Lena Waithe Becomes First Black Woman to Earn an Emmy Nomination for Comedic Writing

Last month when Emmy nominations were announced, history was made. Lena Waithe’s nomination for writing the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None” has made her the first Black woman to ever be nominated for a comedy writing Emmy.

Waithe told reporters at a GLAAD panel during the Television Critics Association press tour that she was actually unaware that she was the first Black woman to be nominated until her publicist informed her. She also shared that she was nervous about the episode until she received encouragement from her peers.

“Aziz [the star and one of the creators of “Master of None”], to his credit, said ‘I can’t tell your story.’ And I’m really grateful to him. It’s the blackest piece of television,” said Waithe. She went on, “It’s very black, it’s very female, it’s very gay… When a straight white guy says ‘Thanksgiving is my favorite episode,’ that’s when art is doing its job.”

In 2010, Mindy Kaling became the first woman of color to earn a comedy writing Emmy nomination, so she took to Twitter to congratulate Waithe on her nomination.


White’s career in media  has consisted of writing for “Bones”, “Hello Cupid” and “Save Me” as well as producing “Dear White People.” She also has various upcoming writing and producing projects.

Lena Waithe is just one of various people of color to be nominated this year. She’s also one of the various LGBT women of color to be nominated. Others include RuPaul, Samira Wiley, and Laverne Cox. As the 2017 Emmys approach, it will be exciting to see how many of these nominations turn into wins.

Chantè Russell

Chanté Russell is a Howard University print journalism major from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her entire life has been shaped by her passion for writing, fashion and activism. Those passions have led her to create a blog entitled Be The Zeitgeist and serve as a staff writer for Howard’s student newspaper, The Hilltop. She has also written for Lady With Attitude and worked as a freelance journalist. Some of her biggest role models include Anna Wintour, Maya Angelou and her cousin, Dr. Jennifer Edwards, who inspired Chanté to attend Howard. After completing college, Chanté hopes to work as a fashion journalist and use her platform to combat cultural insensitivity within the fashion industry and improve the public perception of the industry.

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