EXCLUSIVE: Akende Munalula (The Salon), Shacai O’Neal (Black Lightning), Lily Keene (Deadwood: The Movie) and Margot Catherine Terry (9-1-1) have joined Showtime drama pilot Coercion as series regulars. Sydney Park and Tyrone Marshall Brown also star in the wiip-produced drama.
Written and directed by Susannah Grant (Unbelievable, Erin Brockovich), Coercion is inspired by the life of Rebecca Bender, a national leader on and survivor of sex trafficking.
Coercion depicts Bender’s (Chandler) escape from the world of sex trafficking after six years, her struggles to return to a “normal” life, and her emergence as a confident, funny and impassioned advocate for justice.
Munalula will play Dev, a successful, wealthy Las Vegas-based human sex trafficker. O’Neal will play Mia, a sex worker. Keene will play Didi, also a sex worker. Terry will play Lexi, the young daughter of Rebecca (Chandler).
Executive producing Coercion are Grant, Bender, Gail Lyon, and actress Rosanna Arquette, who is a longtime advocate for survivors of sex trafficking. Paul Lee and Hope Hartman of wiip also serve as executive producers.
Manalula has appeared in TV and film projects including The Salon, Deputy, Counterpart, The New 30 and Boo 2: A Madea Halloween, and will next be seen in CSI: Vegas. Munalula is repped by Q4 Entertainment Management, the Ward Agency and APA.
O’Neal’s credits include A Gospel Christmas, Black Lightning, Fruits of the Heart, Gas Light, Bad Boys for Life, Curved and Justice: By Any Means. O’Neal is repped by Gartner Group Entertainment and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman, Smelkinson & Christopher.
Keene played Sofia in Deadwood: The Movie and has appeared in series including This Is Us, Legion, Young Sheldon, and Nashville. She will soon be seen in The Untitled Lakers Project and the feature film 892 starring John Boyega. Keene is repped by Sovereign Talent Group and Hines and Hunt Entertainment.
Coercion is Terry’s first series regular role. She previously recurred as Nia on 9-1-1. Terry is repped by Paloma Model and Talent.