Web Series “Twenties” and Lena Waithe, its Queer Black Writer, Are Headed For BET

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Remember that time we told y’all to check out this cool web series called Twenties because it was developed by a queer Black woman and told the story of a twentysomething-year old queer Black woman and her friends?! Remember!? Well… Twenties will be making its way to BET now that the series’ writer, Lena Waithe, who is also a queer Black woman, has signed a deal to write a pilot script!

Last summer, Waithe invited the technologically-inclined to watch and share episodes of “Twenties” that she posted on YouTube to show that a series about young women of color really could garner an audience. The comedian-writer, who also produced Dear White People, had brought the show’s idea to various networks but was met with resistance from producers who thought that the concept would not bring in a strong viewership. Well, Waithe’s call to action proved the naysayers wrong and Flavor Unit, the Queen Latifah-owned production company that produced Twenties’ webisodes, will offer its support again and produce the show for BET.

Speaking about how she wants people to experience the show, Waithe suggested that active audience engagement is one her main objectives. “We want to be entertaining, but we also want to make people think and not just sit back mindlessly,” Waithe explained to Variety. She added, “We really want them to sit up and pay attention.”

Furthermore, it is very important to Waithe that stories about marginalized groups like women, Black people, and queer people can be depicted in comedy beyond demeaning stereotypes. From the webisodes, it’s clear that Twenties aims to humanize people who often don’t get to hear their stories told. Waithe sees this project as a show with lasting impact. “My goal is to shoot the most amazing pilot possible, but for people to not just love it today but for them also to watch it 20 years from now.”

So congratulations to Lena Waithe for proving that we want to see different stories on our televisions (or computers for those of us without cable). And congratulations to you out there whose numerous views gave this series the support it needed. While you wait for the BET pilot episode of Twenties, watch some of the webisodes again!

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Helen McDonald is a 20-something college student living off of bad cooking, social justice and a lil snark. She also discusses the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality on her personal blog revolutionaryrainbows.tumblr.com and is a contributing writer at ElixHer.com

Helen has written 32 articles for us.

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