Issa Rae may be a renowned actress and producer in Hollywood, but her journey to stardom was not without its challenges. As a woman, a dark-skinned Black woman, in the industry, she often experienced colorism, which she’s openly discussed on numerous occasions. Years back, in her New York Times bestseller, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, she detailed the obstacles she faced while pitching her web series of the same name.
Amid her memoir and in a few interviews, she explained that producers and TV executives often suggested she wasn’t fit to be the star of her own show, instead suggesting women of lighter hues, specifically Lauren London.
The mention of her fellow West Coast native eventually caused some tension and is still currently one of her “biggest regrets” as London “took offense to that.” With the help of the late Nipsey Hussle, however, they were able to make peace with one another.
According to Issa, Nipsey encouraged her to talk to London at Diddy’s 50th birthday party. “He was like, ‘You should just talk to her. Let me set it up,’” she said during her cover interview with Vanity Fair. “It actually sparked an amazing two-hour conversation. We had so much in common. She was like, ‘People don’t understand, I’m an awkward Black girl.’ In the same way that I was upset about the limited portrayal of Black women, she was like, ‘People do the same thing to me.’ I completely get that.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Issa discussed the fifth and final season of her HBO sitcom “Insecure,” which is partially based on her web series. “I’m finding myself putting season one pressure back on the show again,” she told Vanity Fair, adding she will never “write and be in a show that I created again.”
“It takes up a lot of your life, and I like to do a lot of things,” she concluded.
Look below to see Issa Rae’s post about her Vanity Fair cover interview.