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Lena Waithe Opens Up About Aziz Ansari Sexual Misconduct Claims

Lena Waithe Opens Up About Aziz Ansari Sexual Misconduct Claims

Lena Waithe covers Vanity Fair‘s April 2018 issue, out on newsstands on April 3.

Here’s what the actress, producer and screenwriter – and the first black woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing – had to say…

On winning the Emmy: “Here’s the irony of it all. I don’t need an Emmy to tell me to go to work. I’ve been working. I’ve been writing, I’ve been developing, I’ve been putting pieces together and I’m bullets, you know what I’m saying? It got me all these meetings that I go in and say I’m too busy to work with you—you should have hollered at me. You can take my call when I call you about this black queer writer over here who’s got a dope pilot, or this person over here who’s got really cool ideas, or this actress who’s really amazing but nobody’s seen her.”

On the challenges of being a black writer in Hollywood: “The hardest thing [is] having to pitch your black story to white execs. Most of the time when we go into rooms to pitch, there’s one token black executive that sometimes can be a friend and sometimes can be a foe. I wonder if they think it makes me more comfortable, if that makes me think that they’re a woke network or studio because they’ve got that one black exec. It feels patronizing. I’m not against a black exec. I want there to be more of them.”

On the allegations against Master Of None co-star Aziz Ansari: “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.”

For more from Lena, visit VanityFair.com.

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Credit: Annie Leibovitz; Photos: Vanity Fair
Posted to: Lena Waithe

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  • Sansa Squad

    love her response to the aziz stuff – it’s clear she understands WHY what he did (or “allegedly” did) was wrong and doesn’t make excuses for him, and at the same time she doesn’t have to throw him under the bus to make her point clear. I hope more people who find themselves in this position see that you can give a poised, intelligent, and USEFUL response without taking “sides” one way or the other.

  • Elena Moses


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