Issa Rae Breaks Down Why A Predominantly White Staff Would Not Work For ‘Insecure’
Issa Rae is gracing the cover for Glamour’s upcoming October issue, and she reveals the formula to the success behind Insecure. For Rae, it was a no brainer to create the series with numerous amounts of people of color on staff, making them a majority not the minority. It doesn’t matter to her that some of the white people on staff don’t get everything she’s creating—that’s exactly the point. Insecure is a show for black people made by them.
“I just want to do my pure story, and if I’m not, it’s just not worth it. And Prentice [Penny, executive producer and showrunner of Insecure] feels the same,” Rae told Glamour. “Sometimes the white writers will be like, ‘I didn’t even know what that line meant until I watched the show,’ and I’m like, ‘That’s OK. There are some things that are just for us.’”
The story was written by the founder of The Shade Room, Angelica Nwandu. Surprisingly enough 62 percent of Insecure viewers aren’t black, yet Rae still see’s the importance of working alongside predominantly people of color, because “surrounding myself with people of color. I could never do this show and have a predominantly white staff.”
The beautiful thing about the program is that besides its colorful storyline, staff and characters, Issa also makes it a point to show a different side of South Los Angeles that often gets ostracized in the media. Still, the African-American enclave of Los Angeles is rapidly changing because of gentrification.
“White people left the neighborhood, there was white flight, and now they’re coming back and pushing us out,” Rae explained. “I’m moving back there—that’s what I want—but I’ve already seen the change. It’s disheartening.”