Issa Rae is still waiting on real change.
The “Insecure” and “Rap Sh!t” creator is on the cover of Elle‘s new “Women in Hollywood” issue, alongside Olivia Wilde, Michelle Yeoh, Sydney Sweeney and more.
In the issue, Rae talks about her career, being considered a role model and the effect of the #MeToo movement on Hollywood.
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Asked how much has changed since the beginning of #MeToo, Rae says, “Sadly, not much. It feels like we’re regressing, depressingly so.
“There are just too many enablers for there to be real change. People have to be held accountable. There have to be legitimate consequences. Hollywood is very bad about consequences. It’s literally the worst industry when it comes to punishing people for misdeeds, because money will always reign supreme,” she continues. “That’s something that, even by working in this industry, we’re enabling. So it’s hard. What I have realized is that I can control my own environment and who I work with. I can hold people accountable within my world and my bubble. I don’t have to work for everybody. All money isn’t good money. All people aren’t good people…”
Rae is also asked what more actually needs to be done to make positive change in the industry, and cites “The Flash” star Ezra Miller as an example of where the problems are.
“It starts with a backbone. While I don’t support people jumping to conclusions and I think it’s entirely fair for investigations to happen, I think it’s extremely important to, like the mantra says, ‘Listen to women.’ I’m gonna be real, the stuff that’s happening with Ezra Miller is, to me, a microcosm of Hollywood,” she explains.
“There’s this person who’s a repeat offender, who’s been behaving atrociously, and as opposed to shutting them down and shutting the production down, there’s an effort to save the movie and them,” she says. “That is a clear example of the lengths that Hollywood will go to to save itself and to protect offenders. So, don’t do that, and women may be able to thrive. They won’t have to live in fear of keeping silent because it’ll ruin their careers. It’s just a constant pattern of abuse that’ll only persist if Hollywood continues to insist on being this way.”
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Miller has been involved in repeated legal issues, including accusations of assault, abuse and grooming minors. In August, they apologized for past behaviour and announced they had begun treatment for mental health issues.
In the interview, Rae is asked about being a role model and admits she doesn’t see herself as one at all.
“I don’t feel any responsibility,” she says. “I’m like, ‘If you look up to me, proceed with caution. That’s on you. I’m sorry, while also flattered. But good luck to you if you do.’ I’m very transparent about my mistakes. I’m very transparent about my journey. But I don’t have to watch myself or what I do. If I had a legion of 12-year-old girl fans, I would be more cautious, but I don’t think that’s the case.”