Issa Rae Wants To Reinvent A Classic ‘90s Primetime Soap With An All-Black Cast

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 07:  Actor Issa Rae attends the 2017 MTV Movie And TV Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on May 7, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Issa Rae Wants To Reinvent A Classic ‘90s Primetime Soap With An All-Black Cast

“The gossip girl is black, b***h.”

Published August 30, 2017

Issa Rae must’ve heard the calls for an all-Black television cast after recreating Friends as part of Jay-Z’s “Moonlight" video. The Insecure creator and star pitched an all-Black teen primetime soap as part of a campaign with the New Yorker.

“I would like to pitch you a new show about black teenagers. Think 90210 or Gossip Girl for Black kids. Maybe we call it Ladera Heights, 90041. It could be Potomac, Maryland 20854. That’s the real s--t,” she began.

Going deeper into the plot, Issa continued, “My main character would be Lil’ Richie. You know, he’s a young, Black rich teen. He’s tired of accepting the excess.” Showing off the rap skills that keeps fans of Insecure cracking up, Issa added, “I’m Lil’ Richie, I’m so tired of being rich, there’s more to me than this.’ Bars! I just created a song. That’s the theme song.”

Issa Rae wasn’t the only rising television writer tapped to detail their fantasy pitch. Hood Adjacent and Real Husbands of Hollywood star James Davis pitched an O.J. Simpson post-prison doc while Rachel Bloom pitched a series about her boobs and Abby Jacobs and Illana Glazer dished on a series about dogs.

While her pitch was extremely well-received online, Issa did bring up an unfortunate memory surrounding Black teens and their lack of inclusion on the small screen. “I don’t think since, I would say, like, Moesha, have we followed the lives of Black teens.” If Issa’s assumption is correct, that means there hasn’t been a series catering to young, Black teens since May 2001. Yikes!

Whatever the case, Issa Rae’s All-Black 90210 is something many viewers, us included, would be thrilled to see.

See Rae talk about knowing her self with at this year's Black Girls Rock!.

Written by Jasmine Washington

(Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)


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