'Queen Sugar' Was Filmed on a Former Louisiana Slave Plantation
When you tune into a show long enough, the characters start to feel like family, and this is especially true for Ava Duvernay’s network television series, Queen Sugar. Over the last five seasons, we’ve become familiar with the Bordelon family and their long list of financial and familial woes, but there are some details about our cousins in our head that are still unclear — for instance, their whereabouts.
Although it’s clear that Queen Sugar is set in the South, where exactly is the series filmed?
Where is ‘Queen Sugar’ filmed?
Most episodes of Queen Sugar have been shot in Louisiana, specifically parts of Vacherie and New Orleans. While the Bordelon’s home of St. Josephine Parish may be fictional, the series was shot in very real southern cities with troubling histories.
The 800-acre sugar cane farm that is the central filming location for the series is set on the St. Joseph Plantation in Vacherie, La., which was originally built by slaves around the year 1830 and was later owned by a man who was once called “the wealthiest man in Louisiana.” This was a detail that didn’t go unnoticed on social media. One person tweeted, “Filming at St. Joseph plantation speaks volumes about history and exclusionary opportunities.”
Other filming locations for Queen Sugar include St. Joseph’s sister plantation, Felicity, St. John the Baptist Parish, Jefferson Parish, as well as both the Smoothie King Center and the French Quarter in New Orleans.
Since the onset of COVID-19, showrunners have had to implement precautionary measures to keep crew members safe, and series creator Ava Duvernay is no exception.
Ava Duvernay rented out a 36-room hotel to film Season 5 of ‘Queen Sugar’ safely.
Ahead of filming Season 5 of Queen Sugar, critically-acclaimed director Ava Duvernay made it clear that protocols would be in place on set or the show wouldn’t happen at all. It wasn’t until Ava was searching for solutions that she discovered a 36-room hotel that fit the crew members' needs perfectly.
Ava explained, "This hotel was just about to open in New Orleans, this boutique hotel with two floors, and then this all happened and it never opened. They were going to have to give up the hotel. So we came in and we bought it out for the rest of the year."
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ava said that she and co-writers were forced to rewrite the season entirely, and they did so to reflect the tragic events that took place in 2020.
Ava told TV Line, “There is a moment [in Season 5] when they wake up and find out about George Floyd’s murder. There is a moment when there are protests over Breonna Taylor. There’s an episode where Trump is saying something upsetting, and another where people are losing their jobs and someone gets sick, and it’s just happening the way it happened. Our goal was to create a time capsule of Black American life in 2020, and I think we did it.”
New episodes of Queen Sugar air every Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on OWN.