Lena Waithe isn’t holding back as she speaks in the April edition of Vanity Fair, with the actress discussing everything from the recent Aziz Ansari sexual assault claims to her historic win at the Emmys last year.
Waithe, 33, who recently became the first black woman to receive an Emmy for Writing for a Comedy Series for her work on the Thanksgiving episode of “Master of None”, is obviously incredibly proud of the honour. However, she insists she doesn’t need to be handed an award to show how passionate she is about her work.
“Here’s the irony of it all. I don’t need an Emmy to tell me to go to work. I’ve been writing, I’ve been developing, I’ve been putting pieces together and I’m bullets, you know what I’m saying?”
Waithe, who claims Hollywood still tends to be largely white and often male, goes on to say of the industry: “I’m tired of white folks telling my stories. We gotta tell our s**t. Can’t no one tell a black story, particularly a queer story, the way I can, because I see the God in us.”
The producer and screenwriter adds, “I didn’t realize I was born to stand out as much as I do. But I’m grateful because the other black or brown queer kids are like, ‘Oh, we the s**t.'”
She also says she considers her own personal style her own mode of self-expression: “Being black and gay, having dreadlocks, having a certain kind of swag, and dressing the way I do, [people say,] ‘That’s dope, you’re cool.’
“I don’t feel validated by that. I don’t want to be white. I don’t want to be straight. I don’t want to blend in. I try to wear queer designers who happen to be brown and makin’ s**t.”
Not ending the candid chat there, Waithe also discusses the recent accusations made against Ansari. Her comments come after an anonymous 23-year-old photographer told Babe.net that she felt “violated” after a date with him.
Waithe says of her fellow “Master of None” star, “At the end of the day, what I would hope comes out of this is that we as a society educate ourselves about what consent is– what it looks like, what it feels like, what it sounds like.
“I think there are both men and women who are still trying to figure it out. We need to be more attuned to each other, pay more attention to each other, in every scenario, and really make sure that, whatever it is we’re doing with someone else, they’re comfortable doing whatever that thing is, and that we’re doing it together. That’s just human kindness and decency.”