While growing up in South Dakota, Lucas Brown Eyes, Oglala Lakota, would offhandedly talk about wanting to become a writer for television.
“I always had these big dreams of going out there and making TV,” Brown Eyes said. “To be honest, I was just a kid talking, but my family was so supportive that when I was 14 we actually did it. We moved to Southern California so that I could attend an arts school and pursue my dreams.”
Lucas Brown Eyes with his mother, Dawn Brown Eyes, after he graduated from the University of Southern California with a film degree.
Now, Brown Eyes is writing a pilot script for the Fox television network. The show he created and sold to the network is called “Reservations” and is a comedy about a Native American family that, much like Brown Eyes’ own, moves from a South Dakota reservation to Los Angeles.
The network was excited about the concept and bought the script in the room, according to Brown Eyes. The show follows all the twists and turns a Native American family goes through as they experience culture shock, hardship and so much more. “Because there is never really a straight line when you come from the bottom,” said Brown Eyes.
He created this show because he wanted to see more representation of Native Americans on TV. “Our voice is not a new voice but has been ignored,” he said. Growing up, Brown Eyes loved TV, “but it felt like TV didn’t love me back,” he said. “Representation matters so much because if you’re able to see yourself on TV, someone like you doing it, then you believe you can do it too.”