Jean Elie; Haitian American; Mental Health
THERE’S A SAYING that I’ve heard a handful of times while processing death: “What is grief, if not love persevering?” Sometimes in the midst of mourning, it makes sense; other times, it doesn’t. But the clarity that comes from talking with “Insecure” alum Jean Elie on a sunny New York City day helps bring the wisdom of the quote full circle.
He’s in his hotel room, battling some pretty bad Wi-Fi and preparing to go see the Times Square billboard promoting his new show, “Send Help.” The series, which streams on AllBlk, is a labor of love between Elie and co-showrunner Mike Gauyo. For Elie, who said the show has been “sitting on my heart for a very long time,” it is both a career milestone and a source of healing.
“Send Help” has been heralded for showing the nuances and authenticities of first-generation Haitian American life, so much so that it helped earn Elie the Haiti International Film Festival’s 2022 Best TV Series Selection honor. But more than anything, the show is an honest love letter to his late brother, Steve Anthony St. Louis.