Issa Rae Coastal Elites HBO

Source: HBO / HBO

One of the standout moments from Sunday’s Emmy Awards was when Issa Rae recounted a pitch meeting where an executive tried to explain to her what Black audiences want to see on television.

The executive told her Black audiences wanted to see “familiar faces” and she’d have to “switch up the characters.” As she said, “It just became very clear to me that he didn’t get the show.”

“I just remember fuming in that meeting like, ‘Why does he get to tell me what gets to be on TV?'” she said. “‘Why does he get to tell me what people like me like to see, when I’m here, I’m telling you what I wanna see–I made it.’ For me, that moment was the motivation I needed to keep doing what I was doing, to kinda bet on myself.”




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