Issa Rae slams Hollywood’s effort to ‘save’ and protect Ezra Miller

Issa Rae is one of Elle Magazine’s Women In Hollywood honorees, and one of their WIH cover stars. Issa is so photogenic, it’s crazy. I love seeing her on a red carpet – she always pops and the camera finds her – but in editorials, she always looks amazing too. Issa is currently dealing with the “what’s next” of her professional career. Insecure ended in less than a year ago, and she got to end it on her terms. While she immediately jumped into producing and creating new shows, she’s also giving herself time to put together her next big moves as a writer, producer and actress. I do think of her like I think of Mindy Kaling – she can do it all, she has a unique ability to create “content” at every level. Some highlights from Issa’s Elle interview:

Waking up before 4 am every day: Being an early riser, she says, is her self-care. “Those couple of hours are the only time that is just mine.”

Her ultimate goal is owning a studio in South L.A. “That has been in the works for quite some time, so that would be like, ‘Okay, I’ve done what I set out to do.’” But while she works toward that day, her career has already far exceeded her wildest dreams. “[As a kid], I knew I wanted to write, but I definitely did not have a vision of what I’m doing now. I just didn’t know what was possible.”

Being a boss: “I was just talking about how much I hate it the other day. [laughs] I love the work, but leading [a company] is a completely different beast. It’s a full-time job. I realize that I can only do the full-time job when I’m not creating, which is kind of a nonstarter for me. So trying to find that balance and make sure that these brilliant people that I’ve hired have vision and direction is my main priority, but it requires a different part of my brain to run.”

What has changed for women in Hollywood post-#MeToo: “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 and actions, because money will always reign supreme. 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.”

On what more needs to be done: “It starts with a backbone. While I don’t support people jumping to immediate 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. 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. 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.”

On being a role model: “I don’t feel any responsibility. 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.”

What she wishes she knew before starting out: “That a lot of people really don’t know what they’re doing and don’t know the answers…They don’t know anything. They’re learning at the same time as I am. They’re just as surprised when something is a hit as I am. These are just people who are winging it. You can do the same amount of research, the same amount of reading, and the same amount of studying as they can to be a step ahead.”

On her only-in-Hollywood moment: “I was at the Golden Globes sitting at a table with the cast of Big Little Lies. Laura Dern was having a conversation with the president of HBO and was casually, unbeknownst to me, pitching him her next idea. It was him being like, ‘Okay, I love the idea. Who’s gonna write it?,’ then her pointing to me, and then us selling a show together. That, to me, will always be an only-in-Hollywood moment. Now we just have to make the show.”

[From Elle]

I cannot believe my nemesis Laura Dern tried to pitch a show with Issa Rae without Issa even knowing! Typical nemesis behavior. I especially like what Issa says about how she doesn’t feel any obligation to be a role model, which is how it should be, although she IS a role model to a lot of girls and women. I’m also enjoying her callout of business-as-usual around Ezra Miller. Maybe I’m not paying close enough attention, but the Ezra Miller situation is especially bonkers because – in my mind – Ezra Miller is not even A-list talent? They’re literally trying to save this terrible person’s career when Miller is utterly replaceable and forgettable as an “actor.” It’s not like Miller is Tom Cruise or something, you know?

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid. Cover courtesy of Elle.

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32 Responses to “Issa Rae slams Hollywood’s effort to ‘save’ and protect Ezra Miller”

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  1. girl_ninja says:

    I’ve always been impressed with how she took her passion and used the tools she had to create and distribute Awkward Black Girl. She’s a true inspiration and talent.

  2. ML says:

    Her voice is so needed! I’m thinking of Insecure. And she’s absolutely right about Ezra/ Johnny/ Brad/ Louis/ Shia, etc

    • Janine says:

      Absolutely agreed! They’re acting up and everyone is caping to save Ezra’s career why? Not trying to condemn, but let Ezra face some consequences for their actions for a time.

  3. Moderatelywealthy says:

    No lies detected. Ezra Miller is garbage and should have entered a rehab to treat themselves if they were indeed a good person, because good people WANT to get better.

    • Tacky says:

      Addiction doesn’t give a crap if you are a good or bad person. 85% of people who complete rehab relapsed within the first year.

      • Moderatelywealthy says:

        I noticed people sometimes dont understand the spirit…maybe I failed in this.

        Good people can fall on hard times, have mental illness etc. Once they see for themselves what they are doing, they TRY to do something, They might fail, might repalse, but at least they try

        Ezra NEVER tried. They were forced to go and seek treatment by their studio to save their 200 Million US investments.

        Ezra Miller is NOT a good person, menatl illness, addiction have nothing to do with it

    • Bettyrose says:

      I wasn’t familiar with the Ezra Miller situation so I googled and found numerous incidents of violent outbursts, possibly addiction related, but the big story is grooming a 12 year old girl. That’s not about addiction.

  4. CheChe says:

    Issa took diversity to a different level by showing it’s nuances in WOC. Not all WOC are cool and hip …their just human.

  5. mia girl says:

    Love her. She really is one of the most talented and powerful creative voices out there today. And it’s because her work comes from a place of honesty.

    As for why they are saving Ezra, it mostly has nothing to do with Ezra as a person or actor. It’s about saving a franchise movie, already completed, that tested really well. They want to have their big theatrical release to make a ton of money. There are a lot of fans who have been waiting to see The Flash. So they need to make some fans feel better about Ezra. That, sprinkled with a bit of the trope of the troubled, but brilliant actor is why Ezra hasn’t been tossed aside.

    • Gizmo’sMa says:

      Issa was just on an episode of The Hair Tales. It’s talks of her journey thru life and her hair. I am loving this series. Made me realize how much I miss her on TV.

      I think WB wants to save Ezra and the movie. IIRC Ezra choked slammed that woman before filming started on The Flash movie. So WB could have cut their losses right then and there. WB could have recast Barry Allen. WB didn’t bc they wanted Ezra as The Flash.

      • Lucía says:

        Last week I did see some talk about WB maybe looking to recast the character…? Apparently they were/are considering George Mackay to take over the role.

  6. Brassy Rebel says:

    I’ve said this before but it can’t be said often enough. There needs to be a big, serious book about Hollywood rape culture. How it came to be at the birth of the industry, and how it thrives to this day. I wish a respected author would take this on. Unfortunately, it looks like Me Too was just a blip in Hollywood history. Then everyone went back to business as usual.

  7. ChillinginDC says:

    Love her.

    And honestly the Ezra thing is beyond insane. I would argue he’s B list cause the man is in two major franchises. I think they both suck, but he’s pretty high up there

  8. Julia K says:

    That red dress is amazing and she carries it off beautifully. Shiny red purse is perfect. Very glam.

  9. Mia4s says:

    They are not so much trying to save “Ezra” as they are trying to save the $200 million movie that it would be too expensive to cut/recast him from. It’s the most grossly cynical thing imaginable. Trust me if that movie underperforms or just runs it’s course? The studio won’t care if he turns up dead in a ditch a week later.

    • Steph says:

      Nah, Batgirl cost just as much and they happily shelved that. It’s Ezra they are trying to save.

      • Jennifer says:

        Good point. Who cares if it’s a woman, right?

      • Robert Phillips says:

        Batgirl didn’t cost anywhere near as much. Estimates i’ve heard Batgirl around 90 million. The Flash 200 million. Plus its to be the tentpole of all the other DC Movies. Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman. The flash if successful can help bring in billions for WB.

    • Tiffany:) says:

      I think it is both. By trying to save the movie and their investment, it forces them to save the performer starring in it. Preventing someone from facing consequences for crimes because it benefits you financially is so incredibly wrong.

    • The Recluse says:

      Basically, once this Flash movie comes out, Warner Brothers is DONE with Ezra. He’s going to cost them money and they’re just treading water until then.
      A shame they didn’t examine his behaviour beforehand.
      I hear they’ve already got a replacement ready to go for any future projects.

  10. Denise says:

    She’s amazing. Her voice is needed much. Reading this interview, seeing her creativity, wisdom, outspokeness is like giving water to a desert.

    More of her please

  11. Petra (Brazen Archetyped Phenomenal Woman) says:

    In speaking her mind, Issa Rae seems to have no fear of retaliation from Hollywood (I admire her for that.) I watched all seasons of Insecure this past summer, and it was so good. I’ll make time this winter to watch Awkward Black Girl. That red gown is perfection on her.

    I need a series based on the character Nathan. The conversation on bipolar is so needed.

  12. Chantal says:

    WB spent $200 mil on the new Flash movie so they are desperate to save it. Apparently Ezra is playing multiple Flashes. It will be a flop bc by now many of the fans are aware of the many awful things Ezra has been accused of and in some instances, arrested for.
    I’m mad bc Michael Keaton is in it and IMO he’ll always be the best Batman – movie wise, with Christian Bale a close second, and Adam West is the best just bc. Again, JMO!
    WB shelved a Latina led superhero movie they spent $90 mil on bc of reasons. They even refused to let HBOMax show it so I guess it’ll never see the light of day. Unfortunately. Esp since many horrible films make it to the big screen, constantly! But the new Flash movie must be saved.
    They could even cast Grant Gustin in it (CW Flash), someone the fans are familiar and fairly popular with but I guess it would cost more to reshoot. They have a serious problem with this movie and the promotion and marketing of it and no cost effective solutions to solving any of its many issues.

  13. lionfire says:

    To me, the situation is epclly bonkers because Miller is targeting CHILDREN. Children are his victims. And even HW, up until now, had (publicly) no mercy for child predators. Until now.
    It really makes me think what does Miller has on the HW of they’re ready to protect him no matter numerous and very real accusation about their* predatory behaviour.

    *By all accounts, Miller is always heterosexual in his offences and not one of te witnesses of his behaviour commented that it seems his gender fluidity is just a mask so Miller could easily do whatever with a ready excuse about “persecution because of his gender”. So, not only a child predator, but also a person who is seriously endangering LGBTIQ comunity as well.

    • lionfire says:

      And I will list just a few of them, bc I think it is important to cite them, so more people know what exactly Miller is accused of:
      Cultish organization in Iceland,
      Relocating and isolating young mother with 2 children under 5 on farm loaded with weapons,
      Grooming a teenager,
      seriously attacking a woman….
      And the list goes on

      Where is the line, when will those HW people say enough?!

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        Look how long it took to out Bill Murray as a creep. Miller is not nearly as big a star but male stars in general are extended all kinds of leeway to prey on whomever. I think Miller was identified as the “next big thing” before all his behavior was revealed. So now they’re kinda stuck.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      “It really makes me think what does Miller has on the HW” — I feel this way about Bryan Singer and Brett Ratner.

  14. Emmy Rae says:

    She always interviews with great clarity. Even when she is making people laugh on talk shows she gets her point across. I like that she holds organizations and systems to a higher standard rather than trying to be perfect herself.

  15. Nicegirl says:

    Amazing Issa Rae 💕 🖖

  16. l says:

    Is there a way to discuss Ezra Miller’s male privilege while respecting their pronouns? I’ve been trying to figure out the correct way to do this. Although Ezra is non-binary, there would not be this level of desperate determination by Hollywood to “help” and “save” them as there would be for a nonbinary person who presents as female.