Nearly a week after it was announced that her popular HBO show “Rap Sh!t” wouldn’t be returning for a third season, Issa Rae is speaking out about the recent rise on cancellations of Black shows.
In a cover interview for Net-A-Porter, Rae told the publication that she’s keenly aware of the downward trend of Black shows being pushed off the air and that as a result of it, she’s eyeing new avenues to ensure that happens less and less.
“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,” she explained. “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. It’s made me take more steps to try to be independent down the line if I have to.”
Rae signed a five-year overall deal with WarnerMedia back in 2021, parent company to HBO, which has housed all three of her shows: “Insecure,” “The Sweet Life,” and “Rap Sh!t.” However, it’s no secret that she heads up her own entertainment media company, Hoorae Media. Maybe this industry turning of the tide will be the tipping point for a more expansive presence of Rae and her producing power.
Before it comes to that though, Rae assured fans that she’s not hanging up her creative hat anytime soon.
“I’m writing a couple of different projects–one for myself and one to produce and create with others – and I’ve been feeling so inspired and excited to get back at it,” she said before later adding: “I’m embracing that challenge. The industry is in flux, so it’s really inspired me to focus and hone in on what stories I want to tell. I’ve been laser-focused on getting these projects up and running.”
“This year is really about firing on all cylinders. That’s what I’m excited about,” she concluded.