Lena Waithe is one of Hollywood’s most promising up-and-coming talents, who continues to grow her body of work with diversity, charisma, and comedy. One of Hollywood Reporter’s “TV Breakouts”, Waithe expertly taps into emerging cultural sensibilities with a sharp wit, speaking to myriad experiences from her unique perspective and challenging audiences to think outside of conventional norms.
Waithe first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise, friend to Dev (Aziz Ansari) in the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Master of None, whose second season premiered in May 2017. In a role that was originally intended for a straight, Caucasian female, Waithe has made Denise’s experience as a queer black woman uniquely her own. This season, Waithe co-wrote the “Thanksgiving” episode, which chronicles Denise’s coming out to herself and her family, through the lens of the Thanksgiving holiday over 3 decades. The episode, which was directed by Melina Matsoukas, is largely based on Waithe’s personal experience. Lena’s writing in “Thanksgiving” led to her making history as the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for Best Writing in a Comedy Series.
Presented in partnership with the Black Cultural Center and Wisconsin Union Distinguished Lecture Series.