Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe were awarded the Emmy award for Writing for a Comedy Series for Master of None at Sunday’s 69th Primetime Emmy Awards, and the win is monumental in that Waithe has become the first African-American woman to win a comedy writing award. As they went onstage to accept their awards, Ansari graciously stepped to the side and let Waithe — who also plays “Denise” in the Netflix series — give the acceptance speech.
“Let me reclaim my time, give me a second,” Waithe said, collecting herself, in obvious shock over the win. “I gotta thank God or else I wouldn’t be standing here, and I want to thank my mother for inspiring the story and allow me to share it with the world, I love you mom. Thank you to Aziz for pushing me to co-write this, now we’re standing here, I love you forever. Thank you and [co-creator Alan Yang] for creating a show like Master of None where we can tell stories like this. Thank you Netflix and Universal for creating a beautiful playground.”
The episode Ansari and Waithe won for was “Thanksgiving,” which dealt with the subject of Denise’s homosexuality, and her family grappling to come to terms with it. Waithe drew heavily from her own personal experiences while penning the episode.