Issa Rae Responds To The Insecure Condom Controversy

Photo: Justina Mintz/HBO.
Insecure has a lot of sex this season, which is a good thing. More sex! During Sunday night's episode of Insecure, though, viewers expressed frustration when Lawrence (Jay Ellis) didn't appear to use a condom during a threesome. He finished with one girl, and then appeared to enter the second without pausing to deal with protection.
This was fuel for an already hot conversation: For the past week, fans of the show have been critiquing it on Twitter for not promoting safe sex. Some have argued that by neglecting condom use on screen, it's glamorizing reckless sexual habits.
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"Insecure is doing everything right except promoting safe sex," one user writes.
Another notes helpfully, "I wish Issa Rae would showcase condom use on #Insecure. It's actually sexy AND responsible."
Friday, BET published an essay by Kellee Terrell about the need for condoms on the show in general. This appears to have incited the debate; the conversation came to a head when Lawrence appeared to go unprotected during Sunday's episode.
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Issa Rae responded to the controversy Sunday night.
"We tend to place condoms in the backgrounds of scenes or imply them," she wrote. "But we hear you guys and will do better next season." Rae also included screenshot evidence of condom wrappers on the show; it seems condoms are present, if not active on the show.
Prentice Penny, the showrunner and the director for Sunday's episode, plead with fans of the show to disregard condom use on the show last week.
"I really hope people can watch #InsecureHBO without asking if they use condoms. In the writers room we always assume they do," he wrote Tuesday.
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Even Amanda Seales, who plays Tiffany on the show, gave her two cents.
"The real issue with y'all trippin off of condom use on Insecure is forgetting that, TV IS NOT REAL LIFE. IT IS AN ARTISTIC RENDERING OF IT," she wrote.
Rae and Penny are right: As they have only 30 minutes to tell a story, they shouldn't waste time demonstrating condom use. And Issa Rae has receipts — there are condoms in the show. Case closed.
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