Issa Rae Talks About Her Frustration With Recent Black TV Cancellations, Ponders On Going Indie Down The Line If Needed
Issa Rae is considering taking a new route in the film industry as she becomes increasingly frustrated with Hollywood for repeatedly canceling Black shows. Speaking with Net-a-Porter, the award-winning writer, producer and actress said Hollywood’s disrespect for Black shows is causing her to consider taking the independent route.
“You’re seeing so many Black shows get canceled, you’re seeing so many executives — especially on the DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] side — get canned. You’re seeing very clearly now that our stories are less of a priority,” Rae told Net-a-Porter. “It’s made me take more steps to try to be independent down the line if I have to.”
In 2021, Rae signed a five-year deal with WarnerMedia as part of a partnership she formed with HBO nearly a decade ago. However, the multi-talented star faced disappointment earlier this month when Max canceled her Rap Sh!t comedy show, which ran for two seasons. Rae’s Emmy-nominated production, A Black Lady Sketch Show, was also canceled last summer.
Rae has been excelling in Hollywood as a writer, producer and actress. In 2023, she appeared in American Fiction, Barbie and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. All three films were nominated for an Oscar, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Rae, who is still best known for her Emmy-nominated comedy Insecure, said she currently has several projects in the works.
“I’m writing a couple of different projects — one for myself and one to produce and create with others — and I’ve been feeling so inspired and excited to get back at it,” Rae said. “The industry is in flux, so it’s really inspired me to focus and hone in on what stories I want to tell. I’ve been laser-focused on getting these projects up and running.”
For Rae, the main objective in her work is to show that Black women have their own unique stories and they don’t have to be forced into stereotypes.
“When Insecure came out, I was very clear. I was like: ‘This is not a story about all Black women. This is a very specific story,’” she said.
Speaking about the future of Hollywood, Rae said it doesn’t look like the industry will be accurately representing Black stories.
“I am pessimistic, because there’s no one holding anybody accountable – and I can, sure, but also at what cost? I can’t force you to make my stuff,” she said.