During the annual Television Critics Association summer press tour, writer and Master of None star and writer Lena Waithe got candid.
After getting an Emmy nomination for writing the fan favorite "Thanksgiving" episode of the second season of Master of None, she was made aware that she was the first African-American woman ever to be given the nod.
"I didn't know I was the first black woman [to be nominated] until people were saying that and saying it to me and I was like, 'Is that true?'" she said, as noted by TV Guide, during the TCA’s Lesbian Gay and Bisexual Trend on TV panel event.
"The first woman of color was Mindy Kaling, I think that was for an episode of The Office she wrote. And I'm the first African-American woman. And to be in 2017, it speaks to where we are in terms of, I think we're making progress in our industry, but I think what this says to me is we still have a lot of work to do. And I'm fighting to make sure it happens," she explained according to TV Guide.
Sadly it’s no surprise that when it comes to diversity — of race, gender and LGBTQ issues — Hollywood moves at a glacial pace. And often, when diverse stories are shifted from the page to the silver screen, the final product can feel feigned if not, forced. "What I don't like is when gay characters are used as props," Waithe explained. "We're not furniture, we're not there to jazz things up," she continued.