E!: What would be your biggest advice for women who think they are underpaid or think they deserve a promotion?
MK: I got a really interesting window when I became an employer when I was hiring writers for my show. And I’ve always noticed, and I thought how interesting it is, the male writers and the male crew that I will have, their representation will always ask if they have a deal, to extend, to discount, to purse. And the women I’ve worked for have never had their representatives – like if it’s not a year where they had a contract or something, they wouldn’t want anything. They are by the book, by the word of the covenant and they have never felt that they should have any additional advantage. And you just noticed it. You have noticed, oh, their representatives are not supporting them. I think wanting a height, being someone ambitious, but working hard and then wanting to show it – it’s not always the people who do it as an employer … being your own lawyer that way – that’s my biggest advice for women.
E!: Have you received any career advice from your famous colleagues who are stuck with you?
MK: Ava [DuVernay] Gave me a lot of advice. I think the thing that takes me the farthest is his work ethic and his work ethic on set. She just wanted the set to be a reflection of what she wanted, as it is incredibly diverse and in sections where you don’t usually see it. And that just became a foundation of his company, Array. Their sole purpose is to diversify the crew and fill women in positions that usually don’t get it.
E!: Have you ever struggled with Impostor Syndrome? And if so, how did you overcome it?
MK: I don’t feel impostor syndrome and the reason I don’t is because I work so hard. I think Impostor Syndrome occurs when people think they are unfit for work. Before I got my own show, I kept it in the office for eight years. I wrote 22 episodes of TV. I was an executive producer at the end of it and I was a staff writer at the beginning. Then I did my show for six years, doing 117 episodes. I think I am a real A-student. I think I’m really ready for my job. Again, this is not all success. Many times I have failed, but I feel my worth, you know, when I move up the ranks, like, ‘Okay, I’ve kept my time. I keep my, whatever, 10,000 hours. I think I deserve to do the next thing. ‘
E!: On social media these days, everyone’s life looks very smooth and shiny and everything looks very simple, but would you say something that people don’t see about your life or your work that is important to your success?
MK: I think I really got acquainted with Eli Woods because I think I like the girls thing. I like hair, makeup, fashion. I like to talk about the Matt Gala and things like that and because I do it, I think people find it hard to believe that I’m doing the hard, obscene thing that I’m doing to write shows, hire production staff, work logically. An employer for creating TV shows that I work on and write in these scripts. And I think you don’t always see that process, either on social media or in life, and so, I think it’s probably, I think, a big misconception about the way I work.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)