Lena Waithe, actor and writer on Netflix’s Master of None, made history when she won best writing for a comedy series at the Emmys Sunday night. She took home the Emmy for her writing on the “Thanksgiving” episode of “Master of None” which featured Academy Award winner Angela Bassett.
Waithe took the stage at the Emmys in a sleek and shiny gold-embellished suit, “Let me reclaim my time, give me a second,” she joked. She looked gorgeous as she accepted the award becoming the first African-American woman to win in the category, a victory she shared with series creator Aziz Ansari.
The pair generated a roaring standing ovation when they were honored for writing the episode. The Netflix comedy’s acclaimed “Thanksgiving” episode was inspired by Waithe’s own coming out story. “I wanted to convey that coming out isn’t a one-time thing, it’s a process,” Waithe said in an interview with Variety, “Aziz thought it was important and didn’t think we’d seen it before. That’s always his test — ‘Have we seen this before?’ — and we hadn’t.”
At the Emmys Ansari graciously deferred his time at the mic to Waithe — who thanked her mother for “inspiring the story,” Ansari for “pushing” her to co-write the episode, and Netflix and Universal “for creating a beautiful playground” on which to work.
Standing alongside Ansari, 34, the actress thanked the LGBTQ community. “I see each and every one of you,” she said. “The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the 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.”
Olivia Munn, Chance the Rapper, Janelle Monae, Lena Dunham, and Ellen DeGeneres were among the celebrities overjoyed by Waithe and Ansari’s win. “So blessed to share a name with [Lena Waithe],” Dunham tweeted. “Your speech was incredible,” DeGeneres wrote.
A Wrinkle In Time‘s Ava DuVernay, who made history herself as the first woman of color to direct a $100 million movie, also tweeted, “For anyone w/ a dream, know how hard the great @LenaWaithe worked for hers. Congrats on your win, Lena. History has its eyes on you!”