Insecure creator and actress Issa Rae recently sat down with the Hollywood Reporter, where she opened about her views on being a black creator, incorporating social injustice into Insecure and what she is looking to accomplish throughout her career.
When asked why she never dedicated an entire episode to the Black Lives Matter movement, Rae felt that the move would seem disingenuous.
“Yeah, I feel like it’s corny. We’re not an after-school special. That’s not how we live life. I don’t wake up like, “Today’s about to be about Black Lives Matter.” When you experience racism or sexism, your life doesn’t stop, but it may affect how you talk to your partner that night when you get home or prevent you from doing something else. Those are the moments that I’m more interested in.”
During the sit-down, Rae also acknowledged that while “by no means” was Hollywood constructed for Blacks to have longevity, she is looking to do just that by assisting fellow creators along the way.
“For me, my longevity will be opening the door for others,” the 35-year-old told the publication, also elaborating on the type of legacy she is looking to leave. “Still being here. Denzel-ness. Alfre Woodard-ness. I mean, Denzel is a good model because he belongs to Black people and has never denied who he is and his roots.”
Rae went on to further admire Denzel’s work off-screen, which includes helping to further the careers of up and coming black actors.
“The stuff that he’s done underground to help young Black actors, to create a pipeline for them. He’s also been a producer and a director and is just so revered and has a Blackass family. I got to go to his AFI tribute, and I was just reminded, ‘Man, this man has meant so much to me, my mom, my aunt, my grandmother, and that matters to me.’ There’s a legacy there.”
With Insecure earning eight Emmy nominations this year, Rae also touched on knowing her worth as an actress and being vocal about receiving proper pay.
“I’ve definitely demanded. Yvonne [Orji] joked before the Emmy nominations came out, ‘Girl, I told all my agents, ‘Don’t make no deals until after Tuesday or Monday,’ whenever the announcements were, because our price is going up or down.’ So there is something to that, too, of just realizing your worth.” She went on to add, ”You can’t be polite, or tiptoe, or be modest about those things.” She continued: ”You’re seeing these nine-, 10-figure deals out there. I have a great team that also is not afraid to ask for beyond my worth. I have an amazing Black lawyer who is constantly being like, ‘No, I’m going to get you better.’ Or, ‘No, I’m going to make sure. I heard that so-and-so made this, you’re about to make this.'”