With Issa Rae’s HBO’s hit series Insecure coming to a series end, you would be mistaken if you think the show’s creator is ready to ride off into the sunset and call it a career.
And if there were any doubts about Rae’s future plans at continued media world domination, on Wednesday, news broke that the actress/producer is not only renewing her commitment to HBO, she’s also inked a brand new, five-year overall deal that will create a partnership between her media company Hoorae and WarnerMedia. In other words, the sister broke off a dynasty-building move.
According to Variety, “The pact gives HBO, HBO Max and Warner Bros. television exclusive rights to Rae’s work in TV, plus a first-look film deal that spans WarnerMedia brands, including Warner Bros. Pictures Group, New Line and HBO Max.” We see you Issa.
“It’s really exciting to have that flexibility and just deepen the relationship that we already have,” said Rae in a Variety interview that served as the magazine’s March cover feature. “Hoorae already had at least 15 projects in various stages of development with them, so we’d been working with them on the drama side, the unscripted side, and the documentaries side for a couple years now.”
“When people believe in you and build with you, I tend to want to further that relationship. That’s just been a staple of mine with so many of the people that I work with,” she added.
Sources close to the deal are reporting that the pact is valued at $40 million over five years. For context, fellow game-changer Donald Glover, inked a similar deal with Amazon Studios.
“It’s been very good to work with Issa personally, but also as a company because she’s seeded a lot of talent elsewhere,” said HBO and HBO Max Chief Content Officer Casey Bloys. “It’s an indicator of passion,” he explains. “Insecure always scores very high when it’s on and I think that says a lot about the fan base, that she’s telling a story that a lot of people want to hear.”
Rae is currently filming the fifth and final season of Insecure and has the second season of Robin Thede’s A Black Lady Sketch Show (on which she is an executive producer) in the works.
Rae, however, is not satisfied with sharing her genius on the big and small screens. Enter her audio company / record label, Raedio, that has also signed a deal with ViacomCBS.
“Music has always been an essential part of every project I do and working with emerging talent is a personal passion…Raedio allows me to continue that work within the music industry and audio entertainment space.”
Raedio will now, however, do more that produce music and cultivate artists. The deal with the mass media conglomerate ViacomCBS opens the door for Rae to work with MTV Entertainment Group, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and CMT. Rae could also find herself, through this deal, working with and impacting other ViacomCBS brands, such as Showtime, BET, Nick and more.
In other words, it’s Issa’s world and we’re just visiting, and digging everything this Black Girl Magic-filled sister produces.