There’s a reason why Insecure feels so authentic to the Black experience. It’s because HBO was willing to give the creator and showrunner, Issa Rae, space to become the success it is.
During an intimate dinner and panel, moderated by Elaine Welteroth, at HBO’s Our Stories To Tell during the Sundance Film Festival, Rae said “having an open line of communication” is key.
“I credit HBO for taking a hands-off approach in terms of never questioning our intent or asking what certain things meant,” she explained. “‘Oh, we don’t understand this. Can you break this down?’ They never did that. They just laughed along with the jokes like they got it, or admitted later, ‘I didn’t get that, but I figured it was for y’all.'”
Producer-writer Prentice Penny highlighted how the show also looks out for its cast and crew by sharing a story about the show’s barber, who was able to join a union after working on the show.
“I was like, ‘Oh you’re dope,’ but he wasn’t in the union, so we kept bringing him back and he’d work. He was grinding to get his hours,” Penny recalled. “Then he sent me a message saying, ‘Yo I got in a union today. I’m so thankful. Thank you so much.'”
Penny said he’s thankful that “this show opens doors. We’re not just looking out for our cast and for our writers, but for our crew too.”
While the cast was open about what makes the show so special, they remained a bit tight-lipped about what to expect in the upcoming season.
“In season four,” Penny teased, “we’re examining everybody’s relationships, as in [is] this a seasoned relationship or a reasoned relationship? Is this something that shows maturity? I’m super excited about it.”
The fourth season of Insecure premieres April 12 on HBO.