Issa Rae Says She Was Advised To Include A White Character In Her Shows

In an interview with Mic magazine, the 36-year-old actress and producer recalls a conversation she had with a former colleague while working on her 2011 web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.” White characters would make her shows more recognizable.

“From the jump at the making of the show, I thought you had to have a white character to be a bridge, and people had to care, to get awards, to be considered worthy of the television canon,” she told the magazine.

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According to Rae, the colleague said: “Girl, if you want this sh*t to go to the next level, put a white character in it, then white people will care, then NPR is going to write about your shit, and it will explode.”

She took the same approach when she embarked on a television career in 2016 with her critically acclaimed HBO comedy series “Insecure.” HBO, like CNN, is owned by WarnerMedia.

Early seasons of the Black woman-centered show featured the character Freida, a white associate of Rae’s character, Issa Dee.

Rae told Mic that she then “started to actively resist” the temptation to take on another White character, so when her character quit her job on the show, she decided she no longer wanted Freida to have a recurring role. to have.

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“And I was like, F**k no! This isn’t a show about Freida!” Ree remembers. “I realized, ‘Oh my god, our show is now about black characters in the most refreshing way.'”

“I hope we don’t have to think about an audience that isn’t us — and be okay with that — being passed on. I want people to know we’re enough.”

The show has since earned 11 Emmy nominations, one Emmy win, and three NAACP picture awards.

In March of this year, Rae signed a new five-year contract with WarnerMedia to develop a number of TV shows and movies.

“I’m excited to not only spread my creative wings with the network that makes all of my favorite series,” Rae said in a statement at the time.

The fifth and final season of “Insecure” will premiere on Sunday, October 24.

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