- In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Insecure co-creator and actress Issa Rae talked about knowing her worth as a Black creative in Hollywood.
- "For me, my longevity will be opening the door for others," she said.
Issa Rae is fully aware of the impact her career in Hollywood can have on opening the door for other Black creatives. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Insecure actress, whose hit HBO series received eight Emmy nominations this year, reflected on her legacy thus far.
When asked about what pressures she's facing as COVID-19 warps industries across the board, she said, "I really want to make sure that what I'm doing has impact and is long-lasting. I want to feel rooted." Of the things that inspire her to feel rooted, she added, "It always changes. It's old age and still being here. Denzel-ness. Alfre Woodard-ness. I mean, Denzel is a good model because he belongs to Black people and has never denied who he is and his roots. The stuff that he's done underground to help young Black actors, to create a pipeline for them. He's also been a producer and a director and is just so revered and has a Blackass family. I got to go to his AFI tribute, and I was just reminded, 'Man, this man has meant so much to me, my mom, my aunt, my grandmother, and that matters to me.' There's a legacy there."
Later, while remarking on the lack of longevity that Hollywood provides for Black entertainers, the magazine asked her how it felt "to be defying that," and to be saying, "Fuck that. I'm here. I'm staying."
"I do question that. I still [do]," she replied. "For me, my longevity will be opening the door for others. I think frequently about the Tupac quote: 'I'm going to be the light that sparks the inspiration, that sparks the change.' I need to get that quote right. [Exact quote: 'I'm not saying I'm going to change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.']"
Rae also talked about knowing own's worth as an entertainer—and demanding to be paid as such. "There is something to that, too, of just realizing your worth," she said. "Also, seeing how little these white people care about asking for more than they're worth in many cases. You can't be polite, or tiptoe, or be modest about those things. You're seeing these nine-, 10-figure deals out there. I have a great team that also is not afraid to ask for beyond my worth. I have an amazing Black lawyer who is constantly being like, 'No, I'm going to get you better.' Or, 'No, I'm going to make sure. I heard that so-and-so made this, you're about to make this.'"
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