On Sunday, Master of None writer Lena Waithe became the first black woman to win an Emmy for Writing in a Comedy Series. Her very fresh feelings will also give you some feelings.
In a Vulture interview, Waithe’s enthusiasm, gratitude, and belief in her own voice shine through gorgeously. Waithe claims that leading up the Emmys everyone was completely confident that she would win, even friend and competitor Donald Glover and fellow nominee Aziz Ansari. The assurances, she says, ended up leaving her a nervous wreck. Ansari insisted Waithe be the one who give the speech, as long as she remembered to thank Netflix. Waithe says she didn’t write anything down:
But I knew I had to speak from the heart. I knew I wanted to share that moment with the queer community, with women of color, women writers, anyone who’d ever been othered. I knew I wanted to say something from my heart and my soul and my gut. The thing about the little Indian boy from South Carolina and the queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago, that came to me when I was up there, but it was genuine.
Waithe is a big advocate for supporting new talent, and is obviously extremely aware of her new position given these accolades. She mentions standing with Donald Glover, who won Emmys for Best Director for a Comedy Series (Atlanta) and also Best Actor, as they waited to have their statues personalized.
We shared a moment as we were waiting to get our Emmys engraved. You know, to be two history makers is something that I don’t think is lost on either one of us. I think he’s aware that we’re vessels for this moment. But can’t nobody tell me that Yvette Lee Bowser [Living Single, A Different World] shouldn’t have gotten an Emmy for her phenomenal writing for television. We know that we came up during a time when the industry and the world was a little more ready to embrace our voices, and we share these awards with them. This is bigger than us. This time, stars aligned and there has to always be a first, but it’s a responsibility that we take very seriously.
Read more of Waithe’s delightful, joyous observations here, including plans to put her Emmy on the toilet.