MASTER OF None writer Lena Waithe is the first black woman to be nominated for an Emmy for comedy writing.
The 33-year-old, who earned the nod for writing, with show star and co-creator Aziz Ansari, the “Thanksgiving” episode of the hit show, said she was surprised to learn of her history-making feat.
“I didn’t know I was the first black woman,” she told reporters, at a GLAAD-programmed panel at the Television Critics Association press tour. But her publicist checked with the Television Academy and confirmed it was true. (Mindy Kaling, nominated in 2010 for the “Niagra” episode of “The Office,” was the first woman of color nominated in the category.)
Initially, Lena said, when she was working on “Thanksgiving,” she didn’t intend to be on-screen. “But Aziz, to his credit, said ‘I can’t tell your story.’ And I’m really grateful to him,” she added. “It’s the blackest piece of television,” she said. “It’s very black, it’s very female, it’s very gay.” But she has been moved by how many loved the episode — including white, straight, male people. “When a straight white guy says ‘”Thanksgiving” is my favorite episode,’ that’s when art is doing its job,” she said.