Issa Rae Remembers Her TV Pitch Being Dismissed as ‘Black-Woman Problems’ by Hollywood Exec

Issa Rae was left determined to succeed after a TV executive dismissed her web-series pitch as a show about "Black-woman problems."

Emmy nominee Rae, the creator of hit HBO show "Insecure", was looking back at her first-ever Hollywood pitch, during a segment on Black excellence in television during the 2020 Primetime Emmys.

During the broadcast, she recalled how the "unofficial" encounter gave her motivation to push ahead.

"Basically, I had this web series," she said, according to People magazine. "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. 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…"

"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.' "

She continued, "For me, that moment was the motivation I needed to keep doing what I was doing. 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" was nominated for outstanding comedy series while Rae earned a nomination for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. Her castmate Yvonne Orji also earned a nomination for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series.

However, Rae and the cast, who watched the ceremony from inside the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California, where the show is set, lost out to "Schitt's Creek".

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