Issa Rae Just Had Roles In Barbie And American Fiction. Even She Says She’s Been ‘Impacted’ By The Hollywood Slowdown


Representation should always be something Hollywood strives for. But the most important part of providing that is giving creators the space to tell their own stories, instead of trying to do it for them. That’s why events like the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) are essential because while it creates a space to amplify Black stories. And it was during this year’s event that Barbie and American Fiction star Issa Rae shared her experiences. She also got honest about how she, like so many others, has been “impacted” by the industry’s recent slowdown.

This year’s ABFF took place this past weekend, June 12-16, in Miami, and the festival offered the opportunity for Black filmmakers to talk openly about the current challenges they are facing in the film industry. Some may be surprised to hear that despite her her roles in some of the most lauded films of the past year, Issa Rae has experienced a career lull. She’s also specifically seen the effects through her own media production company, Hoorae Media. Of course, Hollywood has yet to pick up the pace following the SAG-AFTRA and Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) strikes  that took place last summer. As the Insecure co-creator recently told The Los Angeles Times, it’s a delicate balance between what the industry wants to see and the stories creatives want to tell:

It’s impacted me in the sense that you have to be more cognizant about how they’re thinking things will sell. They’re trying to create projects that have the most broad appeal and since we’re a very adaptable company, we’re putting ourselves in that mind-set. I also have to consider: What do I want to make? And who do I want to collaborate with to make that possible? It’s just a constant game. It’s hard, it’s challenging, but we’ll make it through.


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