Lena Waithe Is Making History After Earning Emmy Nomination
Lena Waithe is the first black woman to be nominated for outstanding writing in a comedy series.
In a report from Variety, Waithe earned the nomination for her work on the Master Of None episode “Thanksgiving,” a standout from the show in which Waithe comes out to her mother (played by actress Angela Bassett) throughout a series of Thanksgiving dinners spanning Waithe’s life from a child up until her adulthood.
“I didn’t know I was the first black woman,” Waithe said during a GLAAD-programmed panel (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) at the Television Critics Association press tour. “Hopefully, not the last. We’ve got to work on that.”
In an interview with Vulture, Waithe discussed the “Thanksgiving” episode and how it all came together:
It happened really organically. I didn’t set out to do that this season; I don’t think Aziz did either. I just came to New York to visit the writers’ room and talk about my life and what was going on so they could pull from it what they wanted, and [co-creator] Alan [Yang] asked me, ‘Hey, how did you come out?’ We had this long conversation about it, and how religion didn’t play a huge role in my family, and I grew up in a house of women. I didn’t even make it back to my hotel when Aziz called and said, ‘We have to tell that story, and I need you to write it.’ I’m like, ‘I already have a full plate, I trust you guys,’ and they’re like, ‘No, you have to write it.’
Prior to Waithe, Mindy Kaling was the first woman of color nominated in the category in 2010 for the “Niagra” episode of The Office.