Lena Waithe

Emmy Award-Winning Actress

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Lena Waithe is an American actress, producer, and screenwriter, best known for her role as Denise on the 2015 Netflix series Master of None. Waithe made history at the 2017 Emmys when she won an award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series on Master of None, becoming the first black woman to do so. The “Thanksgiving” episode for which she won the Emmy was partially based on her personal experience coming out to her mother. She is the creative force behind the Showtime series The Chi.

Waithe has been a writer for the Fox television series Bones, a writer for the 2012 Nickelodeon sitcom How to Rock, and a producer on the 2014 satirical comedy film Dear White People. Waithe wrote and appeared in the YouTube series “Twenties” which was produced by Flavor Unit Entertainment and optioned in 2014 by BET. In addition to writing and directing the short film “Save Me”, which was shown at several independent film festivals, Waithe wrote the 2013 web series “Hello Cupid” and the 2011 viral video Shit Black Girls Say.

In 2014, Variety named Waithe as one of its “10 Comedians to Watch”. In August 2015, Showtime network commissioned a pilot for an upcoming series, The Chi, written by Waithe and produced by Common, which tells a young urban African-American man’s coming-of-age story. As the show’s creator, Waithe’s goal was to bring her experience growing up on the South Side and experiencing its diversity to craft a story that paints a more nuanced portrait of her hometown than is typically shown.

Waithe was cast in Master of None after meeting creator and lead actor Aziz Ansari who, with Alan Yang, had originally written Denise as a straight, white woman with the potential, according to Waithe, to evolve into one of the main character’s love interests: “For some reason, [casting director] Allison Jones thought about me for it, a black gay woman.” Ansari and Yang rewrote the script to make the character more like Waithe: “All of us actors play heightened versions of ourselves.” She said, “I don’t know if we’ve seen a sly, harem pants-wearing, cool Topshop sweatshirt-wearing, snapback hat-rocking lesbian on TV.” She also said, “I know how many women I see out in the world who are very much like myself. We exist. To me, the visibility of it was what was going to be so important and so exciting.”

In 2017, Waithe and Ansari won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the season 2 episode “Thanksgiving”. She became the first black woman to win the award. Waithe described the episode as based on her coming-out experience as a lesbian. In her moving Emmy speech, she sends a special message to her LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual) family discussing how “The things that make us different—those are our superpowers.”. She ends her speech by recognizing her journey as a minority saying “thank you for embracing a little Indian boy from South Carolina and a little queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago.” She is also developing an autobiographical drama series called The Chi. Out Magazine named Waithe the Out100: Artist of the Year on November 8, 2017.

Once you have submitted your booking request, our booking agents will work on our behalf to book Lena Waithe, but in the occasion he is unavailable our team will provide you a roster of other business speakers that can deliver a keynote or make a guest appearance at your event. Our goal is to align you with a speaker like Lena Waithe that will make your event unforgettable.

Disclaimer: SpeakerBookingAgency.com assists corporations, event planners and PR Firms looking to book Lena Waithe or similar business speakers for Product Endorsements, Ad Campaigns, Appearances, and Speaking Engagements. Our Booking Agency does not advertise or claim that we are the exclusive agent for Lena Waithe. Our agency works on the inquiring companies behalf to get the best price based on the event details. The booking fee ranges listed are a point of reference and typically a rough ball park based on past or current bookings. To provide an accurate rate our agents need the date, location, and event details. We advise all interested companies to fill out the booking request form.

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