(London) –– British royalty meets Hollywood royalty at the Lion King premiere in London. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were at the premiere last night, and mingled with Lion King star Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z.
Beyonce reportedly talked with the Duchess of Sussex about her new baby, Archie. Other celebrities at the premiere included Seth Rogen, Elton John, Taron Egerton and Vin Diesel. The new live-action version of The Lion King hits U.S. theaters this Thursday.
(Los Angeles, CA) – Reports have been conflicting since he suffered a massive stroke on April 17th, but now it appears the worst has been confirmed. Legendary film director John Singleton has died.
Singleton checked himself into Cedars Sinai after returning from a trip to Costa Rica. He was experiencing problems with his legs and wasn’t feeling well. He had a stroke in his hospital room.
Conflicting reports followed. Some said he was okay. Others said he was in a coma and even after yesterday’s report that he was on life support and unresponsive, another report surfaced saying he was in a medically induced coma and that he was getting better by the day. That obviously was not true.
The varying stories can most likely be attributed to the battle of his estate. Allegedly, the family had been in a dispute over who should be granted conservatorship since he slipped into a coma.
Singleton made history after becoming the youngest person ever to be nominated for an Oscar, at the age of 24, for his film “Boyz In The Hood” He went on to direct projects of all genres including 2 Fast and Furious, Four Brothers and Black Snake Moan. He was also a producer on the highly acclaimed “Hustle and Flow”.
Most recently, his FX serious “Snowfall” was preparing for its third season.
(Chicago, IL) – The attack on Jussie Smollett has finally come full circle and not in a good way as he is now being charged with filing a false report that registers as a class 4 felony.
It was a freezing cold late January night in Chicago, when Jussie Smollett said that he went to a local store close to his apartment to get something to eat at around 2 in the morning. What happened next was honestly random, but in this world that we live in now, no-one is surprised by anything that happens.
Jussie, sitting on top rated show Good Morning America, shedded tears as he told Robin Roberts about an attack he suffered in which two masked men hurled racist and homophobic slurs at him, beat him, threw some type of chemical liquid on him, and looped a rope around his neck in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood while yelling this is MAGA country.
Jussie, defiantly told Robin, “He punched me in the face and I punched his ass back.” Encouraging other members of the LGBTQ community to not be afraid when confronted with adversity. It was a good story. One of bravery in the face of racism and hatred towards gays and black people in a tense political time for the United States.
But there were still a lot of holes …questions? Who in their right mind was out in Chicago going to get something to eat in the middle of a storm that hit Chicago with below freezing temperatures. Who??…..again who….has that much hatred for someone that they stand outside of his apartment in freezing cold temperatures hoping that their target will surface on the outside. Armed with bleach and rope, would he come out or nah? And how was it that Jussie could say for certain that the men captured on surveillance video were in fact the men who attacked him? How was he so sure? Oh…because he was there.
One thing that was odd to me, Jussie said, as he was having this candid discourse with Robin, if I tell the truth……stop right there. IF you are telling the truth, whether they believe you or not should never enter your mind. Forget his reluctance to give up his phone records, we can all understand his reasoning behind that. But at the point in which the portion you do give… produces nothing…red flags. How hard is it to show that your manager, friend or whoever was on the phone with you at a certain time of the night/day. A screenshot would suffice.
By the time authorities identified the two people of interest on the surveillance video who turned out to be minorities and not white. The …”This is MAGA country” verbiage became questionable. But at the point in which they flat out told authorities Smollett planned the whole thing….all consideration stopped.
Now, to be fair, before they cooperated, the brothers told the cops they were friends of Jussie’s and were shocked to hear about what happened to him. LIES? When they realized their falsities weren’t working they seemingly spilled all the details. From how Jussie had sent hate mail to himself and was upset that it didn’t get a lot of attention. They went on to detail the course of events for the night of the attack and at the end of the gab fest it was concluded that Jussie had possibly orchestrated the whole attack.
After word spread that he allegedly set the whole thing up, video surfaced of the two brothers purchasing ski masks, gloves and a red hat in a store the day before the attack. and police wanted another word with the Empire star. Are they telling the truth? Did Jussie really stage a class 4 felony attack for attention? Time will tell……
In the meantime, he’s officially being charged with filing a false report and is due in court tomorrow at 1:30pm.
(SL) – Actress Scarlett Johansson is backing out of a movie in which she was going to play a transgender man. She dropped the movie because of heavy backlash from the LGBTQ community over the casting choice.
Trans actors criticized Johansson for taking the role, citing that it’s hard for trans people to get work as it is. She was set to play real-life trans man Dante “Tex” Gill in director Rupert Sanders’ upcoming crime drama Rub & Tug. Tex was a trans man who ran a prostitution ring out of his massage parlor in the seventies.
In her statement, Johansson said, “In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project…. I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.”
(Los Angeles, CA) – Actor Morgan Freeman says he’s devastated by the sexual harassment allegations against him. A CNN report Thursday said eight women have accused the Oscar-winning actor of sexual harassment at his production company.
On Friday, Freeman released a statement saying he’s devastated that 80 years of his life are at risk of being undermined in the blink of an eye because of the allegations. In the statement, Freeman insisted that he did not create an unsafe work environment, did not assault women and did not offer advancement in exchange for sex, and that any suggestion that he did so is completely false.
(SL) – The 2018 Bounce Trumpet Awards, the prestigious annual event celebrating African-American achievements and contributions, will air exclusively on Bounce on Sunday, February 11 at 9:00 p.m. ET.
Larenz Tate, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award-winner and Power series star and Erica Ash, who appears on Survivor’s Remorse and stars in the upcoming BET legal drama series In Contempt, will serve as this year’s hosts. The gala black-tie ceremony will be held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia on Sat. Jan. 20, 2018.
2018 Honorees announced today: Jermaine Dupri, Cameo, Richelieu Dennis, Tamika Mallory, Marley Dias, Dr. Lonnie Johnson and Rhyon Brown.
Performers at the event will include: Doug E. Fresh, Keke Wyatt, Anthony Hamilton, Bow Wow, Sir the Baptist, Arrested Development, Estelle, Bilal, Big Daddy Kane,V. Bozeman, Donald Lawrence, Major, We’ McDonald, Mr. TalkBox, Kevin Lemons & Higher Calling, Rhyon Brown, Michel’le, Stokley Williams and Carl Thomas.
Cee Lo Green, Omar Gooding and Angell Conwell will be among the presenters.
About this year’s honorees and awards:
· GRAMMY® Award-winning record producer, songwriter, hip-hop artist, Jermaine Dupri will receive The Music Innovation Award. Dupri has worked with Mariah Carey, Usher, Jay-Z, Janet Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Anthony Hamilton and Alicia Keys. He founded So So Def Recordings in 1993 which launched the careers of Bow Wow, Xscape, Da Brat, Jagged Edge and many others.
· Founder of Sundial Brands and Essence Ventures Richelieu Dennis will be recognized with The Entrepreneur Award. Drivenby his passion for entrepreneurship and sustained by a vision to fill unmet consumer needs, Dennis founded SheaMoisture in 1991 which has grown into one of the world’s most recognized beauty brands. Just this month, it was announced that Dennis’s Essence Ventures, LLC will acquire Essence Communications, Inc. which includes Essence Magazine.
· Activist and National Co-Chair of the Women’s March, Tamika Mallory, will receive The Impact Award. In 2009, Mallory became the youngest Executive Director of the National Action Network (NAN). She gained recognition as one of four co-chairs of the Women’s March on Washington, which saw participation from five million people worldwide. Her role in the March landed her on the 2017 Time 100 Pioneers List and Fortune’s 2017 List of the World’s Greatest Leaders.
(Santa Monica, CA) – If you don’t know her, get to know pint size actress Brooklynn Prince, one of the star’s of The Florida Project. The 7-year old stole hearts during her acceptance speech Thursday at the Critics’ Choice Awards in Santa Monica, California.
Prince won the best young actress award and began to cry as her dad escorted her to the stage. Wise beyond her years, the youngster didn’t forget to encourage others to help other “Moonees” out there. The Florida Project highlights the plight of children and their families who are living below the poverty line.
This year’s big Critic’s Choice Awards winner is “The Shape of Water,” taking home the Best Picture award.
Guillermo del Toro won Best Director, and the project also landed Best Production Design and Best Score. “Big Little Lies” also landed four wins, walking away with Best Limited Series, Best Actress in a Movie or Miniseries and Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Movie or Miniseries. Other big honors were Gary Oldman for Best Actor, “Get Out” for Best Original Screenplay, “Coco” for Best Animated Feature and “The Big Sick” for Best Comedy.
(SL) – Recy Taylor died December 28th, 2017, 3 days before her 98th birthday but her story will forever live on as a staple example of the sexual abuse, rape and overall injustice that transcends as Oprah Winfrey said, every culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace.
In 1944, 24-year-old Recy Taylor and two friends were walking back from a late-night church service in Abbeville, Ala., when seven young white men in a car stopped them and threatened them with a gun. Taylor was abducted, blindfolded forced to enter the car, and the men drove off with her into the woods where they raped on her . They kept her for 4-5 hours and no one knows exactly what all they did to her, but it was horrific.
They warned her that if she said anything about it they would kill her.
(SL)– A major Hollywood heavyweight is taking a leave of absence after a report about sexual harassment accusations. Harvey Weinstein is at the center of a “New York Times” story that cites dozens of current and former employees and associates who accuse the studio exec of inappropriate sexual behavior, including actresses Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan.
In a statement to the “Times,” Weinstein said he is planning to take the leave from the Weinstein Company and is working with a therapist to address his past behavior. He said he sincerely apologizes for the pain caused by his past behavior with colleagues. The “Times” says Weinstein has reached confidential settlements with at least eight women.
The Weinstein Company’s films include many critically acclaimed titles including “The Artist,” “The King’s Speech” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”
(SL) – If I didn’t know any better, I would think that Kanye West was having a mental breakdown right in front of us. His latest twitter rants have shown several ranges of emotion from bully and claiming to own someone’s child, arrogance, attacking Taylor Swift for disagreeing with his misogynistic lyrics about her in ‘Famous’ to weakness and disappointment in a certain blog site not supporting his clothes…accusing them of going too far, to dancing in the streets to candidly saying that we have no idea what he’s been through and that most of all he’s 53 million dollars in debt.
I don’t understand the debt considering that they are preparing to move into a 20 million dollar mansion. Kim has been living at her Mom’s house since she and Kanye got married while the house is being worked on. To say there seems to be a chemical imbalance puts it mildly. Meanwhile, his wife and mother of his 2 children appears to just be keeping up with appearances.
While Yeezy is ranting and raving she’s trying to promote his appearances, clothes and album. It’s indubitable that something is not quite right in Kanye’s head or is this just who he is? Either way it’s disconcerting and I’m convinced Ye might need some medication or a break.