Issa Rae On The Changing TV Landscape: “You’re Seeing So Many Black Shows Get Cancelled”

Issa Rae discusses how the television landscape is changing rapidly, especially regarding people of color in the industry.

Rae received wide recognition after creating, writing, and starring in HBO’s Insecure, which ran for five seasons on the premium cable network.

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Since then, the media landscape has devolved, and Rae has noticed a trend where not only shows she’s produced, like Rap Sh!t, Sweet Life: Los Angeles, A Black Lady Sketch Show, and more, have been getting axed, but diversity seems to be heading in the opposite direction.

“It’s already happening,” she said in an interview with Net-A-Porter. “You’re seeing so many Black shows get cancelled, 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 thinks that being more independent is the way to go, adding, “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. It’s made me take more steps to try to be independent down the line if I have to.”

The creator also noted that in the future, she sees herself “transitioning towards service,” adding, “[Hollywood] is fun but at some point, it’ll feel like not enough – and I want to be able to do more.”

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