Hollywood Powerhouses Lena Waithe and Rishi Rajani Take AD Inside Their Los Angeles Office

Lena Waithe, the respected writer-producer-actor, called her production and development company, Hillman Grad, after the fictitious traditionally Black college that was the locus for A Different World, the pioneering television series that ran for six seasons on NBC from the late 1980s to the early 90s. “That show said to the world that being Black and being smart was cool. It celebrated the Black geek and the Black lady who wished to major in art history. It was everything about a neighborhood, a people, whichs how I think of Hillman Grad,” says Waithe, the very first African American woman to win an Emmy for writing in a comedy series, for her work on Master of None. (Her sufficient manufacturer credits consist of The Chi and Boomerang, both currently on view, as well as Them: Covenant, a horror anthology series created by Little Marvin, and The 40-Year-Old Version, Radha Blanks semi-autobiographical film about a New York playwright who abandons the theater world and all its micro- and macro-racial aggressiveness to become a rap artist.) Waithe in her personal workplace..
I believe we surprise individuals in terms of who we offer the spotlight to and who we put the spotlight on,” Rajani explains.When the time came for Hillman Grad to move into a correct office, it was clear that the traditional Tinseltown-status design– sleek white walls for predominantly white individuals– was simply not going to cut it.” We didnt talk about looks and specific designs,” Waithe says of early discussions between the Hillman Grad team and designer Amie Mays, who had teamed up with Waithe formerly on the interiors of her Los Angeles house. I wanted to be surrounded by Black art, murals, video loops of iconic minutes of Black people in film and television– anything that speaks to my Blackness,” Waithe adds.