Since the premiere of Lifetime’s ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ documentary, we’ve seen a number of celebrities speak out against the singer-songwriter and Chicago native via social media and news outlets. Some have even made the conscious decision to remove their R. Kelly collaborations from streaming platforms. However, there were several celebrities who reportedly declined to appear in the Lifetime documentary for unknown reasons. One celebrity in particular, however, decided to make an appearance and lend his voice to the victims of abuse.
John Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen appeared on Bravo’s ‘Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen’ and revealed why he decided to speak out in the ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ docuseries after a caller requested to know what he thought of other celebrities declining to participate.
“I don’t want to cast any aspersions on people because everyone has their own reasons for not doing something,” he said. “I get asked to be on documentaries all the time. It’s not because I don’t agree with the premise of the documentary that I don’t do it, but there are all kinds of reasons you don’t do it.”
John revealed that he is friends with both the director of the ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ documentary and those who were a part of the Mute R. Kelly movement.
“The reason why I did it is, I’m friends with the director Dream Hampton,” Legend continued. “She’s awesome we worked together on ending mass incarceration and I respect her work. Another reason is that I have good friends that were a part of the Mute R. Kelly movement. They were literally marching on the streets and they work with rape victims in Chicago. I knew that as a celebrity that I could lend my voice to these people who have been hurt.”
If you were tuned into Lifetime’s ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ documentary last week, then you heard the jaw-dropping stories told by young women, their parents, and former employees, who have experienced or witnessed sexual, mental, and physical abuse at the hands of the self-proclaimed Pied Piper. It has sparked a much-needed conversation amongst the black community regarding not only mental health but the lack of concern and compassion for black girls who have fallen victim to abuse.
Jada Pinkett Smith is looking to continue that conversation with a very special two-part episode of her Facebook Watch series ‘Red Table Talk’, which will focus on the documentary. Jada, her daughter Willow, and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris will be joined by survivor Lisa Van Allen and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago School of Medicine, Dr. Candice Norcott. The women will discuss the public’s reaction, warning signs of abuse we all should know, survivor stories, and different paths to healing.
The episodes will air Friday (Jan. 11) and Monday (Jan. 14). Each episode will be available on the ‘Red Table Talk’show page at 9:00 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET.
Following the Brooklyn Nail Salon Brawl, singer and owner of Junie Bee Nails, Teyana Taylor offers 21-year-old Christina Thomas, free manicures for life. The incident occurred at the Happy Red Apple Nails in East Flatbush after a client expressed her distaste about a $5 eyebrow waxing and refused to pay for the service. Police say the fight started after the displeased client hit a nail technician the client’s grandmother was hit with a broom handle after the dispute inside the salon and sprayed with nail polish remover by a salon employee.
In a video that has now gone viral, you can see an employee swinging a broom and striking the client. While the incident has sparked tons of outrage and protesters have called for the closing of the nail shop, Thomas and her grandmother have received a tremendous amount of support. In a comment, Taylor says she decided to offer her support after seeing the video, “ I’m extremely heartbroken after seeing that video. It’s very unacceptable. Reasons like that was the main reason why I decided to even open Junie Bee, before the whole incident even went down.” Taylor also offered the victims access to her lawyers and whatever else type of support they need. Huiyue Zheng, the employee who was wielding the broom was arrested and charged with felony assault, and three misdemeanor charges of menacing, criminal possession of a weapon and harassment. Thomas was charged with three misdemeanors: assaults, menacing, and harassment.
The proud mother and wife made the incredibly kind gesture following a press conference she held for Thomas and her mom to show her support.
While it’s not surprising, it’s still extremely disappointing to hear stories of black women being discriminated against for the very same things society tells us we should “embrace” and “love ourselves” for. Amongst many amazing things, the color of our skin, our natural hair, and poise are what makes us beautiful, so it’s hard to understand why a group of black women would be turned away from a casting call and told that black models were not wanted and afros were a “no-no.”
Joia Talbott and Kacey Leggett were among several other black women who were turned away from a recent casting call for KYA Swim. The two shared a video on social media that has since gone viral, recalling their experience for the Miami Swim Week event. “They told us they didn’t want any Black models and Afros were a no-no,” said Talbott.
The models said they were waiting in line for the casting for KYA Swim when they were told it had ended. However, after 10 to 15 black women proceeded to leave, they said the casting was opened back up for the fairer-skin women.
KYA Swim states that they “deeply disturbed” by what has taken place and are investigating. “KYA Swim is proud of its record of diversity and we are the midst of looking into the events of last Thursday to review the actions of the production company in charge of the casting call,” the company said.
As for Kacey Leggett, she says “I’m lost for words. I’m still trying to process what happened.” Joia Talbott feels that this casting “went above and beyond to be disrespectful and degrading towards women of color” and stated that they were ready to go back to L.A. where women of color are not only booked but appreciated.
The women who were allegedly discriminated against held their own make-shift photo shoot with the caption, “When a casting director tells you they don’t want any Afros or women of color…you STILL show them just how powerful you are. YOU. CANT. BREAK. US!!”
“Stranger Things” actress Millie Bobby Brown has deleted her Twitter account after becoming the target to some homophobic and hurtful cyber bullying.
Mashable reports that this appears to have started in November 2017 when @KelsFiona said the 14-year-old snatched her hijab at the airport. It was obviously fake — when another Twitter user pointed out that she doesn’t have a hijab on in her profile picture, @KelsFiona said, “because she ripped it off me.”
@KelsFiona account was suspended and the tweet was deleted, however, it did not stop there, memes and fake snap chat stories about Brown being homophobic were created and #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown was born.
While some basked in the delight of the memes resurfacing others did not. In fact many Twitter users showed their support for Millie, who does nothing but spread messages of positivity. Although she has yet to release a statement, Mille did post a picture on her Instagram story with the caption “Good Vibes Only.”
Shonda Rhimes certainly did not hold back when it came to voicing her opinion on ABC’s decision to pull the plug on Roseanne following Roseanne Barr’s racist tweet towards Valerie Jarrett, an African-American woman who served as a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama.
ABC announced that the reboot would be canceled after Barr took to Twitter to spew the hateful comment, if the “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby,” in reference to Jarrett.
The television producer and screenwriter says Barr got what she deserved and took to her Twitter to state, “As I tell my 4-year-old, one makes a choice with one’s actions. Roseanne made a choice. A racist one. ABC made a choice. A human one.”
As for Valerie Jarrett, she described the consequences of Roseanne’s actions as “a teaching moment.” She also believes some of the responsibility and hatefulness falls on Donald Trump.
“The tone does start at the top, and we like to look up to our president and feel as though he reflects the values of our country,” she said during MSNBC special, Everyday Racism in America. “Our government is only going to be as good as we make it be.”
According to Deadline, the cancellation of Roseanne has opened the door for ABC to consider filling the slot with one of the comedy pilots that came close to a series order. Steps, starring Ryan Michelle Bathe, was first passed over because of its similarities to another fall pickup, Single Parents. The show, which revolves around four adults in three houses raising three kids after two divorces, just may have another shot with ABC. If the show is indeed picked up, it has been said that it could be tweaked.
The #MeToo Movement did not miss a beat during this year’s New York Fashion Week. On February 9th, the movement took center stage as women worked the runway and told their stories of sexual assault.
8 women walked the runway in their threads and then came back out handcuffed to men wearing pig masks. This imagery served as a statement and commanded the attention of the crowd.
The fashion show was created by Myriam Chalek, a creative director of AmericanWardrobe.com. Survivor, Alicia Kozakiewicz gained international attention in 2002 after she was abducted by a 38-year-old man that pretended to be her age that she had met online.
“I don’t think this fashion show is going to change things overnight, but if it can be a step further then I guess I’ve done my part. A woman who has been empowered is a woman who is unstoppable.” – Myriam Chalek
The story of Nkosinathi Nkomo is still unsolved. If you aren’t up to date with the news, we’ll catch you up. Nkoshinathi Nkomo was a Soweto-born University of Cape Town student and inventor. He passed away at only 25-years-old after he gained attention from national media for his invention of a water purification system aimed at helping the drought crisis.
Nkomo began to gain attention for his product/company, Aqua Renu in October and by December was found dead after allegedly falling from a multistory building in Cape Town. This situation did not sit well with most, and conspiracy theories have begun to circulate.
Nkomo could not afford to finish his civil engineering degree at UCT so he decided to launch AquaRenu and it was starting to generate revenue and pay for all of his college fees.
Suicide was what everyone was saying caused his death but his father ruled out that cause. Nkomo’s father said that Nkomo had no enemies, owed no debts and said that “the truth will come out one day.”
#NkosinathiNkomo is now trending on local Twitter after this mysterious tweet was published.
Many South Africans are confused and angry after this tweet from Helen Zille. Kris seems to be using Nkomo’s idea and getting credit for it.
I wonder what #NkosinathiNkomo would say about this…pity he had to slip on a bar of soap, while climbing out of bed on the top of a Cape Town building – right after presenting a pioneering water purification idea to help alleviate Cape Town’s water crisis https://t.co/yldjQvhdui
Doritos, the vibrantly flavored tortilla chip has announced they are working on a girl version of their popular snack.
During an interview with the Freakonomics Radio show, Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo CEO explains that the a Dorito for women is in development. The women’s Dorito would be more quiet to consume. The business executive does not believe many women eat the tortilla chip snack.
“…As you watch a lot of the young guys eat the chips, they love their Doritos, and they lick their fingers with great glee, and when they reach the bottom of the bag they pour the little broken pieces into their mouth because they don’t want to lose that taste of the flavor and the broken chips in the bottom. Women would love to do the same but they don’t. They don’t like to crunch too loudly in public. And they don’t like to lick their fingers generously and they don’t like to pour the little broken pieces and the flavor into their mouth.”
Nooyi continues to explain how her women friendly Doritos would have traditional Dorito flavor without the loud crunch and come in bags small enough to fit in a purse. Her inference of women not eating Doritos is not only wrong, it is based on age-old sexist beliefs that women should be seen not heard.
The chip made for girls pushes the idea that women should be silent and neat, despite men who are welcome to have a field day with any food they please. The sexist snack has projected the belief that women are too loud. In the day and age of political movements lead and historically the movements pioneered by women would never have been accomplished if women were forced to remain silent. Gendering a snack is a microagression against women and stereotypes an entire gender to fit a mold that has been broken for centuries.
In the dawn of a millennial feminist wave where women across all industries are rising against patriarchy. Women being loud and vocal, speaking out against sexual abuse and intimidation, women’s reproductive rights and pay equality are vital to a new age movement resulting in groups and organizations bringing women and men together in partnership.
Following the rise of #MeToo being used for victims to tell their stories of sexaul trauma in Hollywood and other professional fields. One aspect of the #MeToo movement is the women who speak out, loudly, being heard and seen, standing in the face of their abuser, refusing to be silenced any longer. Most recently, superstar actresses Taraji P Henson sand Halle Berry have spoke out about talent manager, VIncent Cirrincione, who has managed both actresses, sexual assault allegations.
“Everyone knows how difficult this Industry has been for women and my hope is that all of these unspeakable events ignite triue change in the treatment of women in this entertainment business.” says Henson in a statement uploaded to Instagram.
Halle Berry also uploaded a statement on Instagram.
“Yesterday I was saddened by the allegations against my former manager, VIncent Cirrincione, but today I’m sick after reading the horrifying detailed accounts of his abuse towards 9 women.” says Berry
This is why the woman’s Dorito is an outdated and sexist idea. If women are pushed to be quiet, the gross behaviors of many would go unnoticed and the traumatic cycle continues. PepsiCo has since denied developing a quiet chip for women.
Social media continues to be used as a tool to get information out and seek justice. Last week, a woman posted a video of the hair care shelves at Walmart and they looked a little strange. All of the products for African American people were locked up with extra security protection and the products for predominately white customers were normally placed on the shelves.
Last week, a woman uploaded this video of the hair care shelves in Walmart. There was a difference in the way the hair care products for Black people were set up versus those for mainstream or White customers. Check out the video below:
It’s obvious as to what is going on here and the video has surfaced all over the internet. Walmart has now got themselves into some legal trouble. Essie Grundy, from Perris, California has hired Gloria Allred to represent her in a discrimination case against the billion dollar company.
In a press conference, Grundy said, “It was something I had to stand up for. I would like the glass to go down, and for things to go back to the way it was, where it’s not segregated and everything is where everyone can get what they need.”
Grundy also shared that she was not allowed to even touch the product until an employee walked it over to the cash register and she paid for it. Grundy complained to the employee about what was going on and the employee agreed with this protocol not being okay but said it was a directive from corporate.
In response to this situation, a spokesperson for Walmart said:
“We serve more than 140 million customers weekly, crossing all demographics, and are focused on meeting their needs while providing the best shopping experience at each store. We’re sensitive to this situation and also understand, like other retailers, that some products such as electronics, automotive, cosmetics, and other personal care products are subject to additional security,” the spokesperson continued. “Those determinations are made on a store-by-store basis using data supporting the need for the heightened measures. While we’ve yet to review a complaint, we take this situation seriously and look forward to addressing it with the court.”
Decorated actress and Queen of Comedy Mo’Nique recently called out streaming giant Netflix on their disparities between her $500,000 offer versus Amy Schumer’s $13 million payout naming gender and race as contributing factors. Mo’Nique called on her fans to boycott Netflix for the issues at hand and many have had mixed reviews about her approach to the situation.
While many suggested Mo’Nique take the $500,000 and check her relevance and stature, others took up for her recognizing her legendary career in entertainment and Hollywood. Mo’Nique has garnered the support of fellow comedians as well as fans.
Support Monique or cancel Black History month..there is no way she should only get $500k ..she is a proven comedian and talk show host, Oscar and friend!
Mo’Nique took to ‘Sway In The Morning’ with a very transparent interview further detailing her position on the controversy. Netflix informed Mo’Nique her resume did not matter yet listed Amy Schumer’s accomplishments to leverage her payout, Mo’Nique took matters into her own hands. Mo’Nique cleared up her views on Amy Schumer stating that her plight had nothing to do with Schumer’s level of talent. Her boycott stands on her legend status recognized by Netflix only in text, not in pay.
“If you put Mo’Nique and Amy Schumer side by side, in 2008 I believe Amy Schumer was doing background work, it’s nothing wrong with that and I’m not judging but do you know my career? … Do you think that I deserve to get what the legends got because Netflix considered me a legend or do you think that I should get the $500,000 because for some reason a black woman that’s a legend doesn’t deserve what a white woman who’s “a journeyman” gets. Does that make sense?”
Mo’Nique continued to explain that her being vocal about her Netflix offer is important to black female comedians on the rise especially 2017 breakout star Tiffany Haddish. Accepting $500,000 would have kept her up at night, anticipating precedence set and the potential the low offers black women in comedy would have from Netflix in the future.
“If I accepted $500,000 what does Tiffany Haddish have coming? If i accept that what does the black female comedian have coming because what they will say is, well Mo’Nique accepted this and she’s got that.
Mo’Nique, offended that other women of color such as Kym Whitley, Sheryl Underwood, Adrienne Bailon and Julie Chen saying she should accept the $500,000 and apologize is firm in her standing against taking such a low offer.
“Did you ask any of the white women to apologize, when they said they were violated by Harvey Weinstein. Did u ask any of them to be humble? Did you tell any of them if you speak too loud, it doesn’t mean you’re right?”
Mo’Nique’s outrage correlates her issues with being blackballed in Hollywood by Tyler Perry, Lionsgate, Lee Daniel’s and Oprah Winfrey saying Perry admitted he was wrong yet refused to publicly acknowledge the truth. Being asked to work for free by both Oprah Winfrey and Lee Daniels who Mo’Nique says each recognized the flaw in their request was made to continue her plight through Hollywood with continues low offers. Her incident tagged her with a bad reputation as difficult to work with and that paired with her race and gender give companies such as Netflix the notion that disrespect is appropriate.
“If i wanted you to be a slave and work for free, you know not to talk because it can ruin your career” says Mo’Nique describing the Hollywood game that she was advised to play.
Mo’Nique continues to reflect on her discomfort when faced with harsh feedback from other black women. During the interview, being streamed live on Periscope, viewers wrote in comments letting her know not to mess with Oprah.
“What makes Oprah Winfrey different than any other women walking the face of this earth other than her bank account? And because I want every black women to answer this question. Do you remember the when Oprah Winfrey came on the (NAACP) Image Awards and got up on stage talking about equality for Black women?” She continues to say “see hashtag Oprah Winfrey, Black women need the support from white women like you too.
As Mo’Nique sarcastically asks where was Oprah’s empowering speech at the BET awards or the Stella awards, making the point that black women have to say, when do you speak up for us? Mo’Nique calls for more support from black women such as Oprah in her demands for equal pay and not shy away from the controversy despite their positions in the industry.
“When you get people to say ‘be quiet’ that’s why Harvey Weinstein was able to do it for 30 years and because people are saying ‘we’re so scared of Oprah we cant speak up’ I must.”
Monique also opens up about how other payments received for movies such as Almost Christmas, revealing the four largest names, Mo’Nique, Gabrielle Union, Danny Glover, Kimberly Elyse were paid less than $1 million as a collective. Describing the experience as being lead to a situation with promises than ever paid out.
“When you have a black producer that walks you to the slave ship but he tells you you’re going on a vacation and then they start putting the chains around your ankles and you look back and you say I thought you said we was going on a luxury vacation, and they wave at you as they taking you to the bottom of the ship, we’re still facing that today.
Accepting that Hollywood may never acknowledge her again or that many of her sisters stood behind her, Mo’Nique hopes the end result of her campaign is history recognizing the story and everyone realizes what side of the story they want to be on. Monique’s struggles are shared by other black women in comedy such as Wanda Sykes who encouraged by Monique’s call to boycott revealed Netflix offered her a less than reputable amount. Sykes shared that she was offered less than half of Monique’s $500,000 total and took her talents elsewhere.
Passionate CNN correspondent Van Jones had some powerful things to say last evening as it became a reality that Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. While acknowledging that half of the country has experienced “a miracle” with Trump’s win, many others are facing their worst nightmare.
“I am hearing about a nightmare,” the analyst calmly says. “It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids don’t be a bully. You tell your kids don’t be a bigot. You tell your kids do your homework and be prepared, and then you have this outcome and you have people putting their children to bed tonight and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of how do I explain this to my children?”
That’s the reality minorities in this country are facing. Donald Trump’s campaign has spewed hatred in more ways than one and based on certain things he intends to do (ie: building a wall), there’s very real concern for several people in this country.
“I have Muslim friends who are texting me tonight saying ‘Should I leave the country?’,” Van added. “I have families of immigrants who are terrified tonight.”
The strongest point of Van’s message, however, was what he considers a clear “whitelash” against a black president and a changing country. In other words, there was clear, racist intentions behind electing Donald Trump, from Van’s point of view.
“This was a whitelash against a changing country. It was a whitelash against a black president, in part and that’s the part where the pain comes. Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight. To come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all the people he insulted and offended and brushed aside. When you say you want to take your country back you have a lot of people who feel like we’re not represented here either. But we don’t want to feel that someone has been elected by throwing away some of us to appeal more deeply to others. This is a deeply painful moment tonight. I know its not all about race, but we gotta talk about it.”
Watch Van’s powerful words below and be sure to weigh in with your thoughts in the comment section.