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08/15/2018 06:15 pm ET Updated Aug 16, 2018

Lena Waithe Says She Bought Out A Theater For 'Crazy Rich Asians'

"Let's do it for the culture."
Lena Waithe said she and her fiancée, Alana Mayo, had "the time of their lives" watching "Crazy Rich Asians."
LISA O'CONNOR via Getty Images
Lena Waithe said she and her fiancée, Alana Mayo, had "the time of their lives" watching "Crazy Rich Asians."

Lena Waithe loved “Crazy Rich Asians” so much that she bought out an entire theater to make sure other people would get to see the milestone movie on the big screen. 

The Emmy winner joined stars Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Constance Wu at the film’s Aug. 7 premiere in Los Angeles. By Tuesday, she’d tweeted to liken the movie ― the first mainstream Hollywood feature in 25 years to boast an all-Asian main cast ― to “Black Panther.”

The “Master of None” writer and star’s cheekily worded tweet caught the eye of “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon M. Chu, who expressed his gratitude in a response. 

The love continued as Waithe revealed that she and her team had bought out a theater for a “Crazy Rich Asians” screening. (Unfortunately, she didn’t reveal the location, the timing or whether any particular lucky folks would get the free tickets.) 

Chu answered by calling Waithe “an inspiration.”

A number of stars have taken similar measures with recent benchmark films to ensure they get seen. Earlier in the year, Matt Bomer and Neil Patrick Harris were among a bevy of celebs who bought out screenings of the gay-themed romantic comedy “Love, Simon,” while Kendrick Lamar and Octavia Spencer treated some lucky fans to “Black Panther,” a cinematic landmark for its representation of black culture.

Based on Kevin Kwan’s 2013 bestseller, “Crazy Rich Asians” does share some key characteristics with “Black Panther.” Time magazine called the new film ― which has a 94 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes ― a “breakthrough in representation,” while the Chicago Sun-Times praised it as “one of the best times you’ll have at the movies this year.” 

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