Why no 2021 Emmy nominations for Issa Rae’s ‘Insecure’? The show’s absence, explained

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Issa Rae arrives at the 2019 Elle Women in Hollywood event.
(Amy Sussman / FilmMagic)
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“Insecure,” the HBO comedy starring Issa Rae, has been nominated for Primetime Emmys 11 times since 2018, and won once. So why doesn’t the fan favorite have any nominations in 2021?

The answer: The show didn’t premiere during the 2021 Emmys eligibility period, which ran from June 1, 2020, through May 31, 2021. Season 4 of “Insecure” hit HBO on April 12 of last year, making it eligible for 2020’s Primetime Emmy Awards but not for this year’s.

The show, which got eight nominations last year, picked up a trophy, its first and only so far, for single-camera editing of a comedy series when the 72nd awards were handed out Sept. 20.


Members of the “Insecure” cast and crew watched the ceremony together from SoFi Stadium, located in Inglewood, where Rae grew up.

The fifth season of “Insecure,” which just wrapped filming with “A Black Lady Sketch Show” veteran Rae, won’t launch until this fall. The good news? It will be eligible next year.

The cast and crew of “Insecure,” star Issa Rae included, watched Sunday’s Emmy Awards from Inglewood’s new SoFi Stadium. But why?

Sept. 20, 2020

HBO announced in January that the show’s upcoming fifth season would be its last. And in June, actor-writer-producer Rae was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

On Sunday, as she ended shooting, four-time Emmy nominee Rae took a moment to reflect.

“Today is my last day shooting #InsecureHBO,” she tweeted, including a handful of photos. “Said goodbye to some of my favorite people on Earth, on and off screen, this past week. Never imagined all the doors this would open. Forever grateful to those who paved the way for us to do us.”

Issa Rae, creator and star of the HBO comedy series “Insecure,” rides through Inglewood and other areas in South Los Angeles featured in the show. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)