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Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe won the Emmy for best writing for a comedy series on Sunday night for Master of None.
The writers beat out Donald Glover for Atlanta (“B.A.N”), Stephen Glover for Atlanta (“Streets on Lock”), Alec Berg for Silicon Valley (“Success Failure”), Billy Kimball for Veep (“Georgia”) and David Mandel for Veep (“Groundbreaking”).
Waithe took to the podium to accept the award on behalf of the co-writing duo, who received a standing ovation for their win. The actress began her speech by thanking her mother for inspiring the “Thanksgiving” episode, on which her character comes out as a lesbian.
“My LGBQTIA family, I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different — those are our superpowers,” Waithe said, encouraging the community to put on their “imaginary capes” and “confront the world.”
“The world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it,” she said.
Waithe set a record as the first African-American woman to win an Emmy for comedy writing. Backstage following her win, she commented on what the honor meant to her.
“It means a lot to me to be a first,” Waithe told reporters backstage about her history-making win. “It says that it’s possible. I hope it gives other funny women of color an opportunity because this door has now been opened. Give women of color a seat at the table — and if you do that, you get one of these!”
Waithe and co-star/co-creator Ansari also spoke to the press about what it meant for the “Thanksgiving” episode — which chronicled Waithe’s Denise during her journey of coming out, checking in on the character every Thanksgiving — to claim the award.
Ansari noted that he hoped the episode would allow Hollywood to explore more inclusive storytelling. “I hope that people see that all the different kinds of stories we get to tell — not just on our show but on all shows — that people are responding to them and that encourages people to push themselves and do more of it,” Ansari said.
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