Issa Rae is unapologetically Black, and proud. The actress and multi-faceted creative’s works have all been centered around a range of diversity within our people and women. With the final season of Insecure among us, Issa Rae is revealing that at one point she felt pressured to insert white characters in her shows. In 2011, Issa Rae started to gain notoriety when her YouTube series The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl gained acclaim. Word of mouth helped the series to initially go viral. With the help of donations from fans, Issa Rae was able to produce the first season.
Issa Rae continued to climb Hollywood’s ladder. She partnered with comedian and writer Larry Wilmore in 2013 and began to create another series that was based in part on Awkward Black Girl. HBO picked the show up and began to develop it and in 2015 gave it the greenlight. Soon, Insecure would be on television screens wherever HBO is available. Since being on-air, the show has received widespread critical acclaim. The fifth and final season airs on October 24th.
Issa Rae’s acting chops lent her roles in the films The Hate U Give and Little. She would start to receive recognition as an executive producer for the 2020 films The Photograph and The Lovebirds, while also starring in both. Continuing in Black excellence, Issa Rae executive produced the Robin Thede created critically acclaimed A Black Lady Sketch Show. The show has consistently maintained a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and has been renewed for a third season. It has also collected numerous Emmy nominations and was the recipient of many Black Reel Awards.
On the way for Issa Rae is a newly developed television show to be released on HBO Max. The show Rap Sh*t was given an eight-episode run and is co-executive produced by the City Girls. According to Harpers Bazaar, the show is centered around ” two estranged high school friends from Miami who come back together to form a rap group.”
Had enough? Hollywood hasn’t. Issa Rae was recently announced in what could be her biggest role to date. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news in June that Issa Rae would be joining the cast of the upcoming sequel to Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse as “Jessica Drew” aka “Spider-Woman.” The film is slated to hit theaters in October of 2022.
Recently, Issa Rae revealed that she fell into the notion that shows and films won’t work in Hollywood unless a white character is present. The actress recalls a conversation with a colleague who claimed Awkward Black Girl would blow up if she included a white person. “She was just like, ‘Girl, if you want this to set off to the next level, you got to put a white character in there, then white people will care about it,” Issa Rae shared during an interview with Mic . This is the very reason both Awkward Black Girl and Insecure included a white cast member as she was led to believe that white audiences would care more.
During the interview Issa Rae also revealed while writing the second season of Insecure, her team suggested that the white character should have more of a presence. It was then that the actress and producer decided to “actively resist” and focus more on Black representation. “When Issa quit work and we got rid of the ‘We Got Y’all’ storyline, I realized, ‘Oh my gosh, our show is just about Black characters now in the most refreshing way.,’” said Issa Rae.