When discussing all the racial controversy surrounding Girls, I ultimately came to the conclusion that it’s stupid to blame one person for a systemic problem, and that instead of shitting on Lena Dunham for not ticking off certain diversity boxes she’s not well equipped to execute authentically, we should agitate for more TV shows written by all different kinds of people. When I spoke with The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl‘s Issa Rae recently, she mostly agreed with me.
Hence, I’m pretty excited to report that Issa Rae has been tapped to write and star in a new ABC sitcom, which will be called I Hate LA Dudes. In it, Rae will play “an aspiring journalist, new to Los Angeles, who becomes the lone female voice on a budding, male-driven Internet talk show, while learning to decode the often humiliating and exasperating rules of the LA dating scene.”
It will be produced by Shonda Rhimes of Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice fame, who has been vocal in the past about the need for more non-white characters on television. It’s nice that she’s taking a chance on a relative newcomer, as well as someone who got her name out there with a DIY, labor of love web show. And it says a lot about Rhimes’ opinion of Rae that she’s developing a comedy with her, as Shondaland Productions is currently best known for drama and looking to branch out. It’s not yet known who will be on the writing team, but I have a hunch that Rae and Rhimes care more about diversity in writer’s rooms than most. (I’m looking at you, Mindy Kaling and pretty much everyone else currently working in TV.)
I’m excited to see what Rae can do with a team of seasoned writers at her disposal, as she has lots of great ideas but needs help bringing the laugh lines sometimes. I’m also just excited to see Issa Rae on television in general. Not just because she’s black, but because she’s charming and relatable. The more shows like this we have, the more the Leslie Arfins of the world will realize that it’s not just a choice between Girls and Precious.