Lena Waithe of the Netflix series “Master of None” made television history Sunday night by becoming the first black woman to win an Emmy for Best Comedy Writing, an award she shared with co-writer and show star, Aziz Ansari.
“Thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a queer black girl from Southside of Chicago,” said Waithe, after borrowing Rep. Maxine Waters’ “reclaiming my time” line to begin her speech.
The episode earning the duo its Emmy was “Thanksgiving,” in which Waithe’s character, Denise, comes out to her family. (Angela Bassett played her mother.) It immediately drew critical acclaim, but more importantly, it was based on Waithe’s personal story.
“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.”
He added that he hopes “that people see the different kinds of stories out there and that people are responding to them.”
Watch a clip from the Emmy Award-winning “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None” below:
(Aaron J. Thornton / PR Photos)
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