Issa Rae Signs Multi-Year Deal With Columbia Pictures to Give New Diverse Writers Some Shine

Issa Rae attends The Hollywood Chamber’s 7th Annual State Of The Entertainment Industry Conference Presented By Variety on November 15, 2018 in Hollywood, California.
Photo: Presley Ann (Getty Images )

Issa Rae’s mission to discover new talent within a diverse and inclusionary scope has just leveled up. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Insecure co-creator and star has just signed a multi-year deal with Columbia Pictures to promote up-and-coming writers with diverse backgrounds.

The Columbia deal is with ColorCreative, the platform for emerging, diverse writers Rae cofounded with current COO Deniese Davis in 2015. The production company currently has a romantic musical in the works called Love in America.


Columbia’s VP of Production, Bryan Smiley will oversee production and development with ColorCreative.

“Working with Bryan Smiley and Columbia Pictures to further the mission ColorCreative set out to achieve four years ago in creating access for underrepresented writers, has been a dream come true,” Rae said. “All of the projects we are working on are fresh and promising and we can’t wait to continue the work. We hope to set a precedent and inspire the industry at large to invest in undiscovered talent, original IP, and fresh stories and perspectives.”

Columbia seems to be just as thrilled to partner up with the Golden Globe and Emmy-nominated creative.


“Issa is a force of nature, and a magnet for talented people,” said Sanford Panitch, president of Columbia Pictures. “We couldn’t be more excited to join her in her mission to pave the way for fresh and authentic voices.”

The new partnership will serve as a mentorship program and also help to develop original ideas into feature films. Participants selected to work in the program will be announced in Spring 2019.


Here’s hoping this initiative makes it that much harder for industry heads to utter, “we can’t find black writers” ever again.

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Tonja Renée Stidhum

Staff Writer, Entertainment at The Root. Sugar, spice & everything rice. Equipped with the uncanny ability to make a Disney reference and a double entendre in the same sentence.