By Sarah Springer and Sarah Edwards, CNN
(CNN) –After “The Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl," won the Shorty Award for best webshow last month, creator Issa Rae saw racist comments and the N-word lobbed at her via social media. The show hadn't won the popular vote, but the judges selected it to win; some commenters said media attention around the death of Trayvon Martin was at the root of the win.
“The backlash was pretty intense,” Rae said about the comments made by fellow competitors. “I’m glad they didn’t win, they didn’t deserve to, by any means."
Although negative comments are nothing new for the 27-year-old actress, Rae said, what others had to say never bothered her until now, especially with the recent social media furor over some of “The Hunger Games” characters being black.
“Everything is so clear right now, after ‘The Hunger Games,’ I started taking it more seriously," she said. "In a sense that’s what they wanted, for me to be all beat up by it, but I refuse.”
Knowing this issue was much bigger than her alone; Rae said she was compelled to say something about it. So, a few of weeks ago she took her thoughts to xojane.com where she wrote about the influx of racism floating around the webisphere.
“Users hide comfortably behind their computer screens and type the most obnoxiously offensive things they can think of and thirstily WAIT for an angry response; a validation of their modest efforts," she wrote.
Rae said she's all for promoting open dialogue online, but the Internet has become a place for small communities to spread racism and racists should pay for their actions.
“The internet has provided small communities for racism online and people feel free to do it, she said. “Ultimately, there should be some consequence - if you promote your racism online then there should be a consequence.”
Her attitude: I'm rubber and you're glue.
Opinion: Is online anonymity the new robe and hood of hate?
Rae said she hadn't intended to enter the Shorty Awards, but after noticing the amount people rooting for her, she thought they might have a chance to win.
“It was completely a surprise. I heard about the awards and I started seeing on Twitter people were nominating us and in the final weeks I tried to make the top five," she said.
The success of Rae's show relied heavily on the Internet, where open dialogue is accepted regardless of how taboo it may be.
Even the main character in the series, an awkward black woman named J, uses the N-word in her thoughts and when she raps - it's her therapy, the character explains in the show.
“J uses the word in her head,” Rae said. “She’s never called anyone that face to face - it’s about her thoughts.”
Rae said there is nothing funny about hateful speech and she believes there is a difference between using words for malicious purposes and using words to make people laugh.
“For our series, the entire purpose is to satirize hateful speech,” Rae said. “ J embraces the hip-hop culture, and hip-hop uses language that is offensive, homophobic. Her use of it demonstrates how stupid it is. I personally don’t believe in trying to get rid of a word. It doesn’t seem as effective - it’ll make them want to use the word more.”
As for making sure people get the joke, Rae said viewers will not hear an explanation in the script.
“In the show it’s either 'You get it, or you don’t,'” she said. “I’m not going to explain the jokes.”
Poll: Are you OK with comedians using the N-word?
But if people have questions, all they have to do is ask her online, she said.
"One thing I love about the show being online is that there's instant feedback and discussion from the viewers. If you watch the show and you don't understand something or you don't like something, you can express that anywhere," Rae said.
"I'm a social media addict. I read all of the comments and I am completely open to discussing any and all decisions we make for the show. If an episode facilitates discussion, then I'm happy. If you want an explanation, then I'm happy to give it to you."
What has the Shorty response done for "Awkward Black Girl?" Create more traffic, Rae said.
“I think it’s great for creation because it’s brought about awareness. The bad press has led many to my show,” said Rae, whose team just finished writing the first episode for the second season. “I thrive on obstacles. If I’m told that it can’t be told, then I push harder. They are creating opportunities for us as long as they continue to be racist.”
CAn somebody please, tell me, what the hell slavery has to do with the article?? The interviewee never mentioned anything about racism, but simply responded to the racist backlash she's received from sore losers she defeated at the shorty awards. All I've seen people derailing the discusion from the topic at hand. What does slavery have to do with the fact that this talented and bright women was being bullied by a bunch of online thugs? Quit taking away from the important elements of this article.
Awesome show... very diverse, if you haven't watched it and you're judging Issa based on this article, shame on you. Take the time to watch the show.. racists might be mad, but people looking for quality entertainment will get the point and LAUGH. Great show, keep up the good work, Issa. Let the haters hate... that's all they're good for anyway. Rock on.
I could say the same thing about the woman who birthed you, but I won't. :)
Why bother saying that you won't when you know you just did?
This young sister is a very nice person. I wish her nothing but the best. Issa Rae is my new guru even at my old age of 54.
Why did she include race in the name of her series? She brought in on herself by doing that. Anyone who spends time on the 'net knows that people will say nasty, vicious things anonymously. This is nothing new. She is not a race expert. She is an instigaor of the divisions of race by proclaiming her 'blackness' and than acts all surprised at the response.
Please. Also, the only awkward about that show is the acting and the writing. It stinks.
I love ABG!!! Maybe they should do a crossover with HBO's "Girls." they're apparently having some diversity issues. lol
You can't please everyone, nor should you try. Just tell your story!
You know how to diffuse the race baiters? You do not acknowledge racism exists. This works especially well when the race baiter makes a personal accusation of racism at a person. Do not allow the race baiter to control your mind. If you know you are right you are right, and just because someone thinks someone is racist does not mean its true, they are only trying to leverage your guilt against you.
Oh yeah, that works wonderfully. "I'm not racist or anything, but aren't black people a lot like monkeys?" Well, so long as you're sure you're not racist, I guess you've avoided those pesky race-baiters! Ignorance is bliss!
Exactly. The bottom line people are going to have their prejudices whatever it is. If a person does not like a person for whatever reason, just brush it off and do not let it affect how you feel about yourself. Racism cannot affect anybody if the individual does not allow it to. We can try to legislate what people say and do, but ultimately all we do is alienate people that are not racist. Is it not a bit racist to say that all white people should feel responsible for the injustices perpetrated by our forefathers? And then try to offset the injustice by creating special protected classes to give the protected class a headstart or special rights that are not afforded to every American?
The best way to deal with it is to ignore it.
I'm so glad they finished the first episode of season 2. ABG is a great show. Racism is all over America and the internet does allow people to say terrible things with no repercussions. I wonder if these same people would say these things in public?
WOW! I didn't even know! I am SO excited now!. :D
Oh yes please get over the Slavery c r a p. No one is living today that ever purchased, sold or was a slave. Every nation on this big ball in the sky has had slaves at one time but the USA is the only nation that just absolutely refuses to get over it. It is like it happened yesterday not hundreds of years ago. Some nations still have slavery. Black people coming to America today just don't understand the controversy over the past. They state that anyone in their nation would gladly exchange places with any black US citizens.
I'm willing to bet that we'd get over it as soon as the American Indians & Jews get over their history as well....
You have a good point, but as I was saying in a different post to a different question, immigration in this country has caused many problems, but the biggest one is that people of other cultures don't want to live the same way the europeans do that founded the country. The Americans controlling the politics don't understand why we can't all live the same way and that's the problem. Different cultures are not tolerate of other cultures and don't want to be. Politicians are kind of in denial and don't want to deal with a social issue as big as that. And that's not all their fault, They don't know how to fix the problem without hurting a lot of voters.
Immigration has allowed too many different cultures to co-exist and they all have different points of view and they're not ready to change. This is not the only country with immigration problems. Most of the Western cultures have tried to except immigrates from under developed countries in the hope that they could change those other countries. But the people migrate to the western world for the jobs and the money, but they don't want to change the way they live.
Germany for example after 20 years, last year said that they had given up trying to emerge some of these different cultures into the German culture. I think in the U.S. it will take several decades to make real change. Change in the way we educate in the schools and change in our immigration policies.
Like how Jewish Bolshiviks killed 60,000,000 in the USSR?
Hundreds of years ago? Really? Someone doesn't know american history!!! My great grandfather was born into slavery and was freed because of the civil war, Thus my grandmother is the daugher of a slave. Think she had the same opportunities as others? Think things have improved that quickly when it has literally only been 3 to 4 generations for most black families. Please learn your facts before commenting therefore a true dialogue can be had.
Most people don't know their history and no one has really put it bluntly for them. My history book had about two paragraphs about slavery and another two regarding the civil rights era. Both came with the implied message "but that stuff is all over now. Racism is over." Most don't understand the definition of racism and throw it around every time they think something is unequal. They don't understand generational wealth nor how unfairly opportunities are still distributed.
Very good comment.
Typical response from an arrogant _______ person.
Clearly you are not an African American....
i'm PRETTY sure there are millions of people living in slavery (even in America) today. In fact, CNN did a special on it about a month ago. Don't be naive.
What's sad about the U.S. and the issue of slavery is that it's the only time in history when Blacks actually worked for their livelihood.
Due to so-called "shame" we've even elected a President!
Why can't we all just get along? The blacks hate whites and vise versa. It will never change until we all become one color and that is TAN. When white people try to become color blind that is not allowed. Blacks say – "Do not see the color of my skin unless it suits my purpose."
Because color-blind means complete ignorance. Yes, its good that you treat everyone equally and want a world that does too. But you do not live in that world. There are still forces around you that oppress other people. If you come across someone who's leg is caught in a trap, it's great that you treat that person as well as you would anyone else. But if you can't even acknowledge that his leg is in a trap and try to understand his dilemma, you're going to come off as arrogant and false.
As a white male raised in the south currently in Southern California so many people having loaded stereotypes and try to create hurdles towards me. Don't really care I still over come this and the only color I care about is green.
You peasants keep separating America with these unneeded boundaries, while I make some cash to make this country stronger. Have at it, I will focus on the real issues.
Race is A LIE. Your Not A Race, your a person.
that said, they will try to pigeon hole you though. i went through that with my son. doesn't make a speck of sense.
There is one big hurdle she forgot about. She is not an akward black girl. Shes a strong black woman.
Hip hop was for poor people, not black people. It just so happens there were more poor blacks at the time, and they were leaders of that musical movement.
i agree that the split is not color so much as socioeconomic class. white people go through the same. they do the same to us, but more like they pick on people that have no money to defend themselves adequately. it cost money not to have money and they love that. they love to exploit that. especially banksters, but legal services too.
you hit the nail on the head. They want to have people to put down and compare themselves to " favorably " in their own eyes..
I guarantee you if Martins parents and Zimmermans parents would share a loving embrace, a heartfelt apology from George and a shared memorial service to honor all the good things Tre did in his life, forgivness will follow. I promise you that child had dreams and love in his heart. As does George.
Heres my prob michael. There is a segment of black americans that think only whites can be racist. A white kid gets beat up for the slavery but the person that beat him up had no idea the kids grandfather was cherokee and the kid has no history of slave ownership. Thats an issue people need to adress.
Im pretty sure all the sons of ex slave owners are still VERY rich. The joe schmoes you see walking around more than likely had nothing to do with the tradgedy of slavery.
They dont our black brothers and sisters know there is NO white privledge...just a lot more white folks in America. They really dont want us to like each other.
Raceisamyth – Why are you promoting racism and vilence against whites? As if ANY white person should be beat up because possibly, over 100+ years ago the white person MAY have had a slave owner as a descendant. Do you want to be responsible for something that happenend over 100+ yrs. ago? You then must look and see if YOUR relatives were ever slave owners, since blacks started enslaving other blacks in the first place. And if you had relatives way back when who were slave owners, then please beat yourself up and knock the stupid out of you!
I have said it once before and I will again: racism is real, but it has no merit or power unless we empower it. Freedom/democracy can't be cashed in because people choose to dislike someone because of skin color or culture. The fact is: none of us chose to be who we are. None of us can change who we are. But we can love who we are. Please don't allow what someone cannot change to disenfranchise you from building relationships with whomever you choose.
Michael racism is pride in your own race. No one asked to be born the way they were born. If you hate someone because of skin tone....you simply hate them. Thats all.
Doesn't matter if your white, black, brown, or a purple umpalumpa, everyone is racists. Some people take it to a higher degree than others that is all. Its better to know someone who acknowledges he is a racist than someone who doesn't. Those who don't could commit genocide because their racists against their own. Example i remember the chapelle show he was a blind black guy in the kkk who hated black people. For those who say your not racist and you have a problem with racist people are notin more than hipocrits that need a grasp on reality.
Forgot to mention even other animals have a problem with their own kind if they look different like an albino aligator. We are nothing more than animals. You can take the man out of the man but you cant take the beast from within.
And last time I checked dogs are perfectly capable of living together without attacking each other. I know some do. But to say all do is uneducated gibberish.
I understand the jungemedt after looking at his Facebook page; I'm a person who believes that the company one keeps can be a major tell-tale sign of their own personality. Hunting pictures, now that's definitely an individual preference. I'm an outdoors type myself, including hunting and fishing, so I would have been less jungemedtal of bloody carcasses.
"Users hide comfortably behind their computer screens and type the most obnoxiously offensive things they can think of and thirstily WAIT for an angry response; a validation of their modest efforts," she wrote. .....I could not agree with Ms.Rae more.
Try some science instead of sociology you silly humans! Humans are a chameleon species that adapt to their environment! The closer you get to the equator, the darker your complexion gets over multiple generations. The farther away you get from the equator, the lighter your complexion gets over multiple generations.
Socialist pigs yeah I agree. Get rid of street cleaners, freeways, firefighters, police officers, ambulance services along with medicare and social security. We don't need that communist garbage! Good call .com cop. Perhaps if you read a book about socialism and looked at the benefits you use on a daily basis, you wouldn't sound so stupid. P.S. use that government money from the army to get an education.
I dont have to give my money to the govt so it can be blessed. Nor do i have to give it to a church to be blessed. I have to give it to those in need face to face for it to be blessed.
i know so many people personally that need help now that there's no reason to go through an organization anymore.
I <3 how she screams about "hidden" racism, but doesn't even mention magazines like Ebony, or Tv channels like BET.. So "hidden" racism is better than in your face racism? How about you stop being a hypocrite and fix yourself, "BEFORE" you try to fix the world.. Racist...
You ever wonder WHY those publications exist. They were created because black people weren't allowed to be other magazines at that point in time. Are you clueless, or just stupid.
BET isn't racist. It's entertainment designed for a black audience. There is a difference. As a 39 year old white male I often enjoy the programs I see on BET. Everybody Hates Chris is freakin' hilarious and much closer to my experience growing up in the 80's than the shows I actually watched back then. We all need to relax a little.
Bet is owned by Viacom which is run by Sumner Redstone, a white guy born in 1923.
You must have no common sense! The reason those channels...magazines...shows etc... exist is because us white people don't want to see anyone else represented. I don't think racism is hidden at all, I just believe the country is in denial about how prevelant it really is. I wish more people would speak up!
I think your nuts, and comments like that futher seperate people.
pretty sure they just dislike you because you are well...you.
Attention. This is an angry black woman alert. I repeat, an angry black woman alert. Please evacuate the premises and proceed with caution. This angry black woman wants awards and jobs she doesn't deserve. And she wants someone to yell at and be mean to. Lets all ignore her and leave the are ASAP. Lol
She doesn't seem that angry, just slightly peeved. Maybe you are just a very sensitive fellow, like a delicate spring flower...
That was a real knee-slapper!
Mayor Quimby, your ignorance is pathetic.
Angry White Men are going nuts lately! LOL. You don't join the club to defeat it.
What if mayor quimby is chinese? Did he say he was white? And what if its a she, not a he? Hmmmmm
I'm an Angry American Indian, hear me roar, rrrrrrrr! Is anyone frightened yet?
If a sheep has pride in his race, that sheep is a racist. If a sheep hates a different race, hes a bigot! Silly sheep!
Do sheep have races, or simply different breeds?
Do humans have races, or simply different breeds. Right back at ya
Congrats! Now we have to convice the other sheep, because they are sleeping
Good point doc point taken
Hmmm ? ... She has a point.the internet does promote racism with its anonimity.As for the Clan , they have had bounties on blacks for years. The "new" Black Panther's put a bounty on Zimmermans Arrest , not his killing. Besides , are we reeeely worried about what between 8 and 10 people say, while looking for publicity ? They remind me of the 10 "bubba's" on the side of the road looking for new recruits for their "Patriot Militia".
Ive visited their site. It was a bounty. Huey disbanded the black panthers because it was an organization for all oppressed people (even whites) that focused on the black perspective. When the "kill white babies" fools started to take over, he declared them disbanded.
"The show hadn't won the popular vote, but the judges selected it to win."
Sometimes I think journalists word things a certain way on purpose to generate lots of comments.
Those awards are fan *nominated*. The 5(?) highest vote getters in each category are the nominees. Awkard Black Girl got enough votes for a spot.
From there, a panel looks at each nominee and picks a winner. It worked that way for EVERY SINGLE AWARD. And no, the "highest vote getter" does not necessarily win. The panel decides based on quality.
Her win was no different than any of the other winners in other categories that night. But when other people win, there is no "affirmative action" to blame it on.
Didn't we have a presidential election similiar to this?
@ Craig, you better be careful what you say. CNN will block you if u say anything they don't agree with. And u know they Love Obama. This woman is mad because she is an outsider. She wants sympathy. She wants to win an award that she dint earn or deserve. Let it be. Let the baby have her bottle. Hi CNN!
She didnt expect a reward. unless your a mind reader prove other wise. Id comment on your ignorance but i realized you have difficulty reading. have a nice day
Amazing that there are still paranoid brain trusts like you out there who actually still believe CNN pays people to sit around deleting comments they find offensive. I wish they did, but they do not. Fellow commenters merely have to hit "Report Abuse" and the offending comment vanishes.
Yes, both times George W. Bush was elected.
Great Job! Keep up the FUNNY videos Issa Rae. My husband and I are waiting for more!!
Really ??!!?? with all the crap going on in this country, we have to focus on this? One more way for the media to run a misdirection campaign for the politicians
So who held a gun to your head and forced you to read the story exactly?
AND YET AGAIN.......the racists are proving her point.
You comment is just plain stupid! I want to "go off" on you but you are not worth my energy!
The color of another persons skin?Lets Consider it,now close your eyes,think deeply,and tell me.What color skin do you see when another person walks before you?
STOP all this Disney talk mambo jumbo.......look at the comment right below you.
racism exist in this country and it is not your fantasy talks that will make it go away.
Juggernaut you doing a fine job of proving me right! Bahhhhh a good little sheep does what its told!
Racism is everywhere because ALL humans have racist moments in their life you silly sheep! Bahhhh!
If a black sheep has the same blood type as a white sheep, hes closer related to that white sheep than to a black sheep with a different blood type. Fact.
Umm... based on what? You can have two siblings with different blood types and two people with the same blood type that are different races. I'm not trying to promote racism because racists are idiots, but apparently so are you.
Based on the human genome
My name is raceisamyth for a reason. I dont bite on racebait
You really are so observant and curious about black women aren't you? You should write a book.
It's really funny how people read an article and take away what THEY want to read. Rae is in no way trying to make people feel sorry for her. If anything, it's about her empowerment and trying to deflect the negative attention.
I feel sorry for you, Court Jester. Got spellcheck ?
King, maybe you can learn to spell from a black woman. The word is spelled "nobody" not knowbody and I think you meant "feel," not fell. Oh, I'm sorry, was that loud and obnoxious?
It's funny that with the economy being as bad as it is and our country loosing ground in science and technology, but people still can't get over someone's skin color not being the same as there's.
I hate to sound corny but "why can't we all just get along?" Why does the color of a persons skin define who they are in todays society? Either you like a person or you don't, that's the way I see it. People need to direct all there hostile energy toward a common goal. Like actually helping your fellow man who may happen to be in need. Now that's how to turn this world around and appreciate how fortunate we really are. We are so blessed to have food on our tables and a roof over our heads and maybe even someone to share our lives with. Wake up people and give love a try. It never hurt anyone and it can sure cure all that ails you. Wake up before its too late. You may not get a second chance to make a difference in this world. Now is your chance. Love not hate! Love not hate! Love not hate! Ponder that thought.
You're not sounding "corny," you're sounding unoriginal. Just about every line in your too-long comment came from someone else's mouth many times before.
I've watched her show, great concept, but vulgarity in any color is ugly.
Race-a contest between multipleopponents to start at point A, and end at point B. The contestant to reach B first is the winner!
Try some science instead of sociology you silly humans! Humans are a chameleon species that adapt to their environment! The closer you get to the equator, the darker your complexion gets over multiple generations. The farther away you get from the equator, the lighter your complexion gets over multiple generations. Anyone who has pride in their race or hates another is a racist practicing racism. Grow up sheeple!
"Im not on the black mans side, Im not on the white mans side.....Im on Gods side"
just goes to show LOVE OVERCOMES HATE
Racism should be classified as a psychotic disorder.
Fools Come From All Races.
that might be true, but 90% of the racists/bigoted comments on the net are geared toward blacks and Hispanics.
Why did all the black sheep, brown sheep and white sheep forget about the plight of the American Indians?
I AM GLAD that blacks are finally started to WAKE UP, racism is getting worse in this country. Keeping our head in the sand will not fix it.
Ignorance is color blind. Unfortunately those who chose to travel with it do not understand the person it turns them into. When blanket statements are made about a group of people it is a reflection of pure ignorance. When one believes that they are better than others they are simply showing their inferiority and insecurities about themselves. When you have faith in who you are and walk with confidence you have no need or desire to put others down.
DONT GIVE ME THAT CRAP....90% of racist comments on the net are geared toward blacks and Hispanics.
Based on what study? Where is the proof to show that your statement is true? Besides Racism is a double edged sword it cuts both ways growing up going to public school I (a white male) was the minority and I saw that it's not only whites that can be racist. Many times I would get jumped on my way home simply because of the color of my skin. I know there is a fair amount of racism from my own race but its not just us.
i wouldnt use statistics on here .... Statistics are bias ... noone has ever asked me or millions of others if race is geared towards those two groups. And i have seen more Jew bashing on the web and tv than the both of those races combined.
Youre correct just a person.
Sounds like a little affirmative action at work. Blacks cant win on their own so they either claim racism or get the AA win. Nothing new here.
Love her show. music that will go great with her show
Ignorance is Bliss. Keep ignoring dumb inferior people.
the first design has sinlet auction on both front and back the other two don't please select which one like based on color and we either add or remove sinlet auction from back Also, the second option is an example of using the under coat as white it isn't going to be as bright as say pure white like Brinkley logo beneath art but will look similar to this Please call me with questions and or clarification thanks
Well done Issa. You deserved the award and yuo just rock! Racists should grow up and realize that your are leaving in a new world!
I'm glad ABG won the Webby, it was the racism and negative thoughts of the other top 4 that gave Issa's show a positive limelight, they basically handed it over to her. Maybe if they weren't so rude and prejudiced, they would have won, seeing as that was the reason she created the show in the first place.
Didn't win the popular vote, but they gave her the award anyway. What else is new? Same old same you don't have to be the best as long as you're black.
The "public vote" is actually a way for people to nominate a candidate. There's no pretense that whoever gets the most nominations will win. Thanks for playing, though.
The top 5 vote getters are the nominees, then the panel picks the winner. The top vote getter didn't necessarily win in other categories either. But don't let us stop you from whining.
The show is actually really funny and very well written. Ever thought that might e why they won?
Or your last name is Adams, Bush, Hayes, or Harrison
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