Lena Waithe Honors 'Paris Is Burning' in MTV Acceptance Speech: Watch

Lena Waithe
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for MTV

Honoree Lena Waithe accepts the MTV Trailblazer Award onstage during the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, Calif.

Last night (June 18), actress Lena Waithe accepted the Trailblazer Award at the 27th annual MTV Movie & TV Awards. However, rather than remarking about her own work, she paid tribute to those who have paved the way for her do so.

The Emmy award winner specifically called attention to Paris Is Burning, stressing that the work of ballroom icons such as Pepper LaBeija, Dorian Corey, Angie Xtravaganza, and Willi Ninja is “the only reason I’m allowed to stand here.”

“A lot of the people featured in this film are no longer with us, but their legacies will never die because they live on in all of us,” Waithe said. “And every time someone says ‘shade’ or talks about ‘reading’ or decides to serve face for no reason at all, please look up to the sky and give thanks because we owe them a huge debt of gratitude. They strutted through a brick wall so we wouldn’t have to."

Watch the clip below:


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.