Amazon Casts ‘Black-ish’s Marsai Martin For Lead Role In American Girl Special

Amazon has tapped actress Marsai Martin (Black-ish) in the lead role of its upcoming American Girl live action special Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win, an American GirlStory, the streaming service said Thursday.

Martin will play a 10-year-old girl whose eyes are opened to the racial inequality surrounding her, including the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing, according to network officials.

Melody, 1963, executive produced by Common (Selma) and Alison McDonald (Roots), also stars Frances Fisher (Titanic), Frankie Faison (The Wire), and Idara Victor (Rizzoli & Isles).

 The Melody special, executively produced by Common’s Freedom Road Productions, is an Amazon adaptation on American Girl’s original created stories written by Denise Lewis Patrick.

Amazon and American Girl have also partnered to feature unique Melody product collections in the American Girl brand store.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.