey to becoming a Super Featherweight world champion.

“What are the chances of having a young, Black woman who’s a police officer, who wants to be a boxer, who feels more human when she is a police officer?” Latifah told PEOPLE. “She feels like being a police officer – she can’t live without it because it makes her feel human, because it allows her to affect change in her community. It couldn’t be more timely.”

Gloves Off is one of four Queen Collective short films that will air on BET Her on June 13 at 9 p.m. EST. Watch the trailer for it below.

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