Jay Ellis’ appearance on Sunday’s episode of Insecure came as a shocker to viewers. The HBO series creator, Issa Rae, had previously said the show would be taking a break from Lawrence, the character he played. However, Ellis spoke with Entertainment Weekly about Rae’s words being taken out of context and his surprise return to the set.
“I think Issa was misquoted,” the actor said. “I think it’s actually very unfair that she was misquoted. I think what Issa actually said was, ‘We’re taking a break from Lawrence.’ A break doesn’t mean a season. A break could mean an episode, it could mean 30 minutes, it could mean a year. She didn’t actually put a time limit on what the break was . . . I think she actually chose her words very correctly, and I think people just kind of took it and ran with it in another way.”
Fans were so upset that online petitions and the #LawrenceHive, a collective defending the character, were created.
Rae posted the above excerpt to her Instagram and wrote, “a b***h did NOT lie! Thanks, @jayrellis.”
Viewers were not the only ones left out of the network’s secret; Ellis said his return was a surprise to the cast and crew as well. “People literally didn’t know I was showing up to set. It was really amazing,” he said. “It was like a homecoming feeling. It was like seeing friends and seeing family that you haven’t seen in a while, but people were also kind of shocked when they saw me, which was really interesting.”
Lawrence supporters can breathe a sigh of relief.
Insecure airs on Sundays at 10:30 p.m. on HBO.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.