HBO, Max, Issa Rae, content, cancellation, studios, rap shit, DEI,

Issa Rae Considers Going Independent With Cancellation Of ‘So Many Black Shows’

Just weeks after HBO decided to pull the plug on "Rap Sh!t," Issa Rae is calling out the devolution of content representing people of color.

Just weeks after HBO decided to pull the plug on Rap Sh!t, Issa Rae is calling out the scaling back of content representing people of color.

Issa enjoyed a five-season run of her HBO show Insecure, which made her a star. The successful show ended on her own terms and made space for new content the actress/writer had planned for her fans. Rap Sh!t, Sweet Life: Los Angeles, and A Black Lady Sketch Show were shows Issa produced for HBO Max.

The transition hasn’t gone as planned. In the last year, all three shows were given the boot by HBO Max.

Why? Issa has an idea.

“It’s already happening,” Issa told Net-A-Porter in its cover story. “You’re seeing so many Black shows get cancelled, you’re seeing so many executives—especially on the DEI [diversity, equity and inclusion] side—get canned. You’re seeing very clearly now that our stories are less of a priority.”

It wasn’t too long after her cover shoot with Net-A-Porter when Variety published a study citing the lack of results on pledges many major studios made in 2020 to hire more diverse filmmakers.

Issa knew the reality.

“I am pessimistic, because there’s no one holding anybody accountable – and I can, sure, but also at what cost? I can’t force you to make my stuff,” she said. “It’s made me take more steps to try to be independent down the line if I have to.”

As for her future, the creator, who spent part of her childhood in Senegal, wants “in 10 years’ time, to be transitioning toward service,” she said. While her Hollywood career “is fun, at some point, it’ll feel like not enough—and I want to be able to do more.”

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