Issa Rae, an executive producer of the HBO comedy series "A Black Lady Sketch Show," during the 2019 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File
Issa Rae, an executive producer of the HBO comedy series "A Black Lady Sketch Show," during the 2019 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. Picture: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File

Issa Rae on career success: 'I still feel like I have to prove myself'

By Bang Showbiz Time of article published May 23, 2020

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Issa Rae still feels as though she needs to "prove" herself in Hollywood, as she doesn't believe she's "made it".

The 35-year-old actress first garnered attention in 2011 for her work on the YouTube web series "Awkward Black Girl", and is currently starring in Netflix series 'Insecure' - of which she is the creator - which was recently renewed for a fifth season.

But despite her success, Issa doesn't feel as though she's "made it" in showbiz, because whenever she achieves something in her career the "goalposts" move.

She said: "I still feel like I constantly have to prove myself. I don't feel like I've 'made it,' because the goalposts always move. From the outside looking in, it's different."

And Issa also blamed the coronavirus pandemic with reducing the roles available to her, because cuts in production mean "black content" isn't "making the cut".

She added to Page Six: "This thing with the pandemic, production shutting down, executives having to make major decisions with black content that ends up not making the cut ... I'm dealing with a lot of starting over and having to prove myself again. It's levels to this and I might feel like I'm at the lower tier right now."

Meanwhile, the "Lovebirds" star recently said she is sick of being asked to fix the diversity problem in Hollywood.

Issa works to ensure that her sets are diverse because "it is threaded in the fabric of my being to look around me and make sure that there is representation because that's what I wholeheartedly want to see" but she says she can't be responsible for getting everyone in Hollywood to follow her lead.

She said: "The work comes naturally to me, and I think that's where the frustration comes from - to do it because I'm always thinking about black people. I'm always thinking about people of colour, I'm always trying to make sure that's just in the back of my mind.

"No one is challenged on [fixing the system]. When I go to other sets and literally everybody is a white man and you're OK with that because you don't have to think about that. It doesn't cross your mind because no one is pressuring you to think about it.

"Media aren't asking the white man on the phone call, 'Hey so this diversity issue, how are you handling it?' It's always us, and I'm handling it by doing what the f**k I have to do and being that. But it's not a burden at all. It's only a burden if you don't want to do it or you're not thinking."

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