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Issa Rae Opens Up About Shonda Rhimes Show That Never Happened

The Insecure creator opens up about finding her voice and working with writers who bring their own experiences to the show.
Issa Rae Opens Up About Shonda Rhimes Show That Never Happened
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Issa Rae always has a nugget of wisdom to share or an inspirational story to tell, and things were no different when she spoke during a recent appearance at a Paley Center event.

During a discussion with HBO programming president Casey Bloys, Rae opened up about finding her voice while working on I Hate L.A. Dudes, her 2013 pilot produced by Shonda Rhimes.

“I felt like my voice kind of became blah and mush,” she said, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

“I was so focused on what I felt like fit their network, that I didn’t focus on the story I wanted to tell. I was eager to please and that made my voice kind of irrelevant, and the reason they brought me in the first place was to have something to say. I had to realize I have a specific point of view, I have a specific story to tell, and I need to tap into that.”

Rae also dished on how Insecure can often make certain audiences feel uncomfortable. 

“There are moments in the scripts where they’re making fun of white people in office settings, and I laugh along with it,” said Bloys about the HBO show with a majority-black cast. “I love that the show kind of shows everybody from Issa’s point of view. There are things that go on in offices and everyday life that she notices that I wouldn’t necessarily notice.”

In response, Rae said, “sometimes it can uncomfortable hearing about it [white people jokes] out loud … we want to tell the truth.”

Adding, “Every writer isn’t black on the show, but every writer is a human being. Every writer has a piece or a chunk or morsel of their life in the show. It makes for great relatable moments.”

Rae also elaborated further on continuing to push herself in the midst of hard times during a conversation for the Hollywood Confidential panel earlier in the year. The event series was created to “educate aspiring actors, producers, writers and directors on the inner workings of entertainment from the perspective of industry veterans.”

“I just had series of hurdles; using credit cards to buy equipment and then that equipment being stolen out of my apartment,” she said during a conversation with Hollywood Confidential creator Steve Jones. “[Also] moving back to L.A. from New York and living at home with my mom to be woken up out of my sleep to wash dishes in the sink. I was like, ‘I failed.’ I did give up.

But, it’s not the end of the world and that’s what I’ve had to tell myself multiple times. This is just one ‘no’ but, there’s always an opportunity to create a ‘yes.’ For me, it’s just about finding that ‘yes’ whether you have to make it yourself, or find somebody else who gets it, or move on to the next project that works.”