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Lena Waithe & THR Gather 62 Black Female Writers for Historic Moment

Lena Waithe
Lena Waithe at the 2018 HFPA Annual Grants Banquet at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 9, 2018 in Beverly Hills, CA

The Hollywood Reporter  (THR) executed its most massive photo shoot, which consisted of 62 Black female writers from Black Women Who Brunch (BWB), a networking group co-founded by Emmy Award-winning Lena Waithe.

Waithe, the creator and writer of the Showtime hit series The Chi, created BWB in collaboration with writers Nkechi Okoro Carroll (All American) and Erika L. Johnson (Queen Sugar). They wanted to create a safe space where Black women writers from different genres and sections of Hollywood could co-exist.

The group began with a modest 12 writers before growing to the more than 60 women. In November, they sat down with THR for the photoshoot.

The BWB trio spoke with THR’s Rebecca Sun about what it’s like to be Black in Hollywood, from the stereotypes to microaggressions.

Johnson said their networking is “the proof” to people within the industry who say, “We can’t find any Black female writers.”

Waithe stated that the point of the group is to create more diverse writers rooms to provide more stories and perspectives.

In September, the #ShowUsYourRoom challenge called for Hollywood to prove the action it’s taking toward inclusion by sharing photos from inside the writers’ room of shows and movies.

The 2017 Hollywood Diversity Report, which looked at 168 theatrical films and 1,208 TV shows, found that minorities and women remained underrepresented in front of and behind the camera. Through the networking group, writers can now recommend “eight or nine” Black women writers for various gigs.

Watch the full video with the BWB founders below.

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