Lena Waithe honoured with the Trailblazer Award at MTV Awards

The actress and writer dedicated the award to the artists who appeared in the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning.

Lena Waithe was honoured with the Trailblazer Award at the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards.

The American actress, producer and screenwriter, who previously won an Emmy for her work on the Netflix series Master Of None, was recognised at the star-studded ceremony in Los Angeles on Monday.

Presenting the award, Waithe’s friend, the rapper Common, described her as “the amazing, always inspiring, revolutionary, incomparable Lena Waithe”.

During her acceptance speech, Waithe praised the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning, which explored the ball culture of New York City in the 1980s.

2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards – Show
Lena Waithe accepts the MTV Trailblazer Award (Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

She told the audience she looked up the meaning of trailblazer, adding: “According to the dictionary, it means to be a pioneer or an innovator, and I’m extremely grateful that you guys see me in that light.

“But I believe the only reason why I’m even allowed to stand here is because of a few other trailblazers that some of you might not be aware of.”

Waithe, who arrived on the red carpet with her fiancee Alana Mayo, dedicated her award to some of the artists featured in Paris Is Burning, including Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, Angie Xtravaganza, and Willi Ninja.

Waithe, 34, said: “Tonight, I want to share this award with them. I want to do what we as a society should have done a long time ago, and that’s give them the glory and the shine they deserve.”

She added: “They struggled through brick walls so we did not have to.”

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