When the Academy Awards nominations were announced in the wee hours of January 6, there were plenty of people who had feelings about the lack of representation. But one of the internet’s favourite reactions was from Insecure star Issa Rae, who along with John Cho, was announcing the nominations live.
“Congratulations to those men,” Rae said with the perfect amount of shade—highly relatable shade considering the Academy completely shut out women from the Best Director category. Again.
Rae didn’t really need to say more than that to let her feelings be known, but on Wednesday morning during the HBO portion of the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Press Tour in Pasadena, Calif., she was asked about that comment that resonated with so many.
“Congratulations to those men.” Issa Rae said it best at today’s #OscarNoms after no women were nominated for best director. Find out who else was overlooked in the #Oscars categories pic.twitter.com/9tBtziIVLh
— Variety (@Variety) January 14, 2020
“We were told to just banter for five seconds as the teleprompter loaded, and that was my banter,” she shrugged. “I didn’t lie, I said congratulations to those men. That’s it… I think it’s unfortunate. The Academy needs to do better, I’m kind of tired of having the same conversation. Every year it’s something.”
Rae was at TCA to promote the upcoming fourth season of Insecure, where she basically does all the jobs as writer, producer and lead actress. She was quite quippy and honest throughout the entire panel, which is unsurprising if you’re a fan of her work. But even Rae is feeling decidedly tired of having the same conversations.
“For me, it’s just pointing it out when I see it. I don’t want to get too worked up about it,” she added. “It is what it is at this point. The conversation is happening behind-the-scenes at this point. I don’t want to say too much more about it… It’s annoying.”
So what is Rae getting worked up about these days? Plenty.
“I’m worked up about being [made] into soundbytes a lot,” she said, revealing that that theme will definitely make its way into the new season. “Misinterpreted, taken out of context… it’s the click-bait culture… And then I’m just worried about when you’re making art, the question of who it’s for, when you’re putting on a passion project and you have specific intentions in mind, and how that’s perceived in the public.”
If Rae is feeling a little overwhelmed about making that art these days, we can’t say we blame her. When the first season of Insecure debuted she made it in a bit of a vacuum. Now she’s basically the mirror-talking badass we all know and love, and is attracting Kerry Washington-level talent to the show.
“Kerry directed our penultimate episode this season. To be honest she is phenomenal,” Rae said. “As an actor’s director specifically, she really tested all of us in various ways. Kerry challenged all of us to try different things and you see onscreen that we’re all better for it.”
The fourth season of Insecure comes to Crave on April 12.