Television writer Jas Waters has died at the age of 39.
Her management company, Rain Management, shared the sad news Wednesday.
It is with extremely heavy hearts that all of us at RMG mourn the life of our client & friend, Jas Waters. Jas was a talented & gifted writer, an amazing person, & a sweet soul who will be forever missed. Though she is no longer with us, her impact will be felt for years to come. pic.twitter.com/zA3yiFaRLD— RMG (@RainManagement) June 10, 2020
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office reported that Waters died by suicide.
Waters wrote for NBC drama This Is Us in 2017 and 2018. Since then, she had worked as a writer and story editor on Jim Carrey’s Showtime dramedy Kidding. She’s also credited with having written the story for the 2019 Taraji P. Henson and Tracy Morgan movie What Men Want. Her earlier writing credits include the now-defunct shows Hood Adjacent With James Davis on Comedy Central and The Breaks on VH1.
Offscreen, Waters, who went by the nickname Jas Fly, was a journalist who often covered hip-hop music. She also wrote a column for Vibe, and she co-authored a 2018 book, The Missing Piece: Finding the Better Part of Me: A Love Journey, with Rob Hill Sr.
The Evanston, Ill., native described herself as “very audacious” in a November 2018 interview with online magazine Shadow and Act, which focused on being a black woman in the entertainment industry.
“A billion things had to conspire together for me to get here. Listen, I was raised in an old folks’ home,” said Waters, who was raised by her grandmother. “I never had a traditional life; I never had a safe, cookie-cutter, predictable, affirming life. From the moment I got here, the rules didn’t apply to me. If the basic rules of raising a kid didn’t apply to me, then nothing else really applies to me. So I just had to figure it out. There were several times in my life that I found to be very confining. But as I look back on it, it was very freeing.”
Growing up, Waters said, she watched everything: Seinfeld and Martin, Scarface and Fried Green Tomatoes, Steel Magnolias and Beaches.
“My manager and I very purposefully only went after jobs that were unexpected and audacious, and that would show that I could do anything,” Waters said. “So I went from a ‘90s hip-hop drama to late-night sketch comedy on Comedy Central — which as a black female writer, you don’t get Comedy Central jobs; there’s been like four or five. That was helpful in proving to my agency and also the town that I could do more than just one thing.”
Her good works included organizing a free screening of Black Panther for hundreds of foster and at-risk kids in Los Angeles when it was released in 2018.
Waters’s colleagues and loved ones, including This Is Us stars Susan Kelechi Watson, Mandy Moore and Chrissy Metz, were devastated by the loss.
Incredibly shocked and saddened to have just receive this news. Blessed Light, fly with the angels. @JasFly #jaswaters Jas Waters Dies: ‘This Is Us’ Writer Dead at 39 https://t.co/VU1fzGdVIN via @heavysan— Susan Kelechi Watson (@skelechiwatson) June 10, 2020
Sending love and light to @JasFly’s family and loved ones. 💓💓💓💓— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) June 10, 2020
We were graced with @JasFly on the show as a fantastic writer but to know her and her beautiful spirit was to love her. I am praying for your beautiful transition, Jas. May it be full of love, light and peace. Thank you for the time we shared, your fearlessness and inspiration ❤️— Chrissy Metz (@ChrissyMetz) June 11, 2020
This was @JasFly. This was #JasWaters. She made me the person I am now, she helped me when she barely knew me, I worked so hard for her and this event at the El Cap. I’ll post more later but I just wanted y’all to see her beautiful smile. She inspired me so much. She cared pic.twitter.com/YnOWOgf7k3— Will Landman (@WillTheLandMan) June 10, 2020
Absolutely devastated to confirm @JasFly ‘s passing. She was such a light. Offered me advice about writing so many times— prayers to her family.— Sade Sellers (@IAMSadeSellers) June 10, 2020
Absolutely crushed by the news about Jas Waters. I can't even begin to believe it.— Taryn Finley (@_TARYNitUP) June 10, 2020
like, you could make the pivot. you could try at things and be your Black ass self. and i know i shouted her out whenever i could. i wish i shouted her out more. rest in power Jas Waters.— Joél Leon. (@JoelakaMaG) June 10, 2020
Just finished listening to our voice notes back and forth... looking at your old scripts now... Thinking back to that day with @BKMOXIE ... this hurts but I’m grateful for Jas Waters. Thankful for every memory. https://t.co/icf77JygFx— Rob Hill Sr. (@RobHillSr) June 10, 2020
The entire #ThisIsUs family was devastated to learn of Jas Waters passing. 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 @JasFly. pic.twitter.com/cmrh2OO8of— ThisIsUsWriters (@ThisIsUsWriters) June 10, 2020
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.
This post was originally published June 10 and updated to include cause of death.
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