Insecure creator Issa Rae revealed that at one point in her career, she was told to include a white character in her stories.
In a new interview with Mic, Rae talked about the moment she got the erroneous advice to include a white character in order for her web series The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl to be successful to a mainstream market.
“‘Girl, if you want this s**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 shit, and it’ll blow up,'” Rae said according to Insider, repeating what the colleague told her years ago. “And then it literally happened.” Rae was, in fact, interviewed by NPR in 2011 about Awkward Black Girl, which had two main white characters, Jay (Lyman Johnson), J’s (Rae) love interest, and J’s woke boss (Hanna Patten), simply called “Boss Lady” by J.
Rae also included a white character in the first three seasons of Insecure, Frieda (Lisa Joyce). But when Rae’s eponymous character leaves her job, the writer’s room had to decide of Frieda would remain. The question led to Rae to resist centering white characters in her story about Black women.
“This is not a show about Frieda! That was when I started actively resisting,” she said. “When Issa quit work and we got rid of the We Got Y’all storyline, I realized, ‘Oh my gosh, our show is just about Black characters now in the most refreshing way.”
The fifth and final season of Insecure will air Oct. 24 on HBO.