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“Awkward Black Girl” Talks Turning Series Into TV Show, Hollywood Meetings, Donald Glover Parties, Chris Rock Assists, More

"Awkward Black Girl" Talks Turning Series Into TV Show, Hollywood Meetings, Donald Glover Parties, Chris Rock Assists, More

America’s favorite Awkward Black Girl, Ms Issa Rae (you know her) continues her global expansion… this time New York magazine’s Vulture gives the web series some pub in a chat with Issa Rae.

I wanted to especially highlight the following portion, with regards to her plans to turn Awkward Black Girl into a television series, something we’ve long known was on her agenda. The question, a few months later, is whether that’s still in play.

Here’s Issa Rae’s reply to Vulture:

After meeting with a couple different executives in television, and seeing our visions don’t really align, I don’t want to sell my life to it now. In one meeting, during the first ten seconds, this guy said, “The show is pretty funny. This is about a typical black woman with her black women problems.” And then said big names were necessary to make it to television. Everything we were against, he was for. It was just one meeting, but for me, that was all I needed to realize we’re in the right space, and I realized I’m not ready to hear those things just yet. For season two, we’re working to build our audience and leverage our audience to networks to say, “We’re successful showrunners, give us a chance to have creative control.” I would love Awkward Black Girl to be on television, with the right team of people who understand and get it. If Awkward Black Girl could make it to HBO starring a dark-skinned black girl, that would be revolutionary.

Indeed, indeed. I’m sure it can be tempting to give up and give in, and I’m glad she’s instead opting to maintain creative control of the project, and spend a little more time building and solidifying a significant audience, so that when she next returns to pitch and negotiation meetings, she’ll have more leverage.

I recall this is essentially what one Mr Tyler Perry did before most of us knew who Tyler Perry was.

In the interview, Issa Rae also talks about some of the perks she’s been enjoying thanks to the show’s success, like being invited to Donald Glover’s birthday party (his sister is a fan of the web series); plus getting Gabrielle Union’s attention, enough that she reached out; being recognized by Kim Cole from Living Single while at the Art Walk in L.A.; and Chris Rock and Hannibal Burress helping her get representation.

Ahhh… lifestyles of the soon-to-be rich and famous… and awkward :) 

Get’em Issa Rae!

Read the full New York magazine piece HERE.

This Article is related to: News



Isn't the point that Jae is NOT typical?


Chris Rock helps a black woman?? This is the first sign of the zombie apocalypse!


Good stuff. Best of luck…

Btw, is it just me or is the order in which these posts & replies appear somewhat confusing?


The show is called awkward black girl and I think Issa Rae is smart she's obviously still building her brand. Now I have seen Issa on CNN and now New York Magazine a high profile American publication has interviewed her. Hollywood NEEDS more diversity on television it is simply too white at the moment. Issa Rae is right to be afraid that a major network would destroy the integrity of the show. I can' t see this show on a mainstream network it would need to be on cable I think. I can see this show doing well on BET or Showtime or HBO. Issa is smart she's doesn't want a network to radically change the show and make it white washed or being a sell out.


Cudoos to Issa! Yay! For taking a stand and putting your foot down. Don't sell yourself to suit others needs. You worked hard enough to get your webseries out there don't let some bald, board room, whiteman take that away from you.

Keep hope alive!


I support her 120%!!!


I didn't get the feeling that Issa and her team aren't willing to compromise within reason. I think she's afraid a network will "whitewash"(for lack of a better word) the show and it will lose the edgy, awkwardness that has made it a must-see for a lot of people.

I think she's doing the right thing by exercising patience. Timing is everything.

Carlton Jordan

I love the web series. I saw the lead actor on my block one day and kinda stalked him….but as far as biz, hopefully she'll learn the art of compromise…being a showrunner on a major network television show, where you'll be getting notes on each episode from the studio, from the other writers, from the legal dept, from everyone…is a little different than running a web series. but hopefully the ABG team can find balance and leave ego at the front door.


I really respect her decision because a lot of others would have sold their souls (and their rights) just to get in the room. Issa Rae has built a loyal following (she knows it) and I'm glad to see her not willing to make such drastic compromises that would have ruined the integrity of her show.


Great news, Issa. Creative control all the way! Dave Chappelle walked away from 50 mil because he lost creative control of his work. More of us need to take stands like this that say our integrity and the spirit of what we do can no longer be bought or sold. This paves a way for others to feel courageous enough to take that stand, too. Thank you.


Yes! Keep on, keeping on Issa Rae. HBO did you read that?


Issa Rae is very brave I feel not to give in to Hollywood and radically change her hit web series. I think Issa Rae is a real example of someone determined to make a difference. I hope her show gets on television with a deal she feels is best for her career.


Congrats. Good for her. Best of Luck


I just got into the web series and I love it! Glad to hear what shes doing to make advancements in the success of her show.

Darla & Mark

Get it girl, do your thing and don't let anyone shortchange your creative imagination.


Yes! So happy for all her success!

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