Lena Waithe Is Changing the Game

lena waithe vanity fair cover march 2018

Garnering accolades and a passionate following for her work on breakout shows such as Master of None and The Chi—and appearing in Steven Spielberg’s new film, Ready Player One—Lena Waithe is taking over screens big and small. The star and creator opens up about influence and inspiration, from the Harlem Renaissance to Time’s Up.

If you haven’t heard of Lena Waithe, check yourself for a pulse. She is disrupting the hell out of Hollywood. As the first black woman to nail an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Lena—along with a crew of other black creatives—is sending a message to the world that Black Brilliance has arrived in Hollywood and has not come to play.

Lena and I sit down to dinner for the first time, at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. Having spent the past week in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival, both of us are beyond happy to be rid of our snow boots and winter coats. And because I’ve arrived at the restaurant a few minutes before Lena, I’ve had time to do what many of us do when we walk into spaces like this—count the Blacks. Now that Lena has joined me, there are two of us.

Read the full Vanity Fair article here.

Vanity Fair, written by Jacqueline Woodson / Photographs by Annie Leibovitz