Lena Waithe, the out lesbian woman of color who has been among those at the forefront in the struggle to bring more visibility and representation to the entertainment industry, is on a roll as 2019 comes to a close.
On the heels of an impressive opening weekend for her debut feature film, “Queen and Slim,” the Emmy-winner dropped the trailer for her upcoming television project on BET. Titled “Twenties,” it’s the first series in the network’s history to be centered on an LGBTQ character.
Slated for an eight-episode season, “Twenties” focuses on a queer black woman named Hattie, along with her two friends, Marie and Nia, as they pursue their dreams of success in Los Angeles. It stars Jonica “JoJo” T. Gibbs as Hattie, alongside Christina Elmore and Gabrielle Graham, as Marie and Nia, respectively. The show also features Sophina Brown as Ida B., a successful black TV writer and producer, and rapper Big Sean as Tristan, a student in Nia’s yoga class. There’s also an impressive list of supporting and guest performers, including Seth Green, Kym Whitley, and Vanessa Williams.
The series is loosely based on Waithe’s own beginnings in the entertainment industry.
Waithe won her Emmy for scripting the instant-classic “Thanksgiving” episode of the Netflix series, “Master of None,” a show on which she was also an actor. Her previous show for BET (“Boomerang,” based on the 1992 movie of the same name) debuted early this year and has been renewed for a second season.
“Queen and Slim,” the rising industry powerhouse’s first feature film screenplay (from a story she co-wrote with James Frey), surpassed industry expectations by making the top five box-office list for Thanksgiving weekend.
Waithe wrote “Twenties” at the very beginning of her career, originating as the basis for a proposed web series. It was developed once before by BET before moving to TBS, but now – ten years after its original conception – it has returned to BET for a release that is set for “early 2020,” according to the network.
You can watch the trailer below: