Acclaimed TV creator Issa Rae expressed concern this week over the cancellation of shows spotlighting Black stories and characters on major networks and streamers.
She said the trend signals that diverse creative voices are diminishing in priority across the entertainment industry.
Wave of Culturally Relevant Shows Axed
Rae has seen several passion projects she executive produced get abruptly cancelled in recent months, including Rap Sh!t on HBO Max and A Black Lady Sketch Show on HBO. Various other series centering Black narratives and creators have also gotten unexpectedly axed.
“It’s already happening,” Rae told PORTER magazine. “You’re seeing so many Black shows get cancelled…You’re seeing very clearly now that our stories are less of a priority.”
Rae skyrocketed to fame with her hit HBO comedy Insecure, which ran for 5 seasons. But the landscape looks far different just a few years later, causing her to reconsider traditional studio systems.
Mulling More Independent Productions
Given the rapidly changing TV business, Rae said she is thinking about taking an indie route for future projects. By maintaining more creative control outside traditional studio deals, she hopes to keep spotlighting overlooked stories.
Rae also plans to ramp up her charity work and community-oriented efforts. She envisions transitioning to “service” work that creates positive change beyond Hollywood.
Still, the multi-talented writer and actress remains committed to developing strong Black narratives in an industry growing increasingly indifferent. For Rae and others determined to increase representation, the fight for diversity rolls on.