Lena Waithe is not only killing the game, the Emmy award winner is changing the game. In her interview with Vanity Fair, The Chi creator is making it known that she is a proud, talented, Black, queer woman that is here to stay.
Do you know how big of a deal it is that Lena Waithe is on the April cover of Vanity Fair? If you’re familiar with the mag, then you know that their covers are historically reserved for well-known faces in front of the camera. So, having this talented writer/producer/executive producer/creator (yes, she is a bad woman) on the cover speaks volumes about the ways in which she is breaking through the glass of under-representation in the entertainment industry.
But Lena is no stranger to breaking glass ceilings. At last year’s Emmy Awards, the 33-year-old was the first Black woman to win an award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for Netflix’s Master of None (one of the most brilliant shows on “TV” right now). The “Thanksgiving” episode, for which she won, was inspired by her own “coming out” story, and as someone who actually saw it, it was raw, honest and damn funny. Seeing an unapologetic Black queer woman being just that on-screen was inspiring, and in her interview, she echoed that.
“Being born a gay Black female is not a revolutionary act. Being proud to be a gay Black female is,” she said.
Isn’t it nice to not only be proud of who you are but to be recognized for who you are, as well? Lena took to Twitter to show her gratitude to several folks involved in making her cover possible, including the new editor of Vanity Fair, Radhika (not Rashida) Jones. Lena even started a new hashtag for her ground-breaking cover #WhoSaysABlackLesbianCantBeOnTheCoverOfVanityFair.
With a magazine that reaches millions of people domestically and internationally, Lena’s mark on them will be made, and that is a big deal. A Black, queer woman getting her accolades is revolutionary. But I, too, have to tip my hat to Radhika, the magazine’s new editor, who is only a few months old in her gig. She promised to give the magazine a facelift in representation, so to speak.
“When I thought about the kind of person I’d like to see on the cover of Vanity Fair, I thought about Lena Waithe — a member of the new creative elite remaking entertainment for her generation,” Jones wrote in an editor’s note published on VanityFair.com on Thursday.
“The truth is, Lena made my choice easy,” Radhika continued. “The pilot of her show ‘Twenties’ has been picked up by TBS, and she’s turning her unofficial mentoring program into a pipeline for writers of color looking to break into Hollywood.”
Even director Ava DuVernay took to Twitter yesterday to congratulate Lena and Radhika on a game-changing decision.
With so many things happening for Lena, there was no reason for her not to be considered for the cover of such a publication…So which cover will she grace next? Break all the glass ceilings you can, Lena!
Renese spends her early mornings writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
Follow Renese on Twitter: @reneseford