Lena Waithe is never not working. The 36-year-old writer, showrunner, producer and actress is reportedly working on a new drama series centered around open marriages.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the series is part of her massive, overall deal with streaming giant Amazon and is tentatively titled Open. Should it get the greenlit, it will join Waithe’s other television programs: Showtime’s The Chi and BET’s Boomerang and Twenties.
“Society has such a conservative way of looking at marriage,” Waithe tells THR. “I do think that we as a nation need to reevaluate what marriage looks like for us as a country—because whatever we have right now, it ain’t working.” Waithe further explains that while she’s never been in an open marriage herself, the arrangement is “fascinating” to her.
“We live in a world where, if I told you I cheated on my wife, you would be like, ‘Yeah, that’s the way it goes,’” she continues. “But if I told you that I’m in an open marriage, it would be as if I told you I’m joining the Church of Scientology.” Waithe and her longtime partner Alana Mayo split earlier this year after two months of marriage, after which they issued a joint statement saying they “have nothing but support for one another.”
Waithe’s first official project under her Amazon deal, which was announced in 2019, will be called Them: Covenant. Per The Hollywood Reporter, it “follows a Black couple and their move to an all-white Los Angeles neighborhood—where the picturesque street masks malevolent forces both real and supernatural.” Waithe’s ability to “[identify] exciting and authentic voices” was praised by Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, when news of the deal was made public.
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