Lena Waithe took the stage and “reclaimed her time” a la Maxine Waters as she accepted her Emmy for Best Comedy Writing.
“Thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a queer Black girl from Southside of Chicago,” said Waithe. She shared the award with co-writer and creator of Master of None, Aziz Ansari. Even so, Ansari stepped aside and let Waithe have her moment of glory as she is the first Black woman to win the Emmy for Best Comedy Writing.
The episode the duo won for was “Thanksgiving,” in which Waithe’s character, Denise, comes out to her family. It immediately garnered acclaim, but more than that, it was a personal story for Waithe.
“Most of all, my LGBTQIA family — I see each and every one of you,” said Waithe in her acceptance speech. “The thing that makes us different are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out that door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”
Backstage, Waithe continued her thoughts about making Emmy history. “It means a lot to me to be a ‘first’,” she said. “What it does is it says that it’s possible. I hope it opens people’s eyes to give women of color a seat at the table so they can tell their story.”
Ansari said of the episode, “It was pretty ambitious — even finding two young Indian kids to play me was hard. It was the most demanding episode for the whole crew and everyone came through.”
Ansari added that he hopes “that people see the different kinds of stories out there and that people are responding to them.”