Lena WaitheLatest News and Opinion
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 11:05PM EST
Lena Waithe is a "surprise pick" for Vanity Fair's April cover
Vanity Fair’s new editor-in-chief Radhika Jones has picked for her first cover The Chi and Master of None breakout star, a choice that some see as a change of direction for the magazine known for its focus on the Hollywood elite.
Posted Wednesday 2/14/18 at 2:32PM EST
TBS orders Lena Waithe's Twenties, a semi-autobigraphical comedy pilot
Following her breakout Emmy-winning success on Master of None and Showtime's The Chi, Waithe will next try to bring to the small screen a semi-autobiographical comedy about a "queer black girl" named Hattie and her two straight girlfriends, who “spend most of their days talking sh*t and chasing their dreams." Long in gestation, Waithe first posted to YouTube a multi-part pilot presentation for the series back in 2013. “I always wanted to tell a story where a queer black woman was the protagonist and I’m so grateful to TBS for giving me a platform to tell this story," says Waithe, who will also write the single-camera comedy. Queer black characters have been the sidekick for long enough, it’s time for us to finally take the lead.”
Posted Friday 2/02/18 at 1:33PM EST
Lena Waithe weighs in on Aziz Ansari’s sexual misconduct scandal: "It's not always black and white"
Waithe says of her Master of None collaborator: “Here's the truth — in every situation, it's not always black and white,” she says. “And I know that's simple for people, and it's easy for people to (ask), 'Whose side are you on?' There are no sides, really, in some of these scenarios."
Posted Tuesday 1/30/18 at 1:33PM EST
Showtime renews The Chi
The Lena Waithe drama has been renewed for a second season after just four episodes. The Chi will get a new showrunner, Ayanna Floyd Davis, for its second season.
Posted Wednesday 1/17/18 at 11:05PM EST
Lena Waithe is headed to This Is Us
Waithe is trying something different from her work on The Chi and Master of None, playing an animal shelter worker who advises Kate on the NBC drama series.
Posted Friday 1/05/18 at 11:08PM EST
Lena Waithe’s The Chi is being compared to The Wire, but it has more in common with Shameless
The Showtime series also has a lot in common with The Wire creator David Simon's acclaimed HBO series Treme, says Matt Zoller Seitz. “Like Shameless and Treme, The Chi is “mainly concerned with the lives of working class and poor people struggling to survive day-to-day, rather than the system they’re struggling within,” says Seitz. “It’s a rare drama that bothers to remind us that even when somebody in your family dies unexpectedly, you still have to work, pay rent, and drive mom around. Yet somehow, for all the occasional horror and persistent indignity, life goes on here, every day, every minute, and The Chi appreciates that as well, often pausing to take in the beauty of an intricately painted mural on the wall of a bodega, or the way the orange sunset light glints off the side of an elevated train rounding a curve.”
- The Chi arrives more than a decade after The Wire, “and the contours of its ambition and scope are recognizable”
- The Chi quickly carves its own niche with a concept that defies simple description
- It looks like a work in progress that shows some potential, yet also some predictable storytelling
- The Chi offers a remarkably raw portrayal of its characters’ strengths and flaws
- It needs time to grow: You end up wanting to appreciate it more than you actually appreciate it
- Waithe: “This is about showing us as people. Not perfect people. But as human beings”
- “My mission is to show these young black men are not born with a gun in their hand,” says Waithe
- Waithe invites Chicagoans to critique her show: “You get first dibs”
Posted Friday 12/15/17 at 1:14PM EST
Showtime posts The Chi’s first episode on YouTube
The Chicago-based series from Master of None’s Lena Waithe is also available on Facebook and Showtime’s website. The Chi premieres on Jan. 7.
Posted Thursday 12/07/17 at 1:12PM EST
Lena Waithe joins Dear White People
The Master of None star will recur on the Netflix series as P Ninnny, “a braggadocious MC who stars on a ridiculous Love & Hip Hop-like reality series called Trap-House Tricks.”
Posted Friday 11/17/17 at 7:14AM EST
Lena Waithe’s The Chi releases its official trailer
The coming-of-age Chicago-set drama from the Master of None star and Common has also unveiled its key art with the tag line: “Our City. Our Streets. Our South Side.”
Posted Wednesday 10/25/17 at 7:48PM EDT
Lena Waithe nearly walked away from writing her Emmy-winning Master of None “Thanksgiving” episode
At one point, she told creators Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, “my plate’s too full. Not going to do that.”
Posted Thursday 10/19/17 at 12:55AM EDT
The Chi accused of throwing away a dumpster full of food in a neighborhood starving for grocery stores
The Lena Waithe-created Showtime series built a fake corner store in a Chicago neighborhood located in a “food desert” where grocery stores are badly needed. When filming recently finished, the show reportedly left behind a mess of paint chips on the sidewalk and a dumpster full of food that neighborhood residents quickly dived into. Representatives of The Chi have yet to respond to the accusations.
Posted Wednesday 10/18/17 at 7:01PM EDT
Check out The Chi trailer from Master of None’s Lena Waithe
Fresh off her Emmy win, Waithe is coming out with a Showtime series about coming of age in Chicago.
Posted Tuesday 9/19/17 at 11:03PM EDT
Master of None’s Lena Waithe connects her historical Emmy victory to Halle Berry winning an Oscar
“So many other people could have won, but I think that, for whatever reason, there’s a person that is the vessel,” says Waithe, the first black female winner of the Emmy for best comedy writing, echoing Berry’s Oscar speech. “I hope to leave a path for others to follow, and to break down doors for others to walk through.”
Posted Saturday 9/02/17 at 3:23AM EDT
Master of None's Lena Waithe: Aziz Ansari “let me lead” in writing the Thanksgiving episode
Waithe, the first black woman to be nominated for an Emmy for comedy writing, says: “I’ll be honest, writing that episode was the most freeing experience I’ve ever had. It’s the difference in going from being a slave to being free. They didn’t bring in somebody to rewrite me or put it through a filter of somebody that doesn’t look like me to make it more palatable for a broader audience. Our writers’ draft versus the real one is like 98 percent the same. That never happens, but what that says to me is, when it does happen that’s when success comes.”