Jas Waters (1981–2020)
Jenna Ryu | USA TODAY
Jas Waters, a writer of NBC’s “This Is Us” and Showtime’s “Kidding” died, the official This Is Us Twitter account of the show’s writers announced.
The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner confirmed that Waters died on Tuesday by suicide. She was 39.
“The entire #ThisIsUs family was devastated to learn of Jas Waters passing,” the team wrote Wednesday. “In our time together, Jas left her mark on us and ALL over the show. She was a brilliant storyteller and a force of nature. We send our deepest sympathies to her loved ones. She was one of us. RIP.”
Prior to becoming a staff writer for “This Is Us,” Waters’ IMBD profile lists that she also wrote episodes for Comedy Central’s “Hood Adjacent” and VH1’s “The Breaks.” The editor and writer went on to work on the productions for films such as “Spiderman,” “Save The Last Dance” and “What Men Want.”
In a 2018 interview with “Shadow and Act,” the Illinois native said screenwriting as a black woman allowed her “to host responsible conversations based on understanding, reverence and authenticity.”
“We as people of color want to see ourselves; we deserve to see ourselves. So the fight first is to see ourselves – and that is a very rightful fight – but it’s a fight that I also fight,” she said in the interview.
Waters discussed the importance and duty of black writers in film and TV, and went into detail about how the industry celebrates black creators who create black content differently.
“The shows that I create from now until the foreseeable future will probably feature people of color first, because I’m itching to tell our story. But that does not mean that you don’t have people of color working in the field, who are doing great work still telling the stories that are being told. It’s an unconscious bias,” she said.
Waters continued: “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.”
More:So you want to learn about racism in America? Stream these 20 compelling movies and TV shows
More:Why ‘This Is Us’ is always going to give you a happy ending
“This Is Us” stars took to Twitter to express their condolences and pay tribute to their “brilliant” colleague.
Mandy Moore wrote, “Sending love and light to @JasFly’s family and loved ones.”
“We were graced with @JasFly on the show as a fantastic writer but to know her and her beautiful spirit was to love her,” wrote Chrissy Metz.
“This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman also posted his condolences.
“Jas was absolutely brilliant and had so many stories still to tell. She made an indelible mark on our show and my heart breaks for her loved ones. RIP.”
Contributing: Cydney Henderson