Issa Rae reflects on the rapidly changing television landscape, particularly with regard to the representation of people of color in the industry.
Rae gained widespread acclaim for her roles in creating, writing, and starring in HBO’s Insecure, a show that spanned five seasons on the premium cable network.
However, she has observed a shift in the media landscape, noting a concerning trend where not only shows she has produced, such as Rap Sh!t, Sweet Life: Los Angeles, and A Black Lady Sketch Show, are facing cancellations, but there is also a backward trajectory in terms of diversity.
In an interview with Net-A-Porter, Rae expressed her concern, stating, “It’s already happening. You’re seeing so many Black shows getting canceled, so many executives, especially on the DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion] side, getting let go. It’s very clear now that our stories are becoming less of a priority.”
Rae believes that pursuing a more independent path is crucial, saying, “I am pessimistic because there’s no one holding anybody accountable, and I can, sure, but at what cost? I can’t force you to produce my content. This has prompted me to take more steps towards independence for the future if necessary.”
Looking ahead, Rae envisions a shift towards a more service-oriented role for herself. She remarked, “[Hollywood] is fun, but at some point, it’ll feel like not enough, and I want to be able to do more.” Recognizing the evolving landscape, she sees a need for greater independence and a focus on creating content that aligns with her vision and values.