Lena Waithe made history Sunday (Sept. 17) as the first black woman to win a primetime Emmy award for comedy writing. She and her Master of None co-star Aziz Ansari took home the Outstanding Writing trophy for their episode “Thanksgiving.”
According to the 33-year-old, her inspiring acceptance speech wasn’t something that was planned, as she detailed in a recent interview with Vulture.
“Aziz was like, ‘You should write something down,’ I don’t believe in that,” she explained. “…I mean, I knew who I had to thank. I knew my main people like Aziz, Alan [Yang], Netflix, my lady, cast and crew. But I knew I had to speak from the heart. I knew I wanted to share that moment with the queer community, with women of color, women writers, anyone who’d ever been othered.”
Waithe, who is also working on a new show titled The Chi, said that she was being genuine when she described herself as the “queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago” and Ansari as “the little Indian boy from South Carolina,” and that she was thrilled that people were so accepting of the episode.
“Because exactly what I said, it means the world to us that they gave this little episode of television a lot of light and a lot of love,” she continued. “It wasn’t written down and it wasn’t rehearsed, but I hope they could really tell I was speaking from the heart — that’s why I said ‘God bless y’all.’ That was the realest thing I ever said, because I really felt that way.”