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Tiffany Haddish Will Focus on Black Instagram Influencers in New Series

‘Unsubscribed’ will be the premiere series to come out of her first-look deal with HBO.
Tiffany Haddish The Last Og
By  · Published on April 9th, 2018

‘Unsubscribed’ will be the premiere series to come out of her first-look deal with HBO.

Tiffany Haddish has got some big dreams. The Girls Trip star has gone on the record saying that she wants to make 80 movies by the time she’s 50 years old, so it’s really no surprise that we’re seeing her name everywhere we look. Where Haddish herself stays ahead of the game on screen, she’s also bringing that foresight along with her behind-the-scenes, as evidenced by this announcement for her first production with HBO.

Back in January, Variety reported that Haddish had signed a first-look deal with the premium cable network, and we’ve since learned that the first project out of the gate happens to be about social media influencers. The Hollywood Reporter announced that her comedy series Unsubscribed will focus on black Instagram gurus: it will “examine female blackness, beauty, and identity through a behind-the-scenes look at the Instagram hustle.”

The double-edged sword of portraying the internet on screen means grappling with concepts that are ever-changing. Trying to explain what an “influencer” even is feels like a clumsy process. However, one thing is certain: being a social media influencer isn’t a walk in the park. An Instagrammer’s life isn’t all about the glitzy photoshoots and press trips, despite them being definite perks. Planning is very important in one’s personal branding. The highly editorialized aspect of the platform seems to be something not unlike curating a magazine; perfectly composed images interspersed with ads that still have to form a cohesive image of any one person.

But above all else, being a full-time Instagrammer — or any other influential figure on social media — means both understanding and creating buzz as well as trends. The business of what’s popular changes so quickly, if meme culture has anything to say about it; trends like “challenge videos” are rapidly popularized too.

With Haddish’s new show, there’s also an opportunity to really tap into an area of social media that is burgeoning with relevance in a socially-conscious era. One of the best parts of platforms like Instagram is the increased visibility it gives to people from marginalized groups. Social media presents ample chances for self-love and acceptance, even through the simple gesture of taking a selfie and posting it online. Being specifically about black influencers already gives Unsubscribed the added edge, especially because it sounds like a show that will celebrate black identity to the fullest extent.

Black beauty influencers are thriving across not just Instagram but other platforms as well anyway. I’m personally not on Instagram enough to know what goes on in the app itself, but I have seen black YouTubers get incredible recognition and their journeys could be the basis for a show like Unsubscribed. To name just a handful, Nyma Tang, Alissa Ashley, and Jackie Aina — who also use Instagram in order to curate a presence over multiple social media apps — have amassed anywhere between half a million and two million subscribers. Their large successes don’t stop them from speaking up about black identity in the beauty community, and they have insights aplenty.

Overall, Unsubscribed feels like a different beast altogether because while social media stars have crossed over into television in the past, there’s no indication that the show will make use of actual influencer talent just yet. Instead, Unsubscribed‘s biggest intrigue at the moment centers on it being about a peek behind the curtain, where abundant commentary and laughs could very well be found.

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Sheryl Oh often finds herself fascinated (and let's be real, a little obsessed) with actors and their onscreen accomplishments, developing Film School Rejects' Filmographies column as a passion project. She's not very good at Twitter but find her at @sherhorowitz anyway. (She/Her)