Lena Waithe

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  • Emmy Award-Winning Writer, Producer and Actor


Lena Waithe is one of Hollywood’s most promising up-and-coming talents, who continues to grow her body of work with diversity, charisma, and comedy. One of Hollywood Reporter ’s “TV Breakouts”, Waithe expertly taps into emerging cultural sensibilities with a sharp wit, speaking to myriad experiences from her unique perspective and challenging audiences to think outside of conventional norms.

Waithe first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise, friend to Dev (Aziz Ansari) in the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Master of None. In a role that was originally intended for a straight, Caucasian female, Waithe has made Denise’s experience as a queer black woman uniquely her own. Waithe became the first black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for writing the show's "Thanksgiving" episode, which was loosely based on her personal experience of coming out to her mother. 

Waithe’s additional acting credits include Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, Amazon’s Transparent and HBO’s The Comeback.

As a writer, Waithe is serving as Creator and Executive Producer of The Chi , a relevant, timely, and distinctive coming-of-age story that follows six interrelated characters in Chicago’s South Side. Showtime will premiere the show in January, which was penned for Fox 21 Television Studios. Common will produce with Rick Famuyiwa directing. The Chi stars Jason Mitchell, Sonja Sohn, and Jacob Latimore.

As a producer, Waithe’s credits include the upcoming film, Step Sisters, a comedic dance film that follows a black sorority girl who agrees to teach the art of Greek stepping to a house of white, party-obsessed sorority girls. She was also a producer on the Sundance darling, Dear White People, and Tiffany Johnson’s short film, Ladylike, which can be found on YouTube.

 

 

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Virtual Chat - Waithe weighs in on Reese Witherspoon's Sneaker Game | Hello Sunshine [4:38] - Get Sharable Link
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<p>Virtual Programming for Pride Month with Lena Waithe</p>

Virtual Programming for Pride Month with Lena Waithe

LENA WAITHE is an industry game-changer who first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise, friend to Dev (Aziz Ansari) in the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Master of None. In a role that was originally intended for a straight, Caucasian female, Waithe made Denise’s experience as a queer black woman uniquely her own. She went on to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy for her writing for the show, becoming the first black woman to do so.

Waithe expertly taps into emerging cultural sensibilities with a sharp wit, speaking to myriad experiences from her unique perspective and challenging audiences to think outside of conventional norms. She's been engaging in dynamic virtual conversations on Instagram Live, discussed her new Quibi series-- an ode to sneaker culture-- in a virtual conversation with Reese Witherspoon, and is participating in Graduating Together, the livestreamed program headlined by Barack and Michelle Obama.

 

<p>Virtual Programming: Lena Waithe on being a game-changer </p>

Virtual Programming: Lena Waithe on being a game-changer 

Groundbreaking Emmy Award-Winning writer, producer and actor LENA WAITHE is an industry game-changer who first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise, friend to Dev (Aziz Ansari) in the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Master of None. In a role that was originally intended for a straight, Caucasian female, Waithe made Denise’s experience as a queer black woman uniquely her own. She went on to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy for her writing for the show, becoming the first black woman to do so.

Waithe expertly taps into emerging cultural sensibilities with a sharp wit, speaking to myriad experiences from her unique perspective and challenging audiences to think outside of conventional norms. An in-demand voice, she's been engaging in dynamic virtual conversations on Instagram Live, discussed her new Quibi series-- an ode to sneaker culture-- in a virtual conversation with Reese Witherspoon, and participated in Graduating Together, the livestreamed graduation program headlined by Barack and Michelle Obama.

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Biography

Lena Waithe is one of Hollywood’s most promising up-and-coming talents, who continues to grow her body of work with diversity, charisma, and comedy. One of Hollywood Reporter ’s “TV Breakouts”, Waithe expertly taps into emerging cultural sensibilities with a sharp wit, speaking to myriad experiences from her unique perspective and challenging audiences to think outside of conventional norms.

Waithe first made headlines in front of the camera as Denise, friend to Dev (Aziz Ansari) in the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Master of None. In a role that was originally intended for a straight, Caucasian female, Waithe has made Denise’s experience as a queer black woman uniquely her own. Waithe became the first black woman to win the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series in 2017 for writing the show's "Thanksgiving" episode, which was loosely based on her personal experience of coming out to her mother.

She has appeared on the big screen in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One alongside Ty Sheridan and Olivia Cooke. The film, which is based on Ernest Cline’s 2011 science fiction and dystopian novel, follows the players of virtual reality simulator OASIS, who are pitted against each other in the search of fame and fortune that will save them from their declining world.

Waithe’s additional acting credits include Amazon’s Transparent and HBO’s The Comeback.

As a writer, Waithe is serving as Creator and Executive Producer of The Chi, a relevant, timely, and distinctive coming-of-age story that follows six interrelated characters in Chicago’s South Side. Showtime will premiere the show in January, which was penned for Fox 21 Television Studios. Common will produce with Rick Famuyiwa directing. The Chi stars Jason Mitchell, Sonja Sohn, and Jacob Latimore.

As a producer, Waithe’s credits include the upcoming film, Step Sisters, a comedic dance film that follows a black sorority girl who agrees to teach the art of Greek stepping to a house of white, party-obsessed sorority girls. She was also a producer on the Sundance darling, Dear White People, and Tiffany Johnson’s short film, Ladylike, which can be found on YouTube.

Currently in development is the television series, Twenties, for which Waithe serves as writer and producer. The project is loosely based on her turbulent twenties and how she navigated her first 10 years of Los Angeles living.

One of Variety’ s “Top 10 Comics to Watch," Waithe was born and raised in Chicago and currently resides in Los Angeles.