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Jas Waters (1980–2020), writer for “This Is Us,” “Kidding”

by Linnea Crowther

Jas Waters was a writer who worked on TV shows including “This Is Us” and “Kidding,” as well as writing a column for Vibe magazine.

  • Died: June 10, 2020 (Who else died on June 10?)
  • Details of death: Died at her home in Hollywood at the age of 39. The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner released Waters’ cause of death Thursday, stating she had died by suicide.
  • If someone you know exhibits warning signs of suicide, he or she should not be left alone. Call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides free, confidential support for people in crisis or emotional distress, 24/7 year-round. The Lifeline also offers an online chat for people who prefer to reach out online rather than by phone.
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Life of a writer

Waters grew up in Evanston, Illinois, where she was raised by her grandparents in a retirement home. She talked in interviews about her love for going to movies as a child and the way seeing a wide variety of movies informed her ability to write for the screen. She would grow up to write for notable TV shows including NBC’s “This Is Us,” VH1’s “The Breaks,” and the Showtime show “Kidding” starring Jim Carrey. Waters was a writer on the 2019 movie “What Men Want.” She also wrote a pop culture column for Vibe magazine for which she interviewed celebrities including Jay-Z, Joan Rivers, and Spike Lee. Waters created the entertainment blog FlyStyleLife.com and costarred in the VH1 reality series “Gossip Game.”

Waters on being a black TV writer

“On ‘Kidding,’ I’m the only black writer and the only writer of color, as far as the staffing level. So it’s my responsibility to write the show along with everyone else and to ideate and track story, but it’s also my responsibility to make sure that like, ‘Wait a minute. Why is everyone in this scene white?’ My fight is still the same fight, and I don’t have anyone who looks like me fighting in the room. I’m fighting alone, but I’m still fighting.” —from a 2018 interview with Shadow & Act


What people said about her

Full obituary: Los Angeles Times

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