Master of None star Lena Waithe looks stunning on the cover of Vanity Fair
Actress Lena Waithe has made history appearing on the cover of Vanity Fair.
The actor, who starred as Denise in Netflix drama Master of None, is the first cover star under the magazine’s new editor, Radhika Jones.
The magazine has historically had largely white cover stars, with Jennifer Lawrence featuring as the final cover star of its previous editor.
“When I thought about the kind of person I’d like to see on the cover of Vanity Fair, I thought about Lena Waithe — a member of the new creative elite remaking entertainment for her generation,” Jones wrote in a note to readers of the new issue.
In her interview with the magazine, Waithe weighed in on the controversy around Aziz Ansari, after a woman wrote online that she felt “violated” by the actor on a date.
“At the end of the day,” Waithe said, “what I would hope comes out of this is that we as a society… educate ourselves about what consent is – what it looks like, what it feels like, what it sounds like. I think there are both men and women who are still trying to figure it out.”
She added that “we need to be more attuned to each other” and “pay more attention to each other” in every situation.
She continued that people have to make sure that “whatever it is we’re doing with someone else” that “they’re comfortable doing whatever that thing is.”
“That’s just kindness and human decency,” she concludes.
The new generation star hasn’t been afraid to dish her truths since becoming a major player in Hollywood.
Appearing on The View with Whoopi Goldberg, the Master of None actor said that she couldn’t deny her sexuality is the glaring eye of Hollywood, and wants other gay black actors to feel comfortable doing the same.
“The amount of gay black people in Hollywood… you can count them on one or two hands,” said Waithe.
“The numbers don’t add up.”
“It’s like me, Wanda, Ru, Titus… I think a lot of us don’t want to be public about it, and say ‘well that’s my private life.’ But I think honestly, we have to be a bit of a beacon of light for kids of colour, who are thinking ‘am I weird? Is something wrong with me? What quality of life might I have?’.
“I mean, I don’t think of what I’m doing as very revolutionary. I don’t know how to not be gay as hell. That is who I am!”
Waithe’s poignant appearance as Denise in Master of None has been one of the biggest stories on screen in recent years.
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Cataloguing Denise’s emerging lesbian identity and how her mother perceived her sexuality, the episode struck a chord with millions of Netflix viewers.
She continued, “I wanna be here to hold somebody’s hand and be supportive. The more of us there are… also for black folks in the community for them to see… we’re made up of the same stuff.”
Waithe’s latest show, The Chi, follows characters forming their lives in Waithe’s hometown in the South Side of Chicago.
“The community I grew up in Chicago was very much a village!” the actor said on the show. We policed ourselves.”