The writer, producer and actor Ryan O’Connell made television history with his Emmy-nominated Netflix series Special, inspired by his own life as a gay man with cerebral palsy finding his way through the world. Multi-hyphenate Lena Waithe won an Emmy for her writing on the hit show Master of None, and has gone on to create numerous shows of her own that celebrate Blackness and the queer experience.
In honor of Pride month, the two creators joined TIME West Coast Editor Sam Lansky for a candid TIME 100 Talks discussion about what queer creators need to be given the freedom to tell their own stories, how gatekeepers keep television homogenous in a time when change is urgently needed and what we can each do to make entertainment more inclusive.
This article is part of #TIME100Talks: Finding Hope, a special series featuring leaders across different fields encouraging action toward a better world. Want more? Sign up for access to more virtual events, including live conversations with influential newsmakers.