‘Games Divas Play’ (working title) is a new BET drama that tells the story of a desperate basketball wife trying to protect her family, a persistent journalist struggling to rebuild her career, and an actress looking to become a star.
Executively produced by Tracey Edmonds, the former The Game actress Lauren London, My Wife and Kids alumna Parker McKenna Posey, and Insecure’s own Karen Obilom were crowned the three leads to the upcoming series. “Based on the popular book of the same name by Angela Burt-Murray, “Games Divas Play” is a sexy, stylized drama about the L.A. high life, where everyone plays to win.” Read more about each character on BET.
In the words of Malcolm X, “the most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the black woman” and black women especially actress Leslie Jones isn’t here for it.
In an angry Instagram post accompanied by three finger emojis, she writes,
When young men especially black men (yea I said it) talk to me like I’m some dumb bitch! It makes me want to stump a mud hole in they ass. That is all.
Well here is a little piece of advice for the guys, talk to women the way you would want a man to talk to your mother.
No newbie to the game, Queen Latifah has already racked up a lifetime of achievements that include a Grammy, Emmy, and a Golden Globe Award. Throughout her illustrious career, the hip-hop pioneer has stood as a powerful voice for women and used her platform to help others advance in male-dominated industries. Now Latifah is turning it up another notch by helping women crack the glass ceiling in Hollywood by funding and producing two independent projects created by women.
“We’ll choose two people who will have their scripts made [and] financed from A to Z. When it’s time to be distributed, we will get distribution whether it’s theatrical or whether it’s through Netflix, Hulu, or whatever outlet is appropriate for the film. We will market and promote [it] as well,” said the 48-year-old actress and musician on Friday at a private dinner sponsored by Proctor & Gamble’s “My Black is Beautiful” campaign and held during the 2018 Essence Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The projects will be produced by The Queen Collection, a new initiative created by Proctor & Gamble and Latifah’s production company Flavor Unit. In addition to handling the funding, production, distribution, and marketing of the projects, Latifah herself, will offer the women guidance and mentorship.
Latifah credited her late mother, Rita Owens, as the inspiration behind the upcoming project, describing her as a loving and generous school teacher and mentor who instilled in her the importance of giving back. The “Ladies First” rapper was also inspired by the personal challenges she faced in the entertainment industry as a woman of color. According to a research study, only 11% of the top 250 grossing films were directed by women in 2017, while 83% of the films had no female writers. Although Latifah acknowledged that The Queen Collective is just a drop in the bucket, she added that it’s a step towards progress that will amplify the voices of women storytellers and fuel the pipeline of female directors across TV, film, and commercials. “When one of these women have an opportunity to make a movie, they can employee 150 to 250 people…and they’ll have the power to hire [other] women.”
Latifah ended the announcement by inviting attendees to her performance at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday, which will mark her first time hitting the main stage at the Essence Festival. It also comes on the heels of her starring role in the 2017 box office smash Girls Trip, which is based on four friends who reconnect and bond during a wild weekend at the Essence Festival. According to Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, the popularity of the movie has been a driving force in tourism and revenue in the Crescent City.
“That movie had an incredible influence on [the Essence Festival], on New Orleans, and the state of Louisiana,” he said at festival’s opening press conference on Thursday. “Ninety percent of the people that visit Louisiana come here [because they were] heavily influenced by something they saw on television on in a movie. That equals a little over 5 million people a year and $1.3 billion in economic value.”
Back in December of 2017, Tiffany Haddish made a trip to the Ellen show to further introduce herself to America. Tiffany’s authentic perspective an unashamed approach to life would win viewers over. During her talk with Ellen, it was revealed that Tiffany hopes to one day own a Tesla. Fast forward to now, Haddish is the proud owner of her very own Tesla, thanks to mogul & producer Tyler Perry. Over the holiday break, Tiffany would share that Perry ended up surprising her with her dream car about a week ago in a video message. Apart of her share to fans, Tiffany even pointed out that the Ellen show never actually got a promised Tesla rental to her despite saying they would. Eiter way, Haddish is now able to drive a Tesla much longer than a week.
Check out what Tiffany wrote on her Instagram about Perry’s gift, below:
So I got this message from my friend and Big Brother @tylerperry a week ago. When I tell you I cried so hard. I almost couldn’t believe it. 1st off a man has never bought me a car outright. I have always had to make payments. This was just out the kindness of his heart And probably tired of me talking about it all the time and I didn’t have to do anything for it but a Great job in our New Movie Nobody’s Fool. Thank God for kind people that want to spread happiness. I am now on my way to see if this is Really! Cause I am still waiting on the one @theellenshow said they would let me use for a week.
It seems like no matter how nice or likable you are in real life, you will still have your fair share of trolling. Everyone favorite’s funny girl, Tiffany Haddish, admits that she reads her comments
“I do enjoy reading the comments, and sometimes they are so funny and sometimes they are so mean.”
Instead of a typical clapback or blocking her haters, she has a different way of handling them.
“See I like to kill them with kindness. I like to rip their soul out of their body with joy and tell them bless they heart. Bless your heart. You know when you say bless your heart you know what that means. So that’s what I like to do. Kill them with kindness but I’m actually cursing them. Because you know that hurt them. Because hurt people like to hurt people and hurt people like to say mean things because they want to hurt you.”
She also said it’s a way of informing the haters with kindness.
“You can inform them with kindness. I claps back too and say thank you for introducing me to your 8 followers. I really appreciate it. You the best publicist I ever had. You must love me. you must see something in me that you want in you. I hope you get it. you are the cheapest publicist I ever had.”
In 2014 August Alsina reached out Jada Pinkett Smith in London after attending a Willow and Jaden Smith performance because he needed help with dealing with life and was abusing Percocet. August had an accident where he fell of the stage, “I was doing way too many shows, not taking care of myself. I was drinking so much liquor, smoking so much weed. And one night at a show in New York, I literally passed out like in the middle of the show and fell off the stage.”
It was a pretty serious accident because August went into convulsions and was in a coma for three days. August flatlined twice. He was giving Percocet to deal with the pain of the fall “I literally was given an endless supply of Percocet, if you ask my brother or anybody they like yeah I know Aug is raining percs. I’m raining pills like skittles forreal.” August is a little ashamed to admit but Jada speaks up saying
“I remember you telling me, well I do six Percocet a day but my friends so 20.” and Jada admits that’s when it was an eye opener for her.
“I did because my step father was addicted to crack, my father was addicted to crack and an alcoholic and my introduction to drugs was that. Seeing my step father pawn the whole house for crack. I remember my step father would come home off his bingeing and I would see him shaking and sweating and I went through that thinking I had it under control and could beat it.”
“Because its coming from a doctor you are feeling like, what am I doing wrong? So it’s a tricky situation.”
August Alsina reveal a conversation with Jada was the reason he stopped abusing the drugs.
“I don’t know I was on tour or something and you called me and literally broke down about it. something has to give, I can’t love you more then you love yourself. To feel your emotion and you balling that was a reality check for me. If someone else can love you that much that it hurts them, why doesn’t it bother you that you hurt yourself. That moment changed the trajectory of my life. When I went through the experience of making the decision. It’s literally as simple as making a decision. I didn’t go to rehab or a client I went sat in my house. Withdrawals are not a good feeling at all. The shit I had to go through to get away through the pills, I felt like a bus ran me over.”
Most of us hate at least one thing about our bodies. It could be our nose, weight, butt, or boobs, but somewhere down the line, we have all struggled with body image. Especially in todays social media driven world where we are constantly being fed with images of what society feels we should look like. I’ve listened to plus size women complain and strategize on ways to loose weight and I’ve also witnessed slimmer women try different protein regiments in hopes of gaining weight. While it can be hard opening up about body image issues, during a trip to her parents house singer Tamar Braxton found a photo of herself from 1996 when her and her sisters Trina and Towanda Braxton shot the “ So Many Ways” video shoot she opens up about her struggles with her body because she was told she was too fat.
In an Instagram post she writes,
I still struggle with body dysmorphia to this day all because a record executive told me I was too fat at 11 to be more of a commercial artist only to end up having big R&B hits today. Which was fine with me cause that’s how I saw myself then in the first place. Tamar then goes on to say that she and her sister started to have problems because WeTV wanted “The Braxton’s Family Values” to have higher ratings than older episodes from the “Love & Hip Hop” Franchise. “The same thing goes for me and my sisters, we started having major over the top family issues because some network wanted to compete with old love and hip hop numbers and felt that our family was too perfect and unrelatable.
The lesson we can take from Tamar’s story teaches us to stay true to yourself. Most times we try to confirm to others opinions of us not realizing that being ourselves is the key that would open up what doors are meant for us. Today The “Braxton Family Values” is the biggest show on WE Network and it also is the longest running black family reality show. Tamar’s “Love & War” album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and number one on the Top R&B Hip-Hop Albums chart, she and her husband landed their own spin off “Tamar &Vince” and her most recent album “Bluebird of Happiness” was released through her husbands record label, Logan Land Records and Entertainment One.
Former Destiny’s Child member LeToya Luckett and her husband Tommicus Walker are expecting their first child together. In a 40 second video narrated by her stepdaughter Madison, Letoya, shared the exciting news via Instagram early Wednesday morning.
“ Hi, my name is Madison Walker and I know something you don’t know!” “ Ummm I think I’ll give you a hint.” “Daddy and Ms. Toya sitting in a tree, kissing. Eww! First comes love, then comes marriage then comes the baby.”
This pregnancy announcement comes just a few months after the singer and her husband Tommicus Walker tied the knot. The pair had an unconventional courtship but its one that we can take some notes from. In an interview with Essence, Luckett revels that “we talked for weeks and he still didn’t know what I looked like or my full name or anything like that.” Soon after the pair bonded over their religious beliefs. “After a few weeks of talking, we were praying together on the phone and reading scriptures and everything like that,” says Luckett
It was finally on his birthday in which he surprised her with an engagement that the couple went public with their relationship. “I feel it’s very important to build your foundation first before sharing your relationship with the world.”
During the BET Awards, Netflix premiered an ad showcasing its Black stars and creators that have worked on original shows for the streaming giant.
Earlier this month, they gathered 47 talented black creators from 20+ Netflix original shows, films and documentaries together to create ‘A Great Day in Hollywood’, which was inspired by the iconic 1958 A Great Day in Harlem by Art Kane.
Photograph by Art Kane
The remake was taken by Kwaku Alston, and the accompanying video was directed by Lacey Duke.
“It was a pretty magical couple of hours. All these amazingly talented, beautiful individuals in one space being supportive and just looking stunning together, all here to pull off this one take wonder! Alfre Woodard even lead everyone in an epic rendition of “Lift Every Voice,” before we started shooting. It was beautiful, and in a flash it was over. It was probably the most overwhelming two hours of my career. I was just so happy to be a part of history,” Duke said.
Netflix has done a great job with creating groundbreaking films and original series that showcase inclusion and diversity, but it seems as though they’re still struggling to get things right on the corporate side. The ad comes just days after Netflix fired its top communications chief Jonathan Friedland for “insensitive” remarks, which included the repeated use of the N-word.
“I realize that my privilege has made me intellectualize or otherwise minimize race issues like this,” the Netflix CEO said in understatement of allowing the use of the N-word by one of his top execs. “I need to set a better example by learning and listening more so I can be the leader we need.”
Now more than ever, we are seeing talented black figure across all forms of media, but it’s just as important to hold the people behind the scenes accountable for saying outrageously offensive things.
Watch the video below, as narrated by Caleb McLaughlin from Stranger Things:
Actress Tracee Ellis Ross has been having an amazing year! Recently she has directed an episode of the ABC hit show “Blackish” which she stars in along side Anthony Anderson, and we also got to witness her dance around in what is known as the #blackgirlanthem, Drake’s “Nice For What?” video. Well Ellis-Ross sat down with Vanity Fair to discuss the comparisons people make between her and her T.V. character, having her paycheck become public information to help push the #TimesUpMovement and more.
Earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter, reported that Tracee Ellis Ross was getting paid significantly less than her co-star, Anthony Anderson and was considering devoting less time to the show if contracts for the fifth season weren’t to her liking. This issue caused splits opinions with the #TimesUpMovement. The #TimesUpMovement is a movement against sexual harassment and mistreatment of women in the workplace. Practically women in Hollywood, a lot of issues that are behind the scenes are coming to the for front, especially the pay gap issue.
“That was really fucking awkward,” Ross says. “I don’t know how that information got out. But I understand the interest because there is a larger, deeper, more important conversation going on that is not about me, but is about people being paid appropriately for their contribution and the work that they do, not because of their gender, race, or anything. And it is a valid, real, important, past-due conversation that should no longer be a conversation, that should just be handled . . . across all industries.”
Of her own salary gap, Ross would say only, “That has been resolved.”
In the show “Blackish,” Ellis-Ross plays Rainbow Johnson, a happily married mother of three. In reality she couldn’t be more different than her character and she is tried of people comparing the two. She is a happily single 45-year-old woman living her best life. Today we are seeing more women who are not married and do not have kids accomplish their goals which brings up the age-old burden that society tends to place only on women; does a woman have to be married with children to be happy?
“Last year, I was [fictionally] pregnant all season,” Ross says. “That brought on a lot of comments and questions and pontifications from people with no invitation. I literally have said to people, for real, no joke, ‘Why don’t you just get out of my womb? Like, get out of my uterus? What are you doing in there? And why are you asking those questions? And what makes you think you can ask that?’ Part of what patriarchy has created for women is this siloed-off experience, with one answer for what a good life looks like.”
The iconic actress Jenifer Lewis stopped by the Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club to talk about everything from her battle with bipolar depression to her giving what she refers to as the “best performance of her life.” Here are 11 things we learned from The Mother of Black Hollywood
Almost Retired: After going through a season of rejection, the “Different World” actress revealed that she almost retired before she landed her role of Anthony Anderson’s mother in ABC”s sitcom Blackish. It was during a conversation she had with herself in her garden that she remembered “even me can’t stop me. You have to be in it to win it. You have to stay up.”
All The Players Should Kneel Together: In addition to Ms. Lewis being a singer and actress, she is also an activist. She is passionate about having all of the players to “go down at the same time” because “we pay your rent you have to honor what’s going on.” Ms. Lewis understands that they are wrongly killing black people and although you have fame and money, that doesn’t matter. “They are pulling your son over…. I don’t care if you are with a white woman and the baby looks white if they have an inch of black blood, they are black and they are going to kill them.” “Your sons and your daughters. They don’t care.”
Led A Walk Out: Jenifer Lewis attended an all black high school where she led a walkout on Angela Davis’s birthday. She didn’t know anything about Angela expect that she had an afro but thought it was the right thing to do because “they give us George Washington’s birthday off.”
Bi-polar: Jenifer went through a period in life where she wanted to be seen. One day she grew tired of “wearing the mask” so started going to theory and educating herself and realizing that she was suffering from bi-polar disorder. The dream of becoming a superstar is what sustained Jennifer, through the disorder and sex addition.
One True Love: Jenifer meet the “love of her life,” a mathematician named Miguel, while they were in college. She was a freshman and he was working on his second master’s. “He was very sweet and spiritual, I was very fascinated with him.”
Talked Herself Out Of Rape: Jenifer recounted the time she talked herself out of rape, what she refers to as “The greatest performance of my life.” A random guy who just had gotten out of jail came into Jennifer’s house with a knife. “He wasn’t mean he just wanted to hurt somebody.”
Singing was her first love: When Jenifer was five years old she sung her first solo in church, “Lord You Brought Me a Mighty Long Way, “once she got a taste of praise and attention, she “never looked back.”
Never Married: Although Jenifer chose to marry her career instead of a man doesn’t mean she hasn’t been engaged. Over the years Ms. Lewis was engaged four times. She also has daughter whom she met through the Big Sister/Big Brother program. After her “little sister’s” mother was diagnosed with multiple scoliosis, Jennifer adopted her.
Killa: In high school Jennifer was a bully, which earned her the nickname “Killa.”
Conned: Ms. Lewis was conned out of $50,000 by Tony Marriot Wilson. Jenifer didn’t realize she was dating a con man until her friend ran a background check on Marriot that showed he had been in jail for fraud.
Molested by the Pastor: One a trip back home from visiting another church, halfway home Jenifer asked her pastor “do you think I can be a star?” He then pulled the car over and attempted to kiss Jenifer and he stuck his hand down her shirt but she resisted
You can purchase “The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir” on Amazon. Make sure to check out Jennifer Lewis’s full interview here,