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Actress Issa Rae Says People Don’t Care About ‘Black’ Stories After Several Of Her Shows Are Canceled

via Bloomberg Live
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Actress and producer Issa Rae expressed frustration over the cancellation of several black-centered projects, highlighting the industry’s lack of priority for such stories.

She mentioned her intention to become more independent in future projects.

Rae discussed the challenges of representing diverse black experiences and emphasized the need for more varied depictions of blackness, critiquing the tendency of white audiences and critics to favor specific narratives.

“You’re seeing so many black shows get canceled, you’re seeing so many executives — especially on the DEI side — get canned. You’re seeing very clearly now that our stories are less of a priority,” Rae said.

“It’s made me take more steps to try to be independent down the line if I have to,” she said.

“When [the HBO series] ‘Insecure’ came out, I was very clear: ‘This is not a story about all black women. This is a very specific story,’” Rae said.

“I’ve been [‘American Fiction’ character] Monk, and I remember in the ‘Awkward Black Girl’ days — and even prior to that — feeling so enraged about what wasn’t being made, and being mad at who was in the spotlight at the time because I was like, ‘I know we’re so much more than what’s being presented here.’ I recognize that hunger, of just wanting your work to be seen and attacking the wrong targets.”

“I agree with [Sintara’s] point that [Monk’s] ire should be directed towards the white audiences that put very specific work about black people on this pedestal, as opposed to more diverse representations of blackness,” she said.

“I don’t think it’s a secret that many white audiences and critics tend to reward traumatizing depictions, or their own biased perceptions of what blackness is,” Rae added.

Despite these setbacks, she expressed enthusiasm for new projects and a renewed focus on storytelling.

“I’m writing a couple of different projects — one for myself and one to produce and create with others — and I’ve been feeling so inspired and excited to get back at it,” she said. “The industry is in flux, so it’s really inspired me to focus and hone in on what stories I want to tell. I’ve been laser-focused on getting these projects up and running.”

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