At only 35, Issa Rae is already an extremely accomplished producer and actress, but her success didn’t come easy.
Recalling her first Hollywood pitch ever, the creator of Insecure said an "unofficial" encounter with an entertainment executive provided her motivation to keep "doing what I was doing."
"My first Hollywood pitch was kind of unofficial," Rae shared, according to PEOPLE. "Basically, I had this web series. It was the third web series I had ever made. The executive was like, 'Yes, I saw your show. Funny stuff… Funny stuff.' And I was like, 'Um, thank you.'
"He was like, 'Yeah, it’s about this Black woman and her Black-woman problems. Hilarious,'" the Emmy nominee continued. "And I was like, 'That’s not what it’s about. But okay.’ He was like, 'Yeah, but you know, the Black audience, they want to see familiar faces. So, you might need to switch up the characters.' And, mind you, he’s this executive that’s not Black telling me what Black people like.”
“And it just became very clear to me that he didn’t get the show,” Issa said in concluding her story. “And I remember just fuming in that meeting like, 'Why does he get to tell me what gets to be on TV? Why does he get to tell me what people like me like to see? I’m here! I’m telling you what I want to see. I made it.'"
Insecure, Issa Rae’s most acclaimed and talked about series to date, was nominated for an outstanding comedy series at the 72nd Daytime Emmy Awards, which took place on Sunday evening (September 20). Rae also received a nod for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. Her co-star Yvonne Orji, who plays Molly Carter in the HBO series, also earned a nomination for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series.
Rae’s comments were made during a segment highlighting Black excellence, which became a tribute to all the Black actors receiving Emmy Award nominations. A record number of Black actors receive nods for the 2020 Emmys, and this year also boasted a record number of Black winners.
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