TV writer and former journalist Jas Waters has died at the age of 39.
The news was confirmed in a statement from the “This Is Us” writers Twitter account on Wednesday. No cause of death was given.
“The entire #ThisIsUs family was devastated to learn of Jas Waters passing,” the statement read. “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.”
Waters was a writer on the show in its second season. Her other TV credits include Comedy Central’s “Hood Adjacent With James Davis,” VH1’s “The Breaks,” and, most recently, “Kidding” at Showtime. She also has a story by credit on the Taraji P. Henson feature “What Men Want.”
In his own statement, “This Is Us” creator Dan Fogelman remembered Waters as a “brilliant” writer and storyteller. “Jas was absolutely brilliant and had so many stories still to tell,” he said. “She made an indelible mark on our show and my heart breaks for her loved ones.”
Prior to working as a screenwriter, Waters, who also went by JasFly, served as a columnist for Vibe magazine.
Waters discussed her journey to becoming a screenwriter in a 2018 interview with Shadow and Act. “By the time I was 8 or 9, I was like Roger Ebert,” she said at the time. “I had such a grasp on what made a movie good; what made a story good. I’m also a poor Black kid who grew up in an old folks home. So I understand ground-level life, and I bring that perspective to everything I write.”
“From the moment I got here, the rules didn’t apply to me,” she said. “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.”
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