One of television's coolest new creators has reportedly received a major media honor. According to The New York Post, Emmy winner Lena Waithe will grace the cover of Vanity Fair for the magazine's April 2018 issue.
This will be the first Vanity Fair issue from new editor-in-chief Radhika Jones. In her inaugural Editor's letter, Jones wrote:
"It’s our mission at Vanity Fair to take the pulse of the culture — high and low, in former V.F. editor in chief Tina Brown’s classic formulation. That comes with tremendous opportunity: to draw attention to the people who are on the culture’s cutting edge, whose talent and creative vision transform the ways we see the world and ourselves."
Waithe, therefore, seems like the ideal choice for Jones' first cover.
In 2017, Master of None writer Waithe became the first-ever Black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Writing. Her award-winning season 2 episode, "Thanksgiving," showed her character Denise coming to terms with her sexuality — and introducing her mother (Angela Bassett) to her different girlfriends — over the course of multiple family holidays. Waithe, who is openly gay, based the episode on her own coming out story.
Waithe's Emmy win was hardly her own success story of 2017: The Chicago native, who previously worked as a staff writer on Bones and Hello Cupid, created the series The Chi for Showtime. Waithe used her experience growing up on the Southside of Chicago to craft a coming-of-age story about the residents of this community.
She also has a new project on the way — which actually happens to be based on a web series Waithe first wrote way back in 2009. Twenties has just received a pilot order at TBS, and will be about Hattie, a queer Black girl, and her two BFFs as they navigate friendship, love, and following their dreams.
"I wrote Twenties back in 2009," said Waithe in a statement to Deadline. "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. Queer black characters have been the sidekick for long enough; it’s time for us to finally take the lead."
According to The New York Post, Waithe won't be alone in the pages of Vanity Fair. The report states that Waithe will be joined by girlfriend Alana Mayo, who is the head of development and production at Michael B. Jordan's company Outlier Society Productions. Like Waithe, Mayo is helping make Hollywood a more diverse place: Outlier Society just announced that every project under the company's umbrella would include an inclusion rider.
Refinery29 has reached out to Vanity Fair and reps for Waithe. We will update this post should we hear back.