It was a moment Lena Waithe had little interest in sharing. Sure, as a writer, Waithe wanted to tell queer narratives. But a “coming out” story? Well, she wasn’t eager to revisit that chapter of her life. And she also felt like it had become a trope for every LGBTQ character.
But then she had a meeting with “Master of None” co-creators Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang as they were beginning to think about Season 2 of the Netflix comedy, in which she plays Denise, a friend of Ansari’s character, Dev. A discussion about her current relationship led to questions about how Waithe had come out to her family.
“It became clear we had a lot of material for an episode,” Ansari recalls in an email. “It was all interesting, hilarious and not quite like anything I’d seen on TV/film before.”
Bruce Miller, writer and showrunner for Hulu’s apocalyptic drama “The Handmaid’s Tale,” took home the Emmy for writer in a drama series.
Backstage in the press room, he faced the inevitable barrage of questions about the show’s current resonance, which he both embraced and played down in equal measures.
“I think it all comes from the book, which had the same following,” he said of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. “The same fascination holds. The story has been magnetic. Nowadays, people worry they are living in a society where big things are happening and you look at a character like Offred [played by Elisabeth Moss] living under such horrible oppression who still finds ways to rebel, and to live.”
In fact, the only other woman of color ever nominated in the category is Mindy Kaling. Kaling was nominated in 2010 along with co-writer Greg Daniels for their work on “The Office” episode “Niagara” (and the award that year went to the writers of the “Modern Family” pilot).
With separate categories for actors and actresses, male and female performers are equally represented among 2017's Emmy nominees, but take a short hop over to the directing and writing categories and the awards are primarily a boys club.
Among the 114 writers nominated this year for drama series, comedy series, variety series and limited series, movie or dramatic special, only 21 are women. That's a hair over 18%.
Women are best represented when they're writing for a variety series: Of the 90 people named from the staffs of "Full Frontal With Samantha Bee," "Last Week Tonight With John Oliver," "Late Night With Seth Meyers," "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" and "Saturday Night Live," 21 writers — 23.3% — are female.
It's the kind of sight that would please Olivia Pope of "Scandal": Stars munching on popcorn and sipping wine.
When the Emmys broadcast cuts to a commercial break, the concession area inside the Microsoft Theater is overrun with people — like "The Crown's" Matt Smith — buying popcorn, pretzels, hot dogs and a variety of libations.