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Issa Rae says more television shows featuring ‘black stories’ are being cancelled

The writer said black stories are ‘less of a priority’ for television producers now than a decade ago.

Actress and writer Issa Rae has voiced concern about how many television series featuring black stories are being cancelled, suggesting: “Our stories are less of a priority now.”

Rae, 39, has seen her Max comedy-drama series Rap Sh!t cancelled after two seasons. 

The actress is perhaps best-know for her series Insecure, which ran on HBO between 2016 and 2021. 

The series, which was nominated for various Emmys and Golden Globes, is about the life of an ordinary African-American woman and is loosely based on Rae’s memoir – Awkward Black Girl. 

Speaking in the latest edition of Net-A-Porter’s digital publication PORTER, Rae said the television industry is going through a lot of change – and it was impacting the variety of series that viewers were seeing on their screens. 

“It’s already happening,” she said. “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 that our stories are less of a priority very clearly now.”

Rae, who this year has starred in Hollywood movies Barbie and American Fiction, said she was considering her career and life beyond showbusiness – suggesting that philanthropy was something she wanted to move into. 

 “I want, in 10 years’ time, to be transitioning towards service,” she said. 

She said a trip to Senegal – where her father is from – had encouraged her to increase the amount of work she does for charity. 

“This is fun, but at some point, it’ll feel like not enough – and I want to be able to do more,” she said.”

To see the full interview, read PORTER here.

Or download the NET-A-PORTER app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Search for NET-A-PORTER on the App Store and Google Play.


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