Though the TV landscape has become more diverse over the last few years, one creator is looking to shake it up even more. Issa Rae, the creator of the forthcoming series “Insecure,” opens up in a new interview about what her show is and is not.
Rae told Time the series, is “not the quintessential Black-woman experience.”
The show’s “very specific experience” was mostly informed by her conversations with real-life friends.
“Insecure” centers on her character – also named Issa. Issa navigates working at a non-profit while dealing with condescending white co-workers. Meanwhile, she balances her less-than-stellar relationship with her live-in boyfriend and stiff companionship with her corporate lawyer friend.
Both remind her of the things she has yet to achieve in life.
“She’s me if I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” Rae said.
Though “Insecure” has generated buzz in the last few months, the road to success has not been easy for the actress.
She said more established peers perceive her differently for breaking out on YouTube over traditional TV avenues.
“When I’m in a room with the bigger movie stars and the television stars and the people who’ve been doing this for a while… Even though I can call some of the showrunners my mentors, I still feel insecure about my own place in Hollywood.”
But Larry Wilmore, who co-wrote the series’ first episode ahead of his now-ended stint on “The Nightly Show,” had nothing but praise for her rise.
“I loved the fact [that] she’s an entrepreneur – she did it on her own,” he told the magazine. “I couldn’t believe how mature an artist she was for somebody who was supposed to be green.”
Rae’s show will debut Oct. 9 at a time when there are many shows featuring Black actors.
“What’s refreshing about this time is that because there are so many other shows with creators of color, the onus isn’t just on us,” she explained of the competition. “That’s a great thing.”
Even with shows like “black-ish” and Donald Glover’s upcoming series “Atlanta,” Wilmore believes the writer has a unique opportunity.
“Her landscape is not crowded right now,” he said. “In the world of HBO, Showtime — there’s nobody doing what she’s doing. She gets to stand on her own, which is fantastic.”
Update: Rae locked in a first-look producing deal with HBO, according to Deadline. The two-year agreement will see her create programming focused on diverse individuals. The projects will impact all of the cable channels platforms, including HBO Go and HBO Now.