Issa Rae Reveals She Was Told to Add White People to ‘Insecure’ Cast so ‘White People Would Care’

by Shine My Crown Staff
Voiced by Amazon Polly

“Insecure” creator shared that she was encouraged to add white cast members to the show that “white people” would care.

“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 told Mic.

“She was just like, ‘Girl, if you want this s— 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 s—t and it’ll blow up,'” Rae added. “And then it literally happened.”

Rae said that she added Frieda, a white co-worker portrayed by Lisa Joyce. She eventually fell out of love with the character.

We never liked her much anyway.

“I was like, ‘F—k no! This is not a show about Frieda! That was when I started actively resisting. 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.'”

Rae also spoke candidly about being aware of the responsibility she carried to represent all Black women.

“I knew the onus was going to be on us to represent all Black women because we just didn’t have a lot of shows featuring Black women then,” says Rae. “Nobody’s coming for Nicole Kidman like, ‘B—ch, you don’t represent every white woman. F—k you […] Every Black show gets it. Every Black piece of work gets scrutiny because we’re sensitive about our s—t.”

She continued: “I said from the jump during the promo tour: ‘This is a very specific Black female experience — it’s my specific one — we cannot represent all of that.’ And even now people are still like, ‘This doesn’t represent me, this is not it, this is the only representation that we have,’ and I realize that’s just a constant complaint with whatever you put out.”

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