Congratulations are in order for actor and screenwriter Lena Waithe! In a sneak peek of Waithe’s upcoming appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Friday, the Emmy winner revealed that she and longtime girlfriend Alana Mayo secretly got married recently.
In a clip shared online ahead of Friday’s episode, Waithe spoke to guest host and recently crowned Sexiest Man Alive John Legend about her low-key wedding. Waithe says the couple decided to tie the knot on the West coast and at the same time honour one of the greatest pioneers for gay rights in the US. “We snuck and did it. We didn’t really make any announcements,” said Waithe. “We went to San Francisco, we went to the courthouse and we got married right in front of Harvey Milk’s bust.”
The Master of None and The Chi writer added that it was Mayo’s idea to make the wedding a spontaneous event. “And it was her idea, like all good things are,” said Waithe of her new wife. “And we were driving and she was like, ‘We should get married at that courthouse.’ And I said, ‘Cool let’s do it.’”
Waithe continues to be one of the most exciting new voices in Hollywood following her addition to the cast and writing staff of Aziz Ansari’s Master of None series. In 2017, Waithe became the first black woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, helping to secure Waithe’s position as a showrunner on her own series, The Chi.
The Chicago native spoke about her relationship with Mayo during an appearance on The Dave Chang Show podcast, saying her partner keeps her grounded. “The great thing is, she’s not jazzed by it,” said Waithe, who got engaged to Mayo during a November 2017 trip to Tokyo. “She definitely helps to keep me grounded …When I get home from winning an Emmy, she’s like, ‘Don’t forget to take out the recycling.’ It’s those things that I think are really helpful. She’s so laid back about it all.”
Following the pair’s engagement, Waithe told People the pair were trying to fit a wedding into their busy schedules. “It’s a little nutty,” said Waithe, adding “I’m trying to balance it out, but I’m really grateful.” The writer and actor did reveal that the pair wanted to keep the event small, saying “It’s going to be super small, crazy small. It’s almost like an excuse to have fun with our friends.”
The couple’s decision to hit the courthouse for a last minute ‘I do’ may have been inspired by Waithe’s increasingly busy schedule. On Thursday, Waithe attended the premiere of her highly anticipated new film Queen & Slim, which stars Daniel Kaluuya, Jodie Turner-Smith, Chloe Sevigny, Bokeem Woodbine and Indya Moore. The new drama also acts as the feature debut from music video director Melina Matsoukas, who has worked with Beyoncé, Solange, Whitney Houston, Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys and more.
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Rihanna, who has also worked with Matsoukas, attended Thursday’s premiere, marking one of her few red-carpet outings this year.
Queen & Slim arrives in select theaters on November 14 and will be released widely on November 27.