Famous-ish: Mississippi teen lands role on ABC show

Published 3:52 pm Sunday, March 7, 2021

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MCCOMB (AP) — A McComb native is living her dream at just 14 years old when she was able to watch herself on national television last month as a new cast member on ABC’s Black-ish.

“Seeing myself on TV was absolutely amazing. It is good feeling to know all of your hard work is paying off,” Mallian Butler, who played the role of Ashley, new girlfriend to one of the main characters. “To finally get a recurring role on a show like this is wonderful.”

“Black-ish” is a ABC sitcom created by Kenya Barris that has been running since 2014.

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Butler said the moment she saw the first episode of the show she knew she wanted to be a part of it, noting that she loves playing positive on shows with positive themes and socially relevant topics. She said her “brand” is “young person empowerment.”

“‘Black-ish’ is just one of those shows that draws your attention and it was one of those shows I wanted to be on,” Butler said.

Butler said she was asked to have a recurring role on the show, and she will also be in the next episode.

Mallian’s mother Mahalia Butler said she and her husband could not be more happy and proud of her daughter’s success.

“We didn’t pay too much attention to her saying she wanted to be on TV at the time, but fast forward to her being 9 years old, and there she is on a television show, and I was just so proud,” Mahalia Butler said, noting that Mallian dedicated her performance to her late grandmother, who died recently.

Mahalia Butler, who is a writer and filmmaker, wrote a pilot and helps with Mallian’s episodic podcast “Legitimately Mallie.”

Mahalia said she is all in for her daughter’s blossoming career, noting that Mallian had a spark for acting when she was as young as 2. She started working in theater at 9 in Dallas where her family lives and splits their time in Los Angeles.

The theater company’s leader was who helped Mallian get her first part on television as a cult follower in the show “Murder Made Me Famous.”

Mahalia Butler said her daughter is not only a rising star but also a star student who is at the top of her class, adding that her daughter embodies the idea of having a dream and going for it.

“I have been working, working,” Mallian said.