This year’s Emmys had a lot of firsts itself (that shouldn’t be happening in 2017, but that’s a whole separate conversation that Ira Madison III tackles to perfection on The Daily Beast), including Riz Ahmed, Donald Glover, and Lena Waithe, who won for her breakout episode “Thanksgiving” on Netflix’s Master of None.
A few months ago, BGN had the opportunity to collaborate with Netflix and a few other outlets on a project called “First Time I Saw Me,” where we told of the first time we saw ourselves in media and who we identify with now on Netflix. The campaign was a major hit, reaching celebs like Ava DuVernay, Marlon Wayans, Viola Davis, Gina Rodriguez, Gabrielle Union and Chaka Khan.
Well, Emmy-Winner Lena Waithe, the first black woman to win an Emmy for best writing in a comedy (who is also queer, let’s not erase that part of her identity, especially since it was a coming out episode that won the award), joined in, sharing the first time she saw herself in media. Waithe said that Eve from Eve’s Bayou by Kasi Lemmons and Monica from Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love and Basketball were the first characters she saw that was like her.
“[Eve] was a fierce kid. She was outspoken, and definitely had a mind of her own and got herself into a lot of trouble. [… Monica] was a tomboy and didn’t mind playing outside with the boys, which I did all the time,” she said in the video, which looked like it was maybe shot in the writing room for Master of None season 3.
— Netflix US (@netflix) September 18, 2017
“People might see themselves in my character, and I don’t take that lightly. […] People who look like us should be telling those stories because that’s the only way you really get it right.”
Watch her amazing EMMY-WINNING episode of Master of None, “Thanksgiving” on Netflix.