Issa Rae has obviously had a huge success on her hands with Insecure. But as one of the few black women with their own TV show, she often gets a lot of criticism thrown her way — particularly about representation.
In her essay for TIME, she wrote,
“I still get responses from people who think that because I have a show about two black women, I have to represent all black women. Obviously, we’re not a monolith—we’re not trying to be the end-all, be-all for black women’s experiences in the United States.”
Of course, Issa never claimed to be the sole representation of black women, nor should she have to be. The problem is that we don’t have enough black female characters on TV to get a well-rounded view WOC’s experiences in America. But that is in no way Issa’s fault; it’s the network executives.
For the longest time networks didn’t think they would get enough viewers for a TV show about black women and they weren’t willing to risk it. They even tried to claim that black people didn’t seem “relatable” on TV. Issa explained,
“It’s such a segregationist mentality, and I always knew that it was false.”
She’s obviously proved that narrative false over and over again, and it’s why Insecure has already been picked up for season 3. But when will black women have to stop proving themselves? I vote now.
Insecure airs Sundays at 10:30 PM on HBO. Issa is also currently working on a second project based on her cooking web series Butter + Brown, which will start in October.
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, and Tiger Beat. Her favorite Housewife is Bethenny Frankel (by far!), but when she’s not watching RHONY, you can probably find her hanging with her kitty Tom or tweeting at Sen. Chuck Schumer.