Speaking to the Mic magazine against the the lack of diversity in television, Issa Rae said, she was previously told to include a White character in all of her shows in order for them to “blow up.”
The 36-year-old actor and producer recounts a discussion she had with a former colleague while working on her 2011 online series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl”. The event led her to believe that adding white characters to her programmes will make them more accessible.
Rae said “From the jump in creating the show, it was put in my mind that you had to have a White character to be a bridge, and for people to care, for it to get awards, for it to be considered worthy of the television canon”.
Rae addeed that her colleague told her: “Girl, if you want this sh*t to set off to the next level, you got to put a White character in there, then White people will care about it, then NPR is going to write about your sh*t, and it’ll blow up.”
The actor continued that when she started a career in television in 2016, with her highly praised HBO comedy series “Insecure,” she used the same strategy.
Freida, a White coworker of Rae’s character, appeared in early seasons of the Black woman-centered show.
Rae told Mic that she “started actively resisting” the desire to add another White character, so when her character left the show, she decided that Freida will no longer be a recurrent character.
Recalling the event , the actor said, “I was like, F**k no! This is not a show about Freida!. Oh my gosh, our show is just about Black characters now in the most refreshing way. I hope that not having to think of an audience that isn’t us — and being okay with that — is passed on. I want people to know we are enough.”
Since then, the programme has received 11 Emmy nominations and one win, as well as three NAACP Image Awards.
The fifth and final season of “Insecure” will premier on Sunday, October 24.