"I love Tina [Fey], and with Lena [Dunham]- my show came out before Girls did. I don't think that we have the same voice at all. But, I'm not offended by it. That's just how people need to describe it for themselves. They'll learn soon." That was Issa Rae's outspoken and honest response to the question about being described as "the black Tina Fey" or "the black Lena Dunham" in a recent Elle magazine interview. Priceless. It makes me love her even more! And, she's right. Everyone will soon learn about her talent and distinctive, intelligent humor.
I adore Issa Rae's The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl web series and her Rachetpiece Theater music commentary vlogs (absolutely hilarious) because her work is both witty and sarcastic, even when discussing things like racism, dating, co-workers, degradation of women, etc. Plus, I can relate to her perspective because I've experienced, thought, or said some of the things that she's discussed in her productions. Not to mention, I've never really heard a voice in comedy that matched mine. Sure, I still found comedy funny because it focuses on human nature and experience. But, I still didn't see ME. It's comforting that she doesn't place women of color in a box of loud and obnoxious stereotypes.
Most of all, tt's really inspiring that she's educated (Stanford graduate), an actress, a writer, a producer; she even has her own production company, Issa Rae Productions. The fact that she's under 30 and has accomplished all of this? Even awesome-er!
Rae has a lot of things in the works, too. For one, she's working on a book. And, coming to an HBO near you, a new show called Non-Prophet, which will still pull from some of her life experiences. Apparently, she had a pilot show called I Hate LA Dudes with ABC, but it fell through. Rae's response to that, "Networks are too fearful of ostracizing people and aren't willing to fully address race. I've always had an issue with the [assumption] that people of color, and black people especially, aren't relatable. I know we are."
I agree with Rae, but I think people like her are helping to break down these network barriers, even if slowly and brick by brick. Obviously, we do relate to her. With social media alone, she has over 25, 000 followers on Instagram, over 50, 000 Twitter followers, over 20 million video views, and over a 150, 000 YouTube channel subscribers. If that isn't an impact, I don't know what is.
I may have to go ahead and bite the bullet and order ridiculously expensive HBO service to watch her upcoming show.
If you haven't checked out any of Issa Rae's work, click on the links in this article to get an idea. You may like it! Let me know what you think of her. For the latest updates, follow me on Twitter (@sidgelica) and like my Facebook Page! Don't forget to subscribe here, too, to keep updated with my articles!