Issa Rae Earns Equity in Entertainment Award, Shares Inspiration Behind Amplifying Minority Voices

Issa Rae attended The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Gala on Wednesday and received a standing ovation while accepting her Equity in Entertainment Award.

Her Insecure co-star, Yvonne Orji, presented Rae with the award, recognizing individuals who amplify the voices of underrepresented communities in the entertainment industry, as noted by The Hollywood Reporter.

The Rap Sh*t creator kicked off her acceptance speech by sharing a comical story of a group trip she took to Las Vegas for an Usher concert. Rae joked while telling the crowd her love for Usher “outweighs” her hate for Vegas.

During the trip, Rae took a weed juice that led her to later “sink into this lonely, scary, paranoid, timeless loop.”

“That’s what happens to me. And this loop is really frightening because all I do is think, repeatedly, about and replay all the things that I’m most terrified of,” she said. “And one of those things is the idea of my mortality and the mortality of those that I love. And one of the mind loops I was in had me aging really rapidly.”

During the experience, Rae realized “getting old generally and feeling like time is running out” is one of her biggest fears. The producer credited that fear as the motivating factor behind her work to amplify marginalized and underrepresented communities.

“I’m asked about amplifying underrepresented voices and diversity all the time. And one of the questions I get often and frequently struggle to answer is, ‘Why is it so important to you to give opportunities and open doors for others who look like you?’” Rae said.

“But now I think it’s all about time. I’m obsessed with the time that I have left and a small window that I have to make the changes that I want to see before I hopefully get old and die.”

Rae continued:

“I think operating from that scared place is actually really helpful because it makes you impatient about waiting for sh*t to happen. And it makes you fearless about the things you normally might be afraid of, like rejection, embarrassment, or diminishment.”