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She’s Done Being Polite: 3 Things Issa Rae Revealed For Her Hollywood Reporter Cover Story

She’s Done Being Polite: 3 Things Issa Rae Revealed For Her Hollywood Reporter Cover Story

For its September issue, Insecure superstar, Issa Rae spoke to Hollywood Reporter’s Jessica Herndon about what it means to be a black woman in Hollywood creating one of the biggest indigenous shows on TV now.

While Issa is back to her virtual writer’s room for the fifth season of Insecure that was supposed to begin shooting in September, not too long ago, she was faced with releasing the episodes of Season 4 during a time that Black America was suffering a double pandemic. Issa Rae Insecure.

“You can’t be polite or tiptoe, or be modest about those things.”

~ Issa Rae on demanding proper pay in Hollywood


Among many things, she talked to HR about becoming Issa Rae, and demanding more pay as Insecure, which she produces, writes and stars in earned a whopping eight Emmy nominations.

Here are Issa’s 3 lessons from being black in Hollywood

#1. Awards don’t validate you

“Awards don’t validate you,” she says. “They allow more people to know about the series, like, ‘Oh, what is this?’ That’s all you want.” With the nominations in this year’s Emmy’s, if Issa wins best comedy series with insecure, she is set to become the first Black woman creator of a premium cable show to receive the award. And for lead actress in a comedy series, she will become the second black woman.

Regardless of these premier awards, Issa is more focused on more people knowing about her work and as a result, and the message it carries. For a black woman, that’s an even greater award. Issa Rae Insecure.

#2. She’s firm in demanding proper pay

Although the Emmy nominations may have shot Issa’s price all the way above the roof, Issa and her team have always been particular and focused on demanding her worth.

She recalls the kick-off of Insecure in 2015, surrounded by powerful Black women like Ava DuVernay, Debbie Allen, Shonda Rhimes, and Mara Brock Akil––all who had already gone before her in the film industry. At the time 30-years-old, Issa was relatively new and she listened with awe as these women all said the same thing: that at a point, they all had to drop the politeness and stand their ground.

“Also, seeing how little these white people care about asking for more than they’re worth in many cases,” Issa noted, “You can’t be polite or tiptoe, or be modest about those things.” Issa Rae Insecure.


This has indeed translated to other areas of her career as she puts her feet down in writing, acting and what goes out as her production.

#3. Building a Legacy is the ultimate goal of her career


Issa looks up to black actors and filmmakers like Shonda Rhimes and Denzel Washington with how they have managed to have their careers live beyond them. It’s the new pressure she faces daily… “To be able to have the ability to bring other people in, who I think are massively more talented, it’s something that brings me so much excitement.”

For her, she does not just want her name remembered but she wants her work to “spark the brain that will change the world.”


Read the full interview here. Issa Rae Insecure.

Photo credit: Hollywood Reporter | Erik Carter

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