Monday, February 26, 2018
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Stephanie Officer

Contributing Writer

The Mo’Nique drama continues. The comedian and her husband, Sydney now appear together in an awkward video they posted on social media talking about Amy Schumer.

Standing in front of a wall of awards, they compare box office numbers of two recent films. One starring Schumer and one starring Mo’Nique.

“We’ve been in a lot of conversation in reference to bankability, so we thought we’d do a little fact-checking. We’ve got some information from Box Office Mojo.” Sydney says. “In 2017, Amy Schumer did a film called “Snatched.” That film made $45 million domestically. In 2016, I did a film called “Almost Christmas. That film made $42 million domestically,”

From there, Mo’Nique chimes in. “Amy Schumer’s budget for ‘Snatched’ was $42 million, and it made $45 million. And it was in how many theatres? 3,511. That’s a $3 million profit. ‘Almost Christmas’ budget was $17 million and made $42 million. That’s a $25 million profit. And how many theatres was it in? 2,379. Could somebody please make it make sense? And can you see the disparity in that number and what bankability really is?” MoNique and Sydney continued.

This is all in response to the Oscar winner’s original claim that Netflix was biased based on gender and race. MoNique says the company only offered her $500,000 for a comedy special while providing Schumer $11 million. Over the weekend, she called for a boycott of the streaming service. The next day in an interview with TMZ, she clamped down on those claims, calling herself “The most decorated comedian alive.”

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Kevin Spacey can add ‘racist’ to his ever-growing list of accusations.

The alleged sexual assaulter is being accused of throwing out the N-word when discussing his security team.

via Daily Mail:

Earl Blue, 51, the head of VIP Protective Services, was hired by Knight Takes King Productions to manage on-set security during season one filming of the Netflix series in 2012.

He claims Spacey, who played lead character Frank Underwood in House of Cards, refused to acknowledge the black team members and even made racial slurs.

Blue said a group of black security guards were watching the trailer for the show when he heard the actor tell his personal security manager: ‘I don’t want n***ers watching my trailer.’

When Blue raised concerns with set managers about Spacey, who was referred to as ‘The Powers That Be’, he was told: ‘That’s just the way he is; we’ve got to keep him happy.’ 

And despite producers allegedly telling VIP Protective Services – who have provided security services for HBO in the past –  that they were pleased with their work, their $1.1 million contract was not renewed.

Breaking his four-year silence, dad-of-three Earl, who plans to sue Spacey, claims the fallout resulted in his business, which employs  40 guards, losing millions of dollars in revenue.

One of his employees, supervisor Eric Lyles, 47, corroborated Blue’s allegations and claimed Spacey also refused to shake his hand or acknowledge him.

The pair fear dozens more will have suffered discrimination at the hands of the Hollywood star, who has separately been accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen men.

Blue, from Annapolis, Maryland, is a married Navy veteran who served for 11 years before going into security. He said: ‘I was a tremendous fan of the man but now I am disgusted by him.

‘I lost faith that I am in the right job after the contract was terminated. I questioned myself for months. What could I have done differently?

‘Then I came to the realization that I did everything I was supposed to do, I was just dealing with a racist man.

‘I sat on it for four years because I believe in confidentiality but when it comes to the point where people are being harmed, enough is enough.

‘I realized he was getting worse and worse.’

Blue says he knew he ‘might have a situation’ with Spacey on the first day of filming in Baltimore when he and Lyles were introduced to the actor.

He said: ‘The locations manager wanted to introduce him to me and my supervisor for the company and then meet a police officer who was handling the police situation.

‘So Spacey comes out of the trailer and the locations manager says, “Kevin, I just want to introduce you to the security team.” He introduced me, the supervisor, and the policeman by name.

‘Kevin is standing right next to me. He looks me up and down, looks at my supervisor up and down, and reaches across us to shake the hand of the police officer and then walks away.

‘We are all standing there looking at each other like, “OK, that was awkward.”

‘From that point on we had a security officer posted outside of his trailer and my security force is predominantly African American.

‘Every time he walked back he would look at this black officer but he wouldn’t even speak.

‘He never spoke to my security guards but he was talking to everyone else. He even talked to the location manager that tried to introduce us to start with.

‘He talked to all the police officers, laughing and joking with them,’ Blue said. 

Blue’s employee Lyles, a supervisor at VIP Protective Services who has worked in the industry for 17 years, also recalls the alleged incident.

He said: ‘I always meet the stars and see what they’re like, what their likes and dislikes are.

‘When I went to meet Mr Spacey to say hello to him, I went to extend my hand to him to shake his and he didn’t want to shake my hand.

‘I have never had that problem before.’

As company boss, Blue says he would usually position himself next to the main talent, so he was stationed around 15 to 20 feet from Spacey’s trailer.

He claims that every time the actor left to go on set, he would lock the door behind him and start to walk away before turning around and checking the door a second time.

Blue, who has a degree in Digital Media Forensics from John Hopkins University, said: ‘He would look at me, walk back to his trailer and check to make sure the door was locked.

‘Over the course of that day I started laughing at him. He did it every single time he left his trailer – at least a dozen times.

‘He obviously had some uneasiness about me being near the trailer. I would smile at him and even speak, say “good morning” or “good afternoon.” But he would never reply.

‘I have experienced this before. I have been black my whole life and I can tell when a person is not looking at me as a person but they are looking at me as a color.

‘They are coming to a conclusion about what type of person I am.

‘But I’m there to do a job and it doesn’t matter if you speak to me, I’m going to do that job. So we kept filming.’

Determined to do a good job, Blue claims he regularly changed the guard who was positioned outside Spacey’s trailer – but the actor found other things to complain about.

Blue says Spacey raised various concerns with his personal security outfit, who acted as a go-between the actor and VIP Protective Services.

‘He started nit-picking about the uniforms, so we changed the uniforms,’ he said.

‘Then he would have his security come over and ask about a guard: ‘Why is that guard over there and not over here?’

‘I spoke to the production manager and it was always the same thing; “That’s just the way he is, we’ve got to make him happy.” 

When the contract came to an end in April 2013, Blue says he was called into a meeting with the location manager, business partner, and producer Iain Paterson.

He claims the representatives of Knight Takes King told him they were ‘really pleased’ with VIP Protective Services’ handling of season one and that there were ‘no complaints.’

‘There was no theft or damage and they were pleased as punch with the work we had done,’ Blue said.

But Blue says that after separate meeting between production company staff, where Kevin Spacey was present via a phone link, their contract was terminated.

He says a production manager later told him Spacey had announced over speaker that ‘he did not want n***ers on his set anymore.’

He said: ‘In the film industry we are a close knit group of people. One of the people called me and told me what Spacey had said.

‘We were blown away. He was blown away.

‘Two days later I got a call from Iain (Paterson). He was on the phone upset. He said Earl, “I have some bad news. Unfortunately we are going to have to part ways and not renew the contract.” 

‘I said, “What?” He said, “Unfortunately the contract is being terminated. We need to go in a different direction.”

‘In my contract there is a clause for remediation, so we are supposed to sit down and talk about it but he said, “Unfortunately Earl it is the powers that be.”

‘They cut us a check for the next two weeks even though we didn’t work.

‘I have been in the industry for almost 20 years. I worked on Oscar-nominated movies. My most recent projects include Marvel and Oprah Winfrey.

‘But my projects have been few and far between since then. I have got commercials but no real substantial work.

You can read the rest of the account via Mail Online. We can’t say we’re surprised by any of this.

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January 07, 2018 10:16 PM

Oprah Winfrey has added another accolade to her long list of awards and recognitions.

The 63-year-old actress and media mogul received the 2018 Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award at Sunday’s ceremony, an honorary award bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment.

“It is not lost on me that, at this moment, there is some little girl watching as I become the first Black woman to be given the same award,” Winfrey said in a moving acceptance speech, after recalling her own childhood watching Sidney Poitier win an Oscar. “It is an honor and it is a privilege to share the evening with all of them.”

Winfrey’s powerful speech was filled with somber moments, standing ovations, past memories and the story of Recy Taylor, a Black woman who never received justiceafter being abducted and gang-raped by six white men in Alabama.

NBC. Inset: Steve Granitz/WireImage

The speech was met with several standing ovations, with the crowd erupting in a boisterous applause when Winfrey assured sexual predators that their “time is up.”

“I want all the girls watching to know a new day is on the horizon,” she continued. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure they are the leaders to take us to the time where nobody has to say ‘me too’ again.”

The speech came as many stars wore black to the award show to oppose sexual harassment in Hollywood.

“This year, we became the story. But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry, it’s one that transcends any culture, or workplace,” Winfrey said.

Michael Kovac/Getty

Reese Witherspoon presented the mogul with an impassioned speech of her own, calling Winfrey’s hugs “the greatest thing ever.” And showering the star with “thank yous.”

Be sure to check out PEOPLE’s full Golden Globes coverage to get the latest news on Hollywood’s big night.

The HFPA announced in December that Winfrey would receive this year’s award during the Golden Globe 75th Anniversary Special on NBC.

“As a global media leader, philanthropist, producer and actress, she has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world, making her one of the most respected and admired figures today,” HFPA President Meher Tatna said at the time of the organization’s decision to recognize the star.

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men — but their time is up. Their time is up!” –@Oprah ✊🏾 

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Black Panther 1

Black Panther is about to hit theaters on February 16, 2018. The highly anticipated movie stars Chadwick BosemanLupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan. Twitter has been on fire about the film for months but there has allegedly been some side-eyes about Jordan and his dating history.

Back in 2015, Jordan, who plays Erik Killmonger in the Marvel film, was rumored to be dating Kylie Jenner and said this, “They see white and Black. I don’t. Kendall’s a friend of mine, you know. I don’t know her, like, that well, but I know her enough. People’s perspective on that is what it is. I don’t f*cking know. I don’t live my life to make other people happy. It’s so weird, though, right?”  He also added, “A lot of Black fans were feeling like, ‘Oh, my God, he should have been with a Black woman’ and that whole thing. I get it, but on the other hand it’s, like, relax. You know—it’s 2015. It’s okay! People can like one another, not necessarily from the same history or culture or whatever the fuck it is. It’s just the new world, you know what I mean?” Many people interpreted Jordan as saying he doesn’t see color, which was strange to some considering Black women were his core fan-base.

After tons of backlash, Jordan released a statement to, which read in part, “My fans who are women mean the world to me. This is especially true of Black women, who as a group have supported my work long before the industry knew my name. I deeply regret and am ashamed that I said anything to disappoint or disparage them.” He also wrote, “Although some of what I said was taken out of context, I take full responsibility for the interview and I apologize for the hurt and confusion it has caused. This has been an important lesson for me. I humbly ask my fans to grow with me, as I learn more about myself and this industry.” That said, the side-eyes from many in the Black community never stopped.

Fast-forward to today, Michael B. Jordan allegedly has a girlfriend who people believe to be white — Ashlyn Castro. Here is a picture of them, but there is no confirmation they are together.

Her racial identity isn’t clear but, reportedly, some folks are calling for a boycott of the movie. See below:

Michael B. Jordan and Marvels Black Panther is trending because Michael is dating a White girl and a number of Black women and some men want to boycott the most anticipated movie of 2018 because he is dating outside of his race lol.

Some people are cosigning the boycott:

Michael B. Jordan fucked up, he should’ve stepped out with his white woman AFTER Black Panther

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Oscar winner Mo’Nique went NUCLEAR on Lee DanielsTyler Perry and Oprah … blaming the trio for her getting shut out of Hollywood — in not so many words.

The comedian did a standup special Saturday night at the Apollo Theater, and went off about getting blackballed. She insisted that’s the wrong term to use. She prefers … “whiteballed” … “by some n*****s who had no balls.”

Mo’Nique had a falling out with “Precious” director Lee Daniels after she won the Oscar for that movie, and she’s made the ‘blackballed in Hollywood‘ claim before. But this is the first time she’s lumped in Oprah and Tyler.

She’s also never said it this viciously — “Y’all can suck my d***, if I had one!”

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 16: Director Tyler Perry arrives at the screening of 'Too Close to Home' at The Paley Center for Media on August 16, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

How about no?

01/03/2017 03:01 pm ET

Tyler Perry thinks the backlash to “Too Close To Home” is just reverse racism. 

Tyler Perry is best known for making movies and TV shows that focus on black characters, but last year the filmmaker premiered “Too Close To Home,” a show featuring a predominantly white cast. Following its August 2016 premiere, the TLC drama received backlash from black social media users for having only a few black actors, compared to its mainly white leads.

Perry dismissed the criticism early on, but last week, ahead of the show’s return from hiatus on Wednesday, January 4, he weighed in again, declaring that the backlash is just “reverse racism.”

“[It’s] totally reverse racism, because [the criticism] was coming from African-American people,” Perry told the Associated Press on Dec. 30, speaking of the backlash.

“I don’t know if it was because they thought I should only be giving jobs to black people. Well, I think that’s ridiculous. If you look at the hundreds of black people I’ve given jobs to and even the ones I’ve made millionaires, people of color, I just think it’s unfair,” he said.

The 47-year-old filmmaker added that after traveling the world and meeting more people, he realized “we’re all the same.”

“We all got the same dramas. So I’m not seeing color as much as I did anymore in the sense of our stories. Our stories are so similar,” he added.

Perry’s response is similar to one he stated in an August interview on the Tom Joyner show. At the time, he said he was “so sick” of explaining why his show had a mostly white cast.

“What the hell? Nobody asked Norman Lear why he wrote for black people all those years,” Perry explained at the time. “Stop asking me that damn question. People are people.”

Perry is right. Black filmmakers should be allowed to explore and tell new stories without facing criticism, especially when their white counterparts often have free reign to cast whoever they want.

And black filmmakers like Spike Lee, known for his movies focused on the black experience, has made equally great films with white leads including “25th Hour” and “Inside Man.” So criticizing Perry for having one show with more white than black actors while ignoring the mostly black casts in his past and future projects is ridiculous.

That being said, Perry ruins his defense by blaming the backlash on “reverse racism.” “Reverse racism” is largely a myth; a tricky term that falsely equates racism and prejudice. Racism is a concept that operates on both an individual and systemic level, and the exclusion of white actors throughout the film and television industry is most definitely not systemic. So yes, the ongoing backlash Perry faces may be unnecessary and even unfair, but “reverse racism?” That’s still not a thing.

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Trace William Cowen

DEC 08, 2016

Allen Hughes, one of the directors of the beloved 1993 drama Menace II Society, is bringing a four-part documentary event series about the long-running partnership between Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre to HBO. Hughes’ The Defiant Oneswill debut in 2017, the network announced Thursday. The series will be “set amid many of the defining events of the past four decades,” according to a press release.

The Defiant Ones has everything you expect in a great story — drama and humor, tragedy and triumph,” HBO Programming boss Casey Bloys said Thursday. “Allen Hughes takes you on a journey through some of the most important flash points of popular culture, and I’m delighted that we can bring this unforgettable saga to our viewers.”

Hughes filmed Dre and Iovine over a period of three years for the documentary, conducting extensive interviews with his subjects while telling a larger story about how “defiance and determination” helped them make a “series of Americans Dreams” into reality. Eminem, Nas, Ice Cube, Bono, David Geffen, Trent Reznor, Snoop Dogg, Bruce Springsteen, and many more were also interviewed. Additionally, Defiant Ones boasts “never-before-seen footage” of artists such as Eazy-E, U2, and N.W.A. in the studio.

The result, the network said Thursday, is a “master class” in how to work one’s way up from the bottom in any situation. “This epic look at America shows how you can consistently defy conventional wisdom and even logic, and still win big,” a network spokesperson explained. The Defiant Ones debuts next year.

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Jamie Foxx and Marvin Gaye (Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Billboard)
Jamie Foxx and Marvin Gaye (Gage Skidmore/Flickr/Billboard)







After many others’ efforts to produce a Marvin Gaye biopic were shot down, Jamie Foxx has emerged triumphant. The actor-singer earned the approval of the Gaye family to bring the “Let’s Get It On” singer’s life story to television screens after a three-year process.

“I’ve been a huge fan my whole life,” Foxx said to The Hollywood Reporter. “His brilliance in music [is] unparalleled. Marvin Gaye’s story has always fascinated me.”

The currently untitled limited series is executive produced by Foxx and Suzanne de Passe and Madison Jones of de Passe Jones Entertainment, which is responsible for projects such as “Songbird: The Miriam Makeba Story,” and “The Temptations” miniseries on NBC. De Passe’s involvement should come as no surprise considering her ties to Motown, the label Gaye was signed to. She served as founder Berry Gordy’s creative assistant in the 1960s before becoming president in 1981.

As for the Gaye series, de Passe’s production company will promote it to traditional and stream-based TV services. Plus, she and Jones are discussing which songs in the singer’s catalog will be used in the show with Gaye’s music rights holders, Sony/ATV.

In a first, Foxx’s project on the Motown star, who died in 1984 after being shot by his father, was approved by Gordy and Gaye’s son, Marvin Gaye III. The singer’s estate is famously protective of the star’s content, so past efforts by the likes of Lenny Kravitz, F. Gary Gray and Jesse L. Martin to produce a biographical film have been shot down by the family.

“We’ve been involved in a number of attempts to get this done, and now we’ve been able to marshal all the forces,” de Passe said. “And Jamie’s come on board as a partner, so we’re excited to get going.”

“This project will be a powerful and definitive telling of Marvin Gaye’s life story,” Gaye III said.


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Nate Parker’s ‘The Birth of a Nation’ was projected to open this weekend with a solid $10 million in ticket sales.

Unfortunately for Nate & the studio, the film is off to a slow start — only pulling in $7.1 million. It debuted at No. 6 at the box office.

via THR:

Nate Parker’s “The Birth of a Nation” was not as fortunate, premiering to a disappointing $7.1 million across 2,105 theaters. The biopic about slave rebellion leader Nat Turner was a sensation at the Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered to a rapturous standing ovation and sold to Fox Searchlight for a record-shattering $17.5 million. But the release was derailedafter rape allegations against Parker and his “The Birth of a Nation” co-writer Jean Celestin resurfaced. Both men were accused of sexually assaulting a college classmate over a decade ago. Though they were ultimately acquitted of those charges, news broke this summer that their accuser had committed suicide in 2012. The ensuing controversy overshadowed the strong reviews and may have hurt the film’s Oscar chances.

“This is a pretty pedestrian result,” said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “Clearly, not all press is good press.”

Searchlight, however, believes that the film’s A CinemaScore could lead to robust word-of-mouth, which might help “The Birth of a Nation” draw an audience in the coming weeks. Distribution chief Frank Rodriguez said he was pleased by how diverse the audience for the film was — 54% of ticket buyers were African-American and 42% were Caucasian. He stressed that it was difficult to know how many people had opted not to see the picture because of coverage of the rape accusation.

“The film stands on its own,” said Rodriguez. “What it was before at Sundance, the actual celluloid, the image, is still the same, but the perception may have changed and there’s not too much anyone can do about it.”

With all of the controversy surrounding the film, we expected nothing less. Thoughts?

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