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‘Insecure’ is over, but Issa Rae is just getting started. Here’s everything she’s working on now



The end of an era is really just the beginning for Issa Rae.

In an interview for TODAY’s first digital cover story, Rae said what she’s most proud of in creating and starring in HBO’s Emmy-winning series “Insecure” is its legacy. Rae said throughout the series and since it ended earlier this year, “Insecure” changed career trajectories for everyone involved.

“Being able to let people hone their skills on ‘Insecure,’ and then watch them show and prove to the point where they’re now demanded by other projects … that’s dope to me, because I saw that happen on Black TV shows growing up,” Rae said. “You start to build a foundation: a group of people that you’ve come up with, and we are the ones giving each other our second chances, and our third jobs, and then our fourth jobs. And they, in turn, are doing the same thing with their extended group of people. I think it’s a mentality that’ll lead to another shift of us looking out for each other.”

The legacy of “Insecure” helped pave the way for what Rae, 37, is currently working on just six months after the iconic show ended with three new Emmy nominations in addition to the 11 it had before this year.

Rae’s sophomore show “Rap Sh!t” premieres on HBO July 21 and she is producing multiple projects through her companies, Hoorae and Raedio, plus starring in movies and writing some of her own.

‘Rap Sh!t’

The miniseries set in Miami follows two estranged high school friends as they try to become a hot rap duo. Rae said she’s always wanted to have a rap-centered show, and almost took “Insecure” down that path but compromised with just doing Mirror Issa. But she resurfaced the goal when HBO asked her what she wanted to do after “Insecure.”

“Thinking about this time in music, it just feels different,” Rae says. “There’s so many women rappers who are killing it. There are beefs here and there, but for the most part they all seem to be having a good time. They support each other, and that world felt interesting to me. So I just started thinking about the music industry and what the come up would look like, and the come up specifically through the lens of the internet.”

In this project, Rae included someone from her “Insecure” family. Syreeta Singleton got her start in the industry five years ago as a writing assistant on “Insecure.” Now Singleton is the showrunner for “Rap Sh!t.”

Photo of Issa Rae in Los Angeles, California.
Issa Rae told TODAY that her next chapter includes writing her own movies.Raven B. Varona for TODAY

Hoorae productions

Rae’s production company, Hoorae Productions, produces two HBO shows: “Sweet Life,” which she created and executive produces, plus Emmy-winning “A Black Lady Sketch Show,” created by her friend and colleague Robin Thede. The sketch show just received five new Emmy nominations.

Thede told TODAY in an interview her show only ended up at HBO because of Rae.

Thede said her talk show on BET, “The Rundown with Robin Thede” had just gotten cancelled in 2017 when she got a phone call from Rae.

“Issa called me immediately, and was like: ‘Congratulations. Now, what are we doing together'” Thede recalled Rae asking her. Thede remembers being sad over losing her show, but Rae didn’t let her become discouraged.

“She was like, ‘I don’t care. Now we have an opportunity to work together because you’re actually free and you’re never free.'”

Thede told Rae she had a sketch show she wanted to do and a network already picked up, “but the money wasn’t right,” Thede said.

Thede remembered telling Rae, “I want it to look really amazing and I was set on creating the most beautiful sketch show ever. So she was like, ‘bring it to HBO.’ We went and met with them, and they bought it on the spot.”

“A Black Lady Sketch Show” premiered Season One in August 2019 and the following year, Rae launched Hoorae in September and started producing the show as of Season Two.


Raedio is Rae’s audio production company and record label she founded in 2019 in partnership with Atlantic Records. The company does music supervision, audio publishing, podcasts and events, among other projects.

As of last November, the company has signed four artists and won two Webbys for the series “Looking for LaToya.” More than 100 of Raedio’s productions have been featured in shows, such as “And Just Like That…,” “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” and “Sweet Life: Los Angeles.”

Benoni Tagoe, the president of Raedio, first met Rae when they worked together on her critically acclaimed web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.” Tagoe said in an interview with Forbes last November that even while working on the web series, he and Rae discussed creating an audio company.

Tagoe said fans talked about the soundtrack to episodes of “Awkward Black Girl” and “Insecure” just as much as the show itself.

“Record labels recognized it was like striking the holy grail when an artist got a placement on the show, resulting in more streams and money,” Tagoe said. “That’s when we realized we were onto something. At that time we saw an opportunity to collaborate on the development of our label, Raedio, by combining her artistic expertise with my music industry experience.”

Photo of Issa Rae in Los Angeles, California.
Issa Rae is booked and busy!Raven B. Varona for TODAY

Starring in movies

Rae is starring in upcoming movie “Vengeance” premièring July 29 with Ashton Kutcher and B.J. Novak, who’s making his directorial debut with the film. The movie follows Ben Manalowitz (Novak), a journalist and podcaster who travels from New York to Texas to investigate the death of a woman he previously dated.

Rae is also in the new “Barbie” movie that’s currently filming and the team has been tightlipped about it. Rae said she was initially hesitant to join the sprawling cast, but the director, Greta Gerwig, won her over.

“I was like, ‘This sounds crazy, but OK. Let me just read the script,’” Rae remembered saying as a compromise. “When you read the script, you’re like, ‘Oh, I get it!’ It’s very funny, and it’s just very specific to her … working with her was absolutely amazing.”

Writing her own movies

Rae has already written her first movie screenplay and now it’s just a matter of starting production.

“It’s part of the next chapter. I’m looking to film one soon,” she said.

As for starring in her own movie, she’ll make that decision the same way she usually does: “I’ll see how that goes,” she said through laughter.

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Keanu Reeves Pays Tribute to Lance Reddick: ‘He Was the Consummate Professional’



Keanu Reeves is paying tribute to his late friend and co-star, Lance Reddick.

The actor released a statement with John Wick director Chad Stahelski on Friday following the news of Reddick’s death. Reddick appeared in all four films of the Wick franchise as hotel concierge Charon — and was also slated to appear in the upcoming spinoff film, Ballerina.

“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken at the loss of our beloved friend and colleague Lance Reddick,” the pair said in their statement. “He was the consummate professional and a joy to work with. Our love and prayers are with his wife Stephanie, his children, family and friends. We dedicate the film to his loving memory. We will miss him dearly.”

Lionsgate also released a statement, saying, “The world of Wick would not be what it is without Lance Reddick and the unparalleled depth he brought to Charon’s humanity and unflappable charisma. Lance leaves behind an indelible legacy and hugely impressive body of work, but we will remember him as our lovely, joyful friend and Concierge. We’re stunned and heartbroken, and our deepest condolences go to his beloved family and his fans all around the world.”

Reddick died on Friday of natural causes. He was 60 years old.

“Acclaimed actor Lance Reddick passed away suddenly this morning from natural causes,” his rep confirmed to ET on Friday. “He is survived by his wife Stephanie Reddick and children Yvonne Nicole Reddick and Christopher Reddick. Donations in his memory can be made to in Baltimore, his hometown. Lance will be greatly missed. Please respect his family’s privacy at this time.”

Reddick also appears in the upcoming remake of White Men Can’t Jump and was slated to play Zeus in the Disney+ TV adaptation of Percy Jackson and the Olympians.



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30 Home Workout Products From Walmart For Anyone Who Refuses To Go To The Gym



Promising review: “It’s especially wonderful at loosening my back knots in the sciatica region. I was unsure which brand to go with as the market is littered with multiple brands, a friend of mine, another massage therapist, recommends this brand.” —Chris

Price: $65.99 (originally $131.99, available in two colors)

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Shannen Doherty says she’s ‘feeling great’ during ‘Charmed’ cast reunion at 90s Con



Shannen Doherty appeared at 90s Con this weekend, joining her former “Charmed” co-stars for a special reunion.

On March 18, fans of the hit ‘90s supernatural series attended a panel featuring cast members like Holly Marie Combs, Rose McGowan, Drew Fuller, Brian Krause and Dorian Gregory.

That’s 4 Entertainment, the company behind the annual event that features some of the biggest ‘90s stars, uploaded a video on its Instagram story of Doherty walking onto the stage and bringing Prue, Piper and Paige together. 

In the clip, the audience starts to cheer as Doherty embraces the “Charmed” cast. Doherty brings McGowan and Combs into a big group hug and asks the crowd, “I mean, is this not like a power of three or what?”

Doherty played Prue Halliwell in “Charmed,” the oldest of three sisters who are witches. McGowan’s Paige replaced Prue after Season Three.The WB

Prue, Piper and Alyssa Milano’s character, Phoebe, were the original “power of three” on the show. They played sisters who discovered they were powerful witches.

Doherty left “Charmed” after Season Three and was replaced in the trio by McGowan’s character, Paige.

During the panel, Doherty, who revealed that her breast cancer had returned as stage 4 in 2020, also shared a brief update on how she’s feeling. 

According to People, the 51-year-old actor was asked on stage how she was doing.

“I‘m feeling great, thank you! … This crowd is amazing!” she said. 

During the panel, she spoke about how she related to her character Prue and the eldest Halliwell’s strength. 

“Prue was a very, very, very strong woman. I was a really strong woman,” she told the audience, per People. “I played her as that. And I think that did have a definitive impression upon a lot of younger women who were watching the show, to grow up with that sort of inner strength and to help their families and take care of their families.”

She added, “We’re very much about empowering women and empowering women within the show.”

The former “Beverly Hills, 90210” star was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 before going into remission in 2017. Three years later, Doherty’s representative confirmed to that her breast cancer had returned.

Doherty opened up to People in 2021 about her diagnosis being a “part of life at this point.”

“I feel like I have a responsibility in my more public life, which I separate from my acting life … to talk about cancer and perhaps educate people more and let people know that people with stage 4 are very much alive and very active,” she told the outlet at the time. 

“My husband says that you would never know that I have cancer,” she continued, referring to photographer Kurt Iswarienko. “I never really complain. I don’t really talk about it. It’s part of life at this point.”

Since receiving her diagnosis, Doherty has used her platform to educate fans about the impact the disease has on the body. 

In October 2021, she uploaded photos to Instagram to document her breast cancer journey and the effects of chemotherapy treatment.

“For breast cancer awareness month, I’d like to share more of my own personal journey from my first diagnosis to my second,” she wrote in the caption. “Is it all pretty? NO but it’s truthful and my hope in sharing is that we all become more educated, more familiar with what cancer looks like.” 

She encouraged everyone reading her post to get mammograms and regular checkups. 

Doherty also said she would do simple things, like put on Cookie Monster pajamas, to cheer her up. She included a picture of her lying in the all-blue outfit in her post. 

“I looked ridiculous and in that ridiculousness, I was able to laugh at myself,” she wrote. “Finding humor helped get me thru what seemed impossible. I hope we all find humor in the impossible.”

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