Waters also worked on shows such as Comedy Central’s Hood Adjacent With James Davis and VH1’s The Breaks. She was a former columnist at Vibe magazine and appeared on camera in VH1’s 2013 unscripted show The Gossip Game. No cause of death was given.
News of Waters’ death broke Wednesday, when the writers of This Is Us shared the news via Twitter: “The entire This Is Us family was devastated to learn of Jas Waters passing. In our time together, Jas left her mark on us and ALL over the show. She was a brilliant storyteller and a force of nature. We send our deepest sympathies to her loved ones. She was one of us.”
Added series creator Dan Fogelman, “Jas was absolutely brilliant and had so many stories still to tell. She made an indelible mark on our show and my heart breaks for her loved ones.”
Kidding creator Dave Holstein said in a statement, “Jas was a one of a kind voice and an integral part of our writing team on Kidding. This is a devastating loss for those who knew her and lived in her light. One of my favorite lines of hers is resonating especially loud with me today: Our scars do not mean we are broken. They are proof we are healed.”
Waters was born in Evanston, Illinois, and grew up in a retirement home, where she lived with her grandparents, according to an 2018 interview she did with Shadow and Act. “By the time I was 8 or 9, I was like Roger Ebert,” she told the site. “I had such a grasp on what made a movie good, what made a story good. I’m also a poor Black kid who grew up in an old folks home. So I understand ground-level life, and I bring that perspective to everything I write.”
Waters ran her own website and was a columnist for Vibe, which led to her being cast in The Gossip Game (as JasFly), a show about bloggers, gossip columnists and radio personalities covering the hip-hop industry.
She was a staff writer on the second season of This Is Us, having previously written for Hood Adjacent and The Breaks. Waters worked as a story editor on Kidding in each of its two seasons.
“It is with extremely heavy hearts that all of us at RMG mourn the life of our client & friend, Jas Waters,” wrote her reps at Rain Management. “Jas was a talented & gifted writer, an amazing person, and a sweet soul who will be forever missed. Though she is no longer with us, her impact will be felt for years to come.”