Lena Waithe Is Making a Mary Tyler Moore Documentary

But is Waithe a Mary or a Rhoda?

Forget Mare of Easttown, Lena Waithe is all about Mare of Minneapolis.

The Emmy-winning out writer-actress has appeared in a string of high-profile projects over the past few years, including the latest season of Netflix’s Master of None. Now Waithe is stepping behind the scenes and setting her sights on one of the most iconic women in television history.

Waithe’s Hillman Grad Productions is producing Being Mary: The Mary Tyler Moore Documentary. The forthcoming documentary will chronicle the personal and professional trials and triumphs of the Emmy-winning star and producer of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, hailed as one of the greatest TV series of all time.

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The doc will be directed by James Adolphus (Soul of a Nation, Dating Around) and has support from the Mary Tyler Moore estate and Moore’s husband, Dr. S. Robert Levine. Moore passed away in 2017 at the age of 80 from cardiopulmonary arrest after she had contracted pneumonia.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Waithe called Moore “an icon, mystery, and an inspiration,” adding, “With the help of her loving husband, Robert, and her friends and colleagues we hope to reveal that America’s sweetheart was more human than they ever imagined and was often put on a pedestal she never felt comfortable standing on.”

Dr. Levine added: “In her high school yearbook, Mary wrote: ‘The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms’… and Mary always sought to surround herself with the best. To have extraordinary and purposeful talents like Lena and James tell Mary’s story honors her in a way I know she would have treasured.”

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For her work on Netflix’s Master of None, Waithe, an outspoken champion of LGBTQ visibility and acceptance, made history in 2017 as the first Black woman to win an Emmy for writing for a comedy series. Her other TV projects include Boomerang, The Chi, and Twenties. She also made her feature film screenwriting debut with 2019’s Queen & Slim.

Being Mary will tentatively be released in 2022.

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