Another Emmy Awards means another snub for Issa Rae’s HBO series, Insecure. But the beloved actress was presumably rooting for everyone Black.
She appeared on a segment during the ceremony highlighting Hollywood success stories from actors that belong to marginalized groups. Rae recalled her first “unofficial” Hollywood pitch that gave her motivation to bet on herself because the white, close-minded executive couldn’t see the vision.
“My first Hollywood pitch was kind of unofficial,” the 35-year-old shared. “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,’” Rae recalled. “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. 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.’”
“For me, that moment was the motivation I needed to keep doing what I was doing,” the actress said. “To kind of bet on myself. And that fueled me. Like, ‘Oh, okay. I’ll show you.’ And, you know, one of us got fired after that.”
Insecure received an Emmy nod for outstanding comedy series. Issa Rae was nominated for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. Meanwhile, her co-star, Yvonne Orji, also earned a nomination for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series.
But the show went home with nothing.