Issa Rae on the moment that motivated her to make it in Emmys segment on Black excellence

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Issa Rae appeared in a segment during Sunday’s Emmy Awards in which she spoke about how she persevered through adversity and racial bias en route to the success she’s found with the HBO show Insecure.

The 35-year-old actress/writer recalled, ‘My first Hollywood pitch was kind of unofficial: Basically, I had this web series. It was the third web series I had ever made.

She said the executive, who she pitched the show to, who was not Black, was like, “Yes, I saw your show. Funny stuff… Funny stuff.” And I was like, “Um, thank you.”

Inspirational: Issa Rae, 35, appeared in a segment during Sunday's Emmy Awards in which she spoke about how she persevered through adversity and racial bias en route to the success she's found with the HBO show Insecure

Inspirational: Issa Rae, 35, appeared in a segment during Sunday’s Emmy Awards in which she spoke about how she persevered through adversity and racial bias en route to the success she’s found with the HBO show Insecure

‘He was like, ”Yeah, it’s about this Black woman and her Black-woman problems. Hilarious.” And I was like,”That’s not what it’s about. But okay.”’

The Los Angeles native recalled how the executive told her ‘the Black audience … want to see familiar faces’ so she could have ‘to switch up the characters’ to make the show a success.

Rae said that ‘it just became very clear to [her] that he didn’t get the show,’ and her ire over the situation fueled her drive to success in the industry on her terms.

‘I remember just fuming in that meeting like, ”Why does he get to tell me what gets to be on TV? Why does he get to tell me what people like me like to see? I’m here! I’m telling you what I want to see. I made it,”‘ she said.

A look back: Rae told viewers about an unofficial pitch meeting she had for a web series she created

A look back: Rae told viewers about an unofficial pitch meeting she had for a web series she created 

She said the executive, who she pitched the show to, who was not Black, thought her pitched show was 'about this Black woman and her Black woman problems'

She said the executive, who she pitched the show to, who was not Black, thought her pitched show was ‘about this Black woman and her Black woman problems’

Focused: Rae said the unpleasant experience fueled her motivation to stay the course with her work

Focused: Rae said the unpleasant experience fueled her motivation to stay the course with her work

‘For me, that moment was the motivation I needed to keep doing what I was doing – to kind of bet on myself. 

‘And that fueled me. Like, ”Oh, okay. I’ll show you.” And, you know, one of us got fired after that.’

Rae’s Insecure on Sunday was nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, in addition to acting nods for Rae and co-star Yvonne Orji.  

Getting ready: Rae earlier took to Instagram as she was made up for the annual event

Getting ready: Rae earlier took to Instagram as she was made up for the annual event 

Next up: Rae last week shared a clip of a remote table read she was having with colleagues

Next up: Rae last week shared a clip of a remote table read she was having with colleagues 

Rae’s remarks came in a segment in a year which the Emmys saw a record number of Black actors – about 34 percent of all nominees – up for awards, Variety reported. The previous high was about 28 percent in 2018, and last year, about 20 percent of the nominees were Black, the outlet reported.

Television Academy chairman and CEO Frank Scherma said when the nominees were announced: ‘2020 isn’t just about the global health crisis. This year we are also bearing witness to one of the greatest fights for social justice in history, and it is our duty to use this medium for change.

‘That is the power and responsibility of television – not only delivering a multitude of services or a little escapism, but also amplifying the voices that must be heard and telling the stories that must be told. Because television, by its very nature, connects us all.’

Sunday’s show marked a socially distant event amid the ongoing COVID-19 virus, with most participants appearing via remote. In July, the show was moved to be held virtually with the pandemic continuing.

72nd Primetime Emmy Awards winners

Outstanding Drama Series 

Better Call Saul

The Crown

The Handmaid’s Tale

Killing Eve

The Mandalorian

Ozark

Stranger Things

Succession – WINNER

Top dog: Succession earned Outstanding Drama Seris as creator Jesse Armstrong accepted the honor in a hotel in London

Top dog: Succession earned Outstanding Drama Seris as creator Jesse Armstrong accepted the honor in a hotel in London

 

Outstanding Comedy Series

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Dead to Me

The Good Place

Insecure

The Kominsky Method

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Schitt’s Creek – WINNER

What We Do in the Shadows

 

Outstanding Limited Series

Little Fires Everywhere

Mrs. America

Unbelievable

Unorthodox

Watchmen – WINNER

 

Lead Actor, Drama Series

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Steve Carell, The Morning Show

Brian Cox, Succession

Billy Porter, Pose

Jeremy Strong, Succession – WINNER

 

Lead Actress, Drama Series

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show

Olivia Colman, The Crown

Jodie Comer, Killing Eve

Laura Linney, Ozark

Sandra Oh, Killing Eve

Zendaya, Euphoria – WINNER

Golden: Zendaya earned the big win in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on HBO series Euphoria

Golden: Zendaya earned the big win in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her work on HBO series Euphoria

 

Lead Actor, Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Don Cheadle, Black Monday

Ted Danson, The Good Place

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek – WINNER

Ramy Youssef, Ramy

 

Lead Actress, Comedy Series

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me

Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek – WINNER

Issa Rae, Insecure

Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

 

Lead Actor, Limited Series or Movie

Jeremy Irons, Watchmen

Hugh Jackman, Bad Education

Paul Mescal, Normal People

Jeremy Pope, Hollywood

Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True – WINNER

 

Lead Actress, Limited Series or Movie

Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America

Shira Haas, Unorthodox

Regina King, Watchmen – WINNER

Octavia Spencer, Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Kerry Washington, Little Fires Everywhere 

 

Supporting Actor, Drama Series

Nicholas Braun, Succession

Billy Crudup, The Morning Show – WINNER

Kieran Culkin, Succession

Mark Duplass, The Morning Show

Giancarlo Esposito, Better Call Saul

Matthew Macfadyen, Succession

Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale

Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

 

Supporting Actress, Drama Series

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown

Laura Dern, Big Little Lies

Julia Garner, Ozark – WINNER

Thandie Newton, Westworld

Fiona Shaw, Killing Eve

Sarah Snook, Succession

Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies

Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

 

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series

Mahershala Ali, Ramy

Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Sterling K. Brown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

William Jackson Harper, The Good Place

Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek – WINNER

Tony Shalhoub, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

Sweeping the board: Daniel Levy won Supporting Actor in a comedy series as Schitt's Creek swept the categories

Sweeping the board: Daniel Levy won Supporting Actor in a comedy series as Schitt’s Creek swept the categories

 

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place

Betty Gilpin, Glow

Marin Hinkle, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek – WINNER

Yvonne Orji, Insecure

Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live

 

TV Movie

American Son

Bad Education – WINNER

Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: These Old Bones

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend   

 

Supporting Actress, Limited Series or Movie 

Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America – WINNER

Toni Collette, Unbelievable

Margo Martindale, Mrs. America

Jean Smart, Watchmen

Holland Taylor, Hollywood

Tracey Ullman, Mrs. America

 

Supporting Actor, Limited Series or Movie

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Watchmen – WINNER

Jovan Adepo, Watchmen

Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend

Louis Gossett Jr., Watchmen

Dylan McDermott, Hollywood

Jim Parsons, Hollywood

 

Variety Talk Series

The Daily Show With Trevor Noah

Full Frontal With Samantha Bee

Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – WINNER

The week's news: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver kept their streak going winning its fifth straight Variety Talk series gong

The week’s news: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver kept their streak going winning its fifth straight Variety Talk series gong

 

Reality Competition Program

The Masked Singer

Nailed It!

RuPaul’s Drag Race – WINNER

Top Chef

The Voice

 

Variety Sketch Series

A Black Lady Sketch Show

Drunk History

Saturday Night Live – WINNER

Reality Host 

Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye

Nicole Byer, Nailed It!

Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec and Kevin O’Leary, Shark Tank

Padma Lakshmi, and Tom Colicchio, Top Chef

Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, Making It

RuPaul, Drag Race – WINNER

Hello hello hello: RuPaul won Outstanding Reality Show as RuPaul's Drag Race also earned Outstanding Reality Competition Program

Hello hello hello: RuPaul won Outstanding Reality Show as RuPaul’s Drag Race also earned Outstanding Reality Competition Program

 

Structured Reality Program

Antiques Roadshow

Love Is Blind

Queer Eye – WINNER

Shark Tank

A Very Brady Renovation

 

Unstructured Reality Program

Amy Schumer Learns To Cook: Lunch Break And Pasta Night

Cheer – WINNER

Kevin Hart: Don’t F**k This Up

RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked

We’re Here

 

Guest Actress, Comedy

Angela Bassett, A Black Lady Sketch Show

Bette Midler, The Politician

Maya Rudolph, The Good Place

Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live – WINNER

Wanda Sykes, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Saturday Night Live

Hilarious: Maya Rudolph earned her first ever Emmy for her portrayal of Kamala Harris on Saturday Night Live

Hilarious: Maya Rudolph earned her first ever Emmy for her portrayal of Kamala Harris on Saturday Night Live

 

Guest Actor, Comedy

Brad Pitt, Saturday Night Live

Adam Driver, Saturday Night Live

Luke Kirby, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Eddie Murphy, Saturday Night Live – WINNER

Dev Patel, Modern Love

Fred Willard, Modern Family

 

Guest Actress, Drama

Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale

Laverne Cox, Orange Is The New Black

Cherry Jones, Succession – WINNER

Phylicia Rashad, This Is Us

Cicely Tyson, How To Get Away With Murder

Harriet Walter, Succession

 

Guest Actor, Drama

Jason Bateman, The Outsider

Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us – WINNER

James Cromwell, Succession

Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian

Andrew Scott, Black Mirror

Martin Short, The Morning Show

 

Documentary or Nonfiction Series

American Masters

Hillary

McMillion$

The Last Dance – WINNER

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem And Madness

Took that personally: Michael Jordan 10-part docuseries The Last Dance won Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series

Took that personally: Michael Jordan 10-part docuseries The Last Dance won Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series

 

Documentary or Nonfiction Special

The Apollo – WINNER

Beastie Boys Story

Becoming

The Great Hack

Laurel Canyon: A Place In Time

 

Animated Program

Big Mouth

Bob’s Burgers

BoJack Horseman

Rick And Morty – WINNER

The Simpsons

 

Writing for a Comedy Series

Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Happy Ending) – WINNER

Sam Johnson and Chris Marcil, What We Do In The Shadows (Collaboration)

Tony McNamara, The Great (The Great)

Stefani Robinson, What We Do In The Shadows (On The Run)

Michael Schur, The Good Place (Whenever You’re Ready)

Paul Simms, What We Do In The Shadows (Ghosts)

David West Read, Schitt’s Creek (The Presidential Suite)

 

Writing for a Drama Series

Jesse Armstrong, Succession (This Is Not for Tears) – WINNER

Miki Johnson, Ozark (Fire Pink)

Peter Morgan, The Crown (Aberfan)

Chris Mundy, Ozark (All In)

Thomas Schnauz, Better Call Saul (Bad Choice Road)

John Shiban, Ozark (Boss Fight)

Gordon Smith, Better Call Saul (Bagman)

 

Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special

Tanya Barfield, Mrs. America (Shirley)

Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, Unbelievable (Episode 1)

Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson, Watchmen (This Extraordinary Being)- WINNER

Sally Rooney and Alice Birch, Normal People (Episode 3)  

Dynamic duo: Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson won Outstanding  Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special for Watchmen

Dynamic duo: Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson won Outstanding  Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special for Watchmen

 

Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special

Tanya Barfield, Mrs. America (Shirley)

Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman, Unbelievable (Episode 1)

Damon Lindelof and Cord Jefferson, Watchmen (This Extraordinary Being) – WINNER

Sally Rooney and Alice Birch, Normal People (Episode 3)

Ben Semanoff, Ozark (Su Casa Es Mi Casa)

 

Directing for a Limited Series

Lenny Abrahamson, Normal People (Episode 5)

Steph Green, Watchmen (Little Fear Of Lightning)

Nicole Kassell, Watchmen (It’s Summer And We’re Running Out Of Ice)

Maria Schrader, Unorthodox – WINNER

Lynn Shelton, Little Fires Everywhere (Find A Way)

Stephen Williams, Watchmen (This Extraordinary Being)

 

Directing for a Variety Series

Dime Davis, A Black Lady Sketch Show, (Born At Night, But Not Last Night)

Jim Hoskinson, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (Live Show; Chris Christie; Nathaniel Rateliff)

Linda Mendoza, Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready (Flame Monroe)

David Paul Meyer, “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah” (Dr. Fauci Answers Trevor’s Questions About Coronavirus)

Paul Pennolino and Christopher Werner, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (Episode 629)

Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live (Host: Eddie Murphy) – WINNER

 

 

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