Lena Waithe is the first African-American woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series, and it's long overdue. The "Thanksgiving" episode that Waithe wrote for Aziz Ansari's "Master of None" follows her character's journey navigating her sexuality while growing up in a household of strong women.
The tear-jerking and hilarious story, which drew inspiration from Waithe's real-life growth exploring her identity as a queer Black woman, is just as authentic as it is important — so the fact that her work was recognized is a significant win for representation in the television industry.
Waithe's acceptance speech was just as emotional as the episode.
"I've got to thank God or else I wouldn't be standing here," she began. "I want to thank my mother for inspiring the story and allowing me to share it with the world. I love you, Mom. Thank you, Aziz, for pushing me to co-write this, bro. Now, we're standing here. I love you forever. Thank you and Alan for creating a show like 'Master of None,' where we can tell stories like this. Thank you, Netflix and Universal, for creating a beautiful playground for us to play on and shine. Ted and Cindy, we love you. Melina, you are magic. Angela, you are a legend. Kim, you are a force. Thank you for making this episode so special."
Waithe made sure to give an empowering shout-out to the LGBTQIA community.
"I love you all, and last but certainly not least, my LGBTQIA family, I see each and every one of you. 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."
She continued by reiterating the importance of representation, saying, "And for everybody out there that showed us so much love for this episode, thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago."
Watch the full video of her speech below:
We couldn't be happier for Lena Waithe, and her groundbreaking win.
We can't wait to see what she does next with "Master of None" and beyond. Hopefully, her win is only the beginning — for both her and other women of color.