In a recent cover story interview for Elle's Women in Hollywood issue, Issa opened up about making a career for herself by championing women, and what Hollywood could do to make women feel safer.
The Emmy-nominated actor-writer-producer-director has continued to push women to the forefront of the projects she's created, whether by making them the focal point of her shows, as in Insecure, or utilizing a woman-led production team to bring her stories to life, like on Rap Sh!t.
So when it comes to seeing women being mistreated, Issa isn't having it. "It feels like we’re regressing — depressingly so," Issa told Elle. "There are just too many enablers for there to be real change. People have to be held accountable."
She continued, "There have to be legitimate consequences. Hollywood is very bad about consequences. It’s literally the worst industry when it comes to punishing people for misdeeds and actions, because money will always reign supreme."
Issa admitted that even working in the industry is a form of enabling, which has been hard. But she combats it by controlling the environments she works in and whom she works with — that way, she's able to hold people accountable for their actions.
One person Issa wishes Hollywood would stop enabling is Ezra Miller, who has racked up a string of recent charges and arrests on their résumé, ranging from disorderly conduct to harassment to burglary. Despite their misconduct, Ezra is still set to star in The Flash, which is due to be released next summer.
"I’m gonna be real: The stuff that’s happening with Ezra Miller is, to me, a microcosm of Hollywood," Issa said.
"There’s this person who’s a repeat offender, who’s been behaving atrociously, and as opposed to shutting them down and shutting the production down, there’s an effort to save the movie and them."
Ezra addressed these incidents in a statement their team released to Variety in mid-August:
“Having recently gone through a time of intense crisis, I now understand that I am suffering complex mental health issues and have begun ongoing treatment. I want to apologize to everyone that I have alarmed and upset with my past behavior. I am committed to doing the necessary work to get back to a healthy, safe and productive stage in my life.”
Issa added that Ezra's case is a prime example of the lengths Hollywood will go to save its business and protect offenders. If less of that happens, women in the industry "may be able to thrive" without fearing that their careers will be ruined if they keep silent.
"It’s just a constant pattern of abuse that’ll only persist if Hollywood continues to insist on being this way,” Issa concluded.
Change definitely starts from within, and I applaud Issa for speaking her truth so candidly.
To read more about Issa, check out her full Elle interview.