Lena Waithe says women ‘won’t be treated like second class citizens’

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Lena Waithe in “Ready Player One.”

Lena Waithe – the multi-hyphenate creator of the Showtime series “The Chi” – gave a rallying cry for the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements at Variety’s Power of Women event last week, declaring that women “won’t be treated like second class citizens.”

“We decided to rise up and scream at the top of our lungs and become a chorus of rebels that won’t be treated like second class citizens,” Waithe said at Variety’s Power of Women, presented by Lifetime on Friday. “We can’t afford to go back. The next generation of artists, writers, actors, directors and activists will look at this time and know — that when we had a chance to make a change, we did.”

An Emmy Award winner for the Netflix series “Master of None,” on which she writes and acts, Waithe said women in Hollywood have never been more united, and they are supportive of another for big and small moments alike.

“I can’t remember a time in this industry when women have huddled together,” Waithe said at the annual luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. “When we’ve all gotten on the same page. When we’ve gotten on group emails and text threads. Not just to discuss strategy, but to share baby photos and encouraging words.”


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