Master of None‘s Lena Waithe delivered an emphatic and empowering message to her “LGBTQIA family” after winning the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series with the show’s co-creator, Aziz Ansari. The win notably made Waithe the first black woman to win the Emmy for Best Writing in a Comedy Series.
“I see each and every one of you,” Waithe said during her acceptance speech. “The things that make us different – those are our superpowers. Every day when you walk out the door and 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. 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.”
Waithe and Ansari won the Emmy for their Season Two episode, “Thanksgiving.” The episode spans several decades and hinges on the conceit that Ansari’s character Dev, a first-generation Indian-American immigrant, celebrates Thanksgiving each year with Waithe’s character, his friend Denise. However, the episode primarily centers around Denise as she comes to understand her sexuality, comes out to her family as a lesbian and finally gain acceptance from her mother.
While Waithe had previously written for other TV shows, “Thanksgiving” marked her first credit on Master of None. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Waithe spoke about the origins of the episode, saying it started with Ansari simply asking her about her coming out story. “There’s so much of me in that episode of television,” Waithe said. “It’s a beautiful tribute to my family, to black women everywhere, to black matriarchs. It’s just such a wonderful ode to my childhood and my growing up and my evolution as a woman and being comfortable with myself. It really started out with me going to New York and sitting with those guys, just talking about a bunch of stuff, and that was the thing they really landed on.”