All Articles Tagged "issa rae"
We love “The View” — especially Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd — but how cool would it be to see all brown faces seated around a coffee table discussing issues that matter to black women? Well that wish is about to come true as Magic Johnson’s new Aspire network is gearing up to air a new talk show based off of the hit ABC series, featuring some of our favorite ladies.
“Exhale” is the name of the new talk show, which according to Variety.com, will feature five prominent African American women in the entertainment space as co-hosts. The women are, number one, our favorite awkward black girl Issa Rae, journalist and former ESSENCE editor-in-chief Angela Burt-Murray, comedian Erin Jackson, author and TV anchor Rene Syler who’s appeared on “The View” as a guest host, and actress Malinda Williams. Sounds awesome already right?
It won’t be long before the show comes into fruition, as the eight-episode first run is expected to debut in June to coincide with the network’s one-year anniversary. Aspire’s General Manager Paul Butler said of the channel’s third original series.
“We are thrilled to add ‘Exhale’ to our lineup of original programming. This fresh, hip and candid new series will enlighten audiences with its broad range of topics relevant to the community.”
Can we just say “The View” is definitely going to have some serious competition, at least among black women, now? The cast sounds like the perfect mix of positive, passionate, and professional women — not to mention hilarious — we will definitely be tuning in! Will you?
YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest have dramatically changed all of our lives. We now live in a world filled with more opportunities to both retrieve and create information. When it particularly comes to the entertainment business, new and social media have played a critical role in the advancement of new ideas, faces, and stories. Over the past couple of decades, the Internet has spawned a long list of Web entrepreneurs make up a vanguard of leaders you should pay close attention to. Here are superior examples of why the entertainment business should be online — and on the lookout — now.
I’ll Pass: Tracey Edmonds Says There Will Be A “Jumping The Broom” Sequel, And Her “Basketball Wives” Movie Will Be “Uplifting”
In an interview with Essence.com yesterday, producer Tracey Edmonds opened up about her new YouTube channel, Alright TV (for those really “hungry to be uplifted and inspired”), what films and shows she has in the works, and even talked about programs she’s working on with her boyfriend, Deion Sanders (*shudders*). But the most interesting reveal in the interview was not only her plans to bring us another Jumping The Broom (yay…?), but her also filling us in on that darn Basketball Wives movie she is working on with Shaunie O’Neal, which she says will be positive and uplifting. Good luck with that. Here are some of the highlights from the interview:
On working with her boo, Deion Sanders:
“He’s been wonderful. He’s one of the most positive people I know. On the network, Deion hosts Sports Dad where he comes to the rescue of sports-obsessed dads who are pushing their kids too hard. He’s also doing an inspirational blog. I met Deion through business and had a chance to see the wonderful man he is.”
On working with Issa Rae:
I love Issa Rae! We are doing a choir series with her to take a fun look at everything that happens in a church choir including relationships and choir competitions.
On creating opportunities for positive projects with Alright TV, that Basketball Wives movie in the works, and a Jumping The Broom 2…:
In all honesty, when I first started there were more opportunities for projects of color. There were at least seven distributors doing African-American films. Nowadays, it’s maybe two or three. That leaves fewer slots to get a film through and fewer opportunities to direct or produce. We are seeing the same with television. The good news is things are beginning to segue way online, which is global. A channel like Alright is reaching the entire world on YouTube and a wonderful opportunity to get positive images out to the world. There is a Jumping the Broom sequel in the works and I am also producing a Basketball Wives movie with Shaunie O’Neal. It’s not based on the show and is an uplifting story with a lot of twists.
Still not excited about the prospect of a Basketball Wives movie, nor a Jumping The Broom 2. But I’m all for black folks creating new things and having the ability to do so. Do your thing Tracey!
But speaking of Basketball Wives, there are swirling reports that Basketball Wives LA is getting the axe after the second season’s bad ratings. But if you’re still watching that mess, the Miami version will allegedly be back in August.
Check out Tracey’s full interview at Essence.com.
Andrea Lewis, an actress and singer, best known for her role as Hazel Aden on Degrassi: The Next Generation, has teamed up with “Awkward Black Girls’” Issa Rae to create a new web series called “Black Actress” that will premiere this summer.
No stranger to digital production, Lewis has spent the last few years growing the viewership for her current Web variety show “Those Girls are Wild (TGAW)” with friend Shannon T. Boodram to more than 60,000 subscribers and 7 million views.
But she insists that while this show will have a comedic arc similar to what you’ve seen on TGAW, it will also touch on some of the very real scenarios that women of color go through in Hollywood. And with the success of Kerry Washington’s historic role as the lead in Scandal, the reignited conversation about the lack of roles available to black women in television and film provides the perfect backdrop for a show like Black Actress.
I recently caught up with Andrea Lewis to learn more about the show, her new partnership with Issa Rae, and their crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
MadameNoire (MN): You’ve achieved a good amount of success as an actress. So what made you decide to launch a production company and create this new series with Issa Rae? Why not just wait for your agent to call with your next big break?
Andrea Lewis (AL): So far, I’ve had a great career and I’m very grateful. And technically I have been waiting for my agent to call with my “big break” my whole life. But I figured that if I can take control of my career instead of waiting for the gatekeepers to [pick me] or give me permission than that’s what I’m going to do.
I’ve always wanted my own production company and look up to women such as Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore who’ve gone down a [similar path]. So starting my own [production company] was a no brainer for me at this point in my life, and teaming up with Issa just made sense because she read one script and saw a scene that was already shot was completely [on board with the idea].
I think she’s hilarious and we definitely get each other’s humor and quirkiness.
MN: So what is “Black Actress?”
AL: “Black Actress” is a “mockumentary” Web series about the struggles of pursuing an unconventional career and making your dreams a reality even if it hurts. The series follows the journey of Kori Bailey, the lead character, played by myself, and features interviews with actual well-known black actresses.
MN: Can you name some of the actresses who will make a cameo on the show?
AL: Yes! The show will feature interviews from actresses such as Tatyana Ali, Keke Palmer, Kim Coles, Tracee Ellis Ross and many more.
[Click through for a short clip...]
Around these parts, we love us some Issa Rae, and the writer/producer/director and the genius behind Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and producer of web series gold like Roomieloverfriends and Fly Guys is the executive producer of a very interesting new web series called, How Men Become Dogs. You read right. Following the relationship disasters of three “good” men who get played or are unappreciated by their girlfriends, they decide that nice guys really do finish last, and that what most women want is dogs. Poodles to pitbulls. Here’s the actual synopsis from the site:
“How Men Become Dogs will go inside the lives of Cameron, Julian and Mario, three bachelors fresh out of heartbreaking relationships. This series will explore love from a male perspective revealing all of the shady situations men go through that cause them to turn from good guys to narsty dogs.”
There are some slow moments in the first episode, but each man’s story definitely has a lot of humor, especially the fella in the beginning whose girlfriend gives him the death face for planning a picnic in the park. It’s definitely entertaining (It’s a little long, but you’ll be okay if you watch it during your lunch break) and the writing isn’t bad, so we’re guessing you’ll enjoy it. But I did notice that a lot of the conversation surrounding it was that some people, women specifically, didn’t like the stereotypes presented about women in general (though I’m sure we all have known or heard about a woman behaving like the ones in the video at least once). What do you think? Be sure to check it out below and let us know what you think so far.
Ode to girls who aren’t slim, but aren’t too big either. Ode to big chops and sporting a small crown with no fear. Ode to equilibrium of woman, clumsy and sensual, awkward and beautiful.
We are real.
However, within Hollywood, the media, and other forms of the aesthetic that persuade the mind, we’re rarely seen in our averageness. I find it difficult to find myself within the fictional characters that unravel before my eyes. However, in Issa Rae’s notorious YouTube series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” I can spot my idiosyncrasies, every episode, from a mile away.
As artists and creators, we are guilty of placing pieces of ourselves within the confines our craft. I saw Issa Rae speak at the Influencer Con, this summer, and I was sure I was going to witness an entirely different woman, than the one I saw depicted within her series. This also includes, her role on Black&SexiTV’s “The Number” and her solo “RatchetPiece Theatre.” Laced in a cardigan, Converse sneakers, wooden bangles, and glasses, her simplicity stuck out to me. While she spoke about adoring instant feedback for her web series and cyber racism, I couldn’t help but see my reflection within her.
This was heightened by her story of a father who’d emailed her to tell her, that because of her show and quick come-up, his daughter was no longer ashamed of her natural hair, that she was being teased for.
She was quirky, funny, incredibly intelligent, and yes even a bit awkward. I was taken aback that her mannerisms, minus J’s Tourette-style raps and succumbing to her annoying co-workers, were awesomely similar to her character’s. I could see a correlation between J, Issa Rae, and myself as well. So, I decided to write this letter:
Dear Issa Rae and/or tidbits of J,
I don’t know if anyone has ever told you, but you reflect the predominance within us. I’m suddenly comfortable with my fro, thickness, and clumsiness when you flash across my screen. I often ran home to write rhymes and poems about boys/men who did not appreciate my swapping of third-grade PB&J. Who am I kidding? I still do that now, sans the trading of lunch.
I frequently pass the control-freak, in the hallway at work, and have daydreams of the different ways I could trip her. I’ve fantasized about the brown skin man who’s come in and simmered every on looking female’s soul (and that one gay intern), but never had the courage to truly say hello.
I imagine full out scenarios, atop the brownstone steps of Harlem, to some Rent/hip-hop inspired musicality, belting out my love for brown skin and my disdain for my own Nina-like control-freak standing across the street, with smoke blowing from her ears.
But the truth is, I haven’t stumbled over the boundaries that J has and I’m just crossing the threshold of freelancing, as you’ve done, some time ago, with screenwriting.
Is it just me, Issa Rae, or is it difficult to make it here? Even when you’re behind the scenes, aren’t you still cognizant of the onlookers/haters ready and willing to fling their opinions at your heart? If you are, it doesn’t look like it.
On or off the screen.
Your pride seems to dangle from every movement. You will not allow yourself to be confined and you’ve broken out of the boxes they’ve tried to put you in. As an evolved suburbanite, living in Brooklyn, who writes raps in secret, who ran into her car after telling her boyfriend that she liked him and spent a week avoiding him, I get your protagonist. I also get Issa Rae, an image I’ve been waiting for, a black woman who seems to fit perfectly into different circles, a chameleon to her industry.
Bereft of superficiality, your writing is the perfect hybrid of what we’re all thinking and feeling, but too self-conscious to say. We appreciate your protagonist’s embarrassments, showing us that the art of awkwardness is one that is universal and commonplace. We are not alone, those of us with or without Ceces, when it comes to stumbling through life.
That much is clear.
“RivaFlowz” is a teacher and professional writer living in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @rivaflowz.
Comedic actress Issa Rae, who is best known as the creator and star of The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl, is opening up about the pilot for her new TV show, I Hate LA Dudes.
The highly anticipated new show is a collaboration with Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes, and it’s name is no joke.
“I really do hate them,” says Rae in a recent interview with Vulture. “I hate the guys. I hate the mentality they have. Everyone’s so chillaxed, the way they speak and carry themselves. They’re very much laid-back in the sense that they feel like they don’t have to pursue you. Especially this generation, they don’t really court women anymore.”
Well, that sounds like some men everywhere! You can get more inside scoop about the show, including whether or not Issa will actually star in the show, over on Essence.
Are you a fan of The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl series? Will you be watching the new show when it hits ABC?
Why we’re saluting her:
Issae Rae is single-handedly responsible for making all of us awkward Black girls feel a lot less awkward. The producer/writer/director is the brains behind and the star of the award-winning web series, the “Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl (ABG),” and has become one of our favorite faces on the Internet.
While at Stanford, Rae produced and directed four theatrical productions, including two stage adaptations of Spike Lee films. After receiving her B.A. from the University, she went on to attend the New York Film Academy where she further developed her filmmaking skills and gave birth to ABG, which is actually her third web series.
Now, after being featured everywhere from BET, Essence, and Vibe to CNN, NBC, and The Huffington Post, Rae is gearing up to produce the upcoming sitcom, “Why I Hate LA Dudes,” working with another of our favorite black girls, Shonda Rhimes. After receiving offers from other networks who tried to convince Rae that America wouldn’t embrace a dark-skinned awkward character, she took her talent elsewhere and found a home on ABC. For her ability to broaden the spectrum of what a black girl is and keep us laughing all the while, we salute Issa Rae.
Click here to meet all of our salutes.
It’s easy to watch “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” and ask yourself, why didn’t I think of this? I’m black. I’m awkward. And I’ve certainly had more than a few of the same experiences J describes every week. Well, loves that’s not how the cookie crumbled. And instead of you, Issa Rae was the one with the master plan. And though it may seem like she skyrocketed to success overnight, Issa has had her fair share of struggle.
And it’s the journey to the top that she shares with film maker, Jabari Johnson of “Jabari Presents.” Issa shares the journal entry she wrote when she first came up with the idea, the financial struggles she endured to get to this point and what’s next.
Check out the documentary below:
Back in October, we ecstatically reported that “Scandal” creator, Shonda Rhimes and “Awkward Black Girl” visionary, Issa Rae would be joining forces to create a new half-hour sitcom for ABC entitled, “I Hate L.A. Dudes”. In a recent interview with Sister 2 Sister, Issa opened up about the plot of the sitcom, how the show relates to her real life and why she can’t date men from Los Angeles. Check out what our girl had to say.
On the basis for the show:
“The show will center around people dating from L.A. and about a girl who isn’t from L.A. and her new experiences in L.A. So it’s really L.A. centered, but it’s really about the universal differences between men and women.”
On how much of the show is based on her real life:
“It’s only autobiographical in the sense that I do hate L.A. men, so sorry, y’all suck. But, I think that’s the extent of it. There will be some of my experiences sprinkled in here and there, but for the most part it’s just my worst nightmare of dating.”
On her beef with L.A. men:
“What isn’t wrong with L.A. men? A lot of L.A. men are very, very into themselves. They love fashion. They treat women horribly because a lot of women let them treat them horribly. There’s just a vicious cycle of L.A.-ness. You know, a lot of them still live at home, don’t have cars, are kind of superficial. At the end of the day, I still love them. I have a lot of L.A. male friends, but they gotta do better.”
Hilarious! It’s hard not to love Issa. She’s definitely earned the title of “friend in my head”. Don’t judge me, I bet you have a few of those, too.
Check out footage from Issa’s interview on the following page. Will you be watching ”I Hate L.A. Dudes” when it airs?