Skip Nav

Lena Waithe

Get to Know Lena Waithe, the Master of None Writer Who Made Emmys History

This year's Emmy Awards were full of historical moments, including Lena Waithe's incredible and well-deserved win. On Sunday night, the Master of None actress became the first black woman to win an award for comedy writing for the show's "Thanksgiving" episode, which she cowrote with Aziz Ansari. Aside from thanking Netflix for "creating a beautiful playground" for them "to play and shine on," the 33-year-old gave some truly inspiring words to the LGBTQ+ community. Here are just a few things you should know about the groundbreaking actress.

  1. She is a Chicago native. Lena was born and raised in Chicago and grew up on the South Side of the city.
  2. This isn't the first time her comedic talents have been recognized. In 2014, she was named one of Variety's 10 Comedians to Watch.
  3. Master of None isn't her first rodeo. Aside from writing and starring on the Netflix series, Lena has been a writer for Fox's Bones and the Nickelodeon sitcom How to Rock and a producer on the film Dear White People.
  4. Her Master of None character was originally going to be a white, straight woman. According to Lena, her character Denise was originally written as a potential love interest for Aziz's character. But after Aziz and his cocreator Alan Yang met with Lena, they decided to rewrite the character to be more like her.
  5. The "Thanksgiving" episode was inspired by her own coming-out story. After having a long conversation with the show's creators about how she came out to her family, Lena explained, Aziz called her up and asked her to write the "Thanksgiving" episode from her own experience. Even though there was "some creative license" involved, many pieces from the set were actually from her mom's home.
Image Source: Getty / Jason LaVeris
Rihanna's 2020 NAACP Image Awards Speech
Best Pictures From the 2020 NAACP Image Awards
Bong Joon-Ho Strikes Hilarious Poses With His Oscars
2020 Oscars: See All the Best Hair and Makeup Looks
Vanessa Hudgens Purple Dress Vanity Fair Oscars Party 2020
Lili Reinhart Floral Gown Vanity Fair Oscars Party 2020
Kim Kardashian Kylie Jenner at Vanity Fair Oscars Party 2020
Hailey Bieber's Dress at Vanity Fair Oscars Party 2020
Chrissy Teigen's Dress at the Vanity Fair Oscars Party 2020
Celebrities at the 2020 Oscars Afterparties | Pictures
Margot Robbie's Vintage Chanel Dress at the Oscars 2020
See the Sexiest Dresses From the 2020 Oscars
Latest Celebrity and Entertainment
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds