“Barbie” star Issa Rae says Black stories are less of a priority in Hollywood. She noted the industry’s mass cancellations of Black shows in a recent interview with Net-a-Porter.com.
“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,” she said.
“It’s made me take more steps to try to be independent down the line if I have to.”
Rae, 39, is best known as the creator and star of HBO’s hit series Insecure.
She got her start producing and starring in her YouTube series Awkward Black Girl.
“When Insecure came out, I was very clear: ‘This is not a story about all Black women. This is a very specific story,'” she said.
“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.'”
Rae acknowledged Hollywood’s obsession with white-savior narratives in films.
“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 said.
But she says she’s not giving up.
“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,” Rae says.
“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.”