Entertainment

Lena Waithe Covers EBONY, Addresses Those ‘Them’ Trauma Porn Allegations

Lena Waithe is covering EBONY’s latest issue and marking the publication’s return after a relaunch. The historic mag that’s under new ownership and is helmed by Editor-in-Chief & Senior Vice President, Programming Marielle Bobo, is announcing Lena as the first celeb to kick off not only their return but their first digital cover.

Lena’s retro-inspired cover shoot pays homage to EBONY’s legacy of bold iconic covers, while infusing exciting multimedia elements as part of the brand’s new digital-first strategy.

Inside it, the creative told fellow filmmaker Gina Prince-Bythewood – for who she once worked as an assistant about how she has disrupted the status quo in Hollywood, the importance of showing up authentically in any space, and criticism she’s faced, seemingly over “Them.”

As previously reported the Amazon series centers on a Black family being taunted by malevolent forces in an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood during the period known as The Great Migration. The series is so shocking and violent however that Twitter blasted Lena who EP’d the series, for showcasing egregious Black trauma porn, something Lena herself is aware of.

According to Lena, she doesn’t get upset when her work is called “negative or trauma porn”:

“If folks want to drag me and get mad, I’m not upset about that, I honor it,” Lena told EBONY. “My hope is that the next thing I drop, hopefully you show up, and if you dig it cool. I want folks to understand that we are providing a menu of different things, not just one. It’s easy to attach a narrative, especially when you’re a Black woman, a queer woman, that it’s negative, or trauma porn. But the truth is, when someone steps back and looks at the body of work, whether it’s 40- Year-Old Version, Twenties, Boomerang, Them: Covenant, or Queen & Slim, to me it’s important to make sure every artist gets to be free.”

Lena also spoke on the new season of “Master of None:

“We wrote this a couple of years ago. The truth is people may want to think, ‘is she using her own life?’ It isn’t. There are a lot of things that I haven’t experienced that Denise [Waithe’s character] experiences. I had to have a lot of conversations with people who shared their stories about IVF and [other experiences]. You don’t have to be a queer Black woman to appreciate this season, but if you are a queer Black woman you’re going to feel very seen.”

 


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