Back to IndieWire

“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.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox