Part of the reason HBO’s Insecure is so successful is because of how authentically it portrays modern Black life. Creator Issa Rae credits her predominately Black writing staff for this, saying in her new Glamour cover story that the show simply wouldn’t work if she allowed it to be presented from a majority White perspective, even though that would be more in line with industry standards.
“I could never do this show and have a predominantly white staff,” Rae shares before saying her team often draws inspiration for the series from their own personal lives. She also reveals that the few White writers on her show often don’t get certain jokes and references until the scenes are shot.
“Sometimes, the white writers will be like, ‘I didn’t even know what that line meant until I watched the show,'” she tells Glamour. “And I’m like, ‘That’s OK. There are some things that are just for us.'”
Rae also shares her shock at realizing Michelle Obama watches the series, saying, “She had just finished watching the finale, and she was like, ‘That fakeout—how could you do that? I thought you and Lawrence were going to live happily ever after.’ I was like, ‘You really watch it?’ She was like, ‘Yes. Sasha and Malia put me on to it.’”
The California girl went on to say, “It was like talking to my auntie. It bums me out that I will never have that feeling again of the First Family f*cking with us so hard and getting us. If Melania [Trump] said that to me, I would be like, ‘Well, I guess it’s canceled. We’re not making this show. It’s not ours anymore.’”
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.