Issa Rae says NAACP Image Award win ‘the only validation that matters’

The entertainment and media mogul won the Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series prize for 'Insecure' during the 2021 NAACP Image Awards

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Multihyphenate Issa Rae took home the award for Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in Insecure during the 2021 NAACP Image Awards on Saturday.

Being the comedian she is, Rae started her acceptance speech with a joke in celebration of the talent pool nominated alongside her in the stacked category.

“I would love to thank Tracee Ellis Ross for losing–bad b***hes don’t lose that often,” she joked. “Thank you HBO for believing in me.”

After host Anthony Anderson asked her about the impact of the trophy, she celebrated her accomplishment and empowered Black culture.

“It means the world to me. It’s the only validation that matters, Black people’s validation. I appreciate NAACP for honoring us,” she explained.

Read More: Barack Obama, Jamie Foxx, ‘Red Table Talk,’ are NAACP Awards winners in pre-telecast

In this screengrab, Issa Rae, winner of Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series category speaks at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards Virtual Press Conference on March 27, 2021 in Various Cities. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards)

theGrio previously reported that the hit comedy series is near its end. Insecure began filming the fifth and final season in Janaury.

Rae took to social media to share a photo of herself on set for the first day back in production. Several fans reacted pretty harshly to the image, with many telling Issa to “go to hell” for deciding that now is the right time to call it quits on these characters.  The fourth season concluded last June, and Rae, Yvonne OrjiJay EllisNatasha RothwellAmanda Seales, and Alexander Hodge are all expected to return next season.

Loosely based on Rae’s Youtube series, Awkward Black Girl, Insecure became a staple on HBO when it premiered in September 2016. Rae gave life to Issa Dee’s journey as she navigated her Blackness in both her professional and personal lives.

Read More: Issa Rae, City Girls executive producing HBO Max’s ‘Rap Sh*t’

As this chapter comes to a close for Issa Rae, a new one opens. theGrio previously reported that the mogul has signed a $40 million film and TV deal with WarnerMedia.

“It’s really exciting to have that flexibility and just deepen the relationship that we already have,” the 36-year-old told Variety as part of 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.”

"A Lowkey Conversation With Issa Rae And Prentice Penny" Moderated By Bevy Smith
Actress/producer Issa Rae speaks on a panel at The Blackhouse Foundation’s “A Lowkey Conversation With Issa Rae and Prentice Penny” event during the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2020 at The Blackhouse in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images for The Blackhouse Foundation)

According to Shadow and Act, this major deal will impact multiple entities under the ViacomCBS umbrella. The deal will reportedly “start with MTV Entertainment Group, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and CMT,” and is also set to eventually impact “other brands under ViacomCBS, including Showtime, BET, Nick and more.”

The ViacomCBS President of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events, Bruce Gillmer, shared his excitement in an official statement. He explained, “We are thrilled about this unique collaboration with Raedio that not only will connect our audiences to fresh new music and voices but also create opportunities for up and coming artists.”

This article contains additional reporting from theGrio’s Blue Telusma and Ny Magee.

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