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WGA Announces 2013 Diversity Program Winners (Lena Waithe, Dawn Comer Jefferson)

by Tambay A. Obenson
March 27, 2013 12:06 PM
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WGA Adversity 2013

On the heels of yesterday's report on the under-representation of minorities and women staff writers in television...

The Diversity Department of the Writers Guild of America has announced the honorees for the 2013 WGAW Writer Access Project, a program designed to address the issue of under-representation of diverse writers on television writing staffs, by identifying excellent, diverse writers with television experience, and to provide a resource for accessing their work to showrunners, industry executives, agents and managers.

Qualified WGAW members were invited to submit their work in one of five diversity categories: minority writers; writers with disabilities; women writers; writers age 55 and over; and gay and lesbian writers.

Writers were invited to submit either an original pilot or a spec script from a current television show.

The scripts were read and scored on a blind submission basis by WGAW members with extensive television writing experience, including current and former showrunners and writer/producers.

The project was launched by the WGAW’s Diversity Department in early 2009.

Congrats to Lena Waithe (seated, 3rd from the left in above photo) and Dawn Comer Jefferson (standing, 3rd from the left) on their recognition!

Lena began her writing career on Nickelodeon’s How To Rock where she wrote two episodes. Her latest pilot is about three black girls trying to get their lives together.

Dawn Comer Jefferson started as a Walt Disney Writers Program Fellow. Soon after, she received an Emmy nomination for the animated special, Our Friend, Martin, starring James Earl Jones and John Travolta for Fox/DIC Entertainment. Dawn spent several seasons writing on Judging Amy, served as writer/consulting producer on TeenNick’s South of Nowhere, and developed a pilot for Tartikoff/Ebersol at NBC Universal Studios. Dawn was previously a Writers Access Project Honoree in 2011.

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  • Aaron | March 27, 2013 12:58 PMReply

    Diversity? Now that is funny. Look at that picture real good. WGA is sooooo funny. lol

  • reg | June 4, 2013 10:28 PM

    You are so right on! Didn't the WGA start the strike that destroyed Hollywood?

  • CC | March 27, 2013 2:38 PM

    I hear you Aaron, "diversity"... yeaaaah riiiiiiight. Looking at that picture I am reminded of how many organization "pad" their "minority" hiring stats. In many circles women of any color are considered a minority, as are gays and senior citizens.

    So hip hip Hooray for Lena Waithe and the double dipper Dawn Comer Jefferson, BUT....

    But the bamboozle stick -- again -- reigns supreme. Yelp, the WGA has jokes, they're sooooooo funny. lol

  • Akimbo | March 27, 2013 1:09 PM

    These are the current WGA members whose work was deemed worthy of recognition. You think that people if color are the only ones being kept out of rooms for bogus reasons? I don't know how much sexuality comes into play, but I know women and anyone over 45 have it rough, too.

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