All Articles Tagged "Black Hollywood"

Black Hollywood Doing It Big: Producer Will Packer Inks Deal With Universal Pictures!

November 2nd, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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Producer Will Packer continues to be a driving force in Hollywood.

Yesterday, it was announced that Packer landed a three-year deal with Universal Pictures. In the new partnership, Packer will develop new projects for the company under his own banner Will Packer Productions. Their first collaboration, Ride Along starring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, will roll into theaters on January 17, 2014.

Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langely said, “Will is driven by boundless energy that drives his relationships and permeates his films. We’ve cherished our experiences working with him on Ride Along and cannot wait to collaborate with him on more films in the years to come.”

Packer took to his Twitter account to share his gratitude. “I’m grateful and humbled by all the love I’m receiving today,” he tweeted. “We’ve got a lot more to accomplish but it feels good! Thank you!”

This is big and we congratulate Will Packer on such a huge achievement. You can check out the rest over on, including what next for the producer.

The Self-Professed Mean Girls Of Black Hollywood

August 1st, 2013 - By Meghan Williams
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If Black Hollywood were high school, these 14 ladies would be the mean girls. They’re the ones who throw shade, talk isht about others, and pop off with the drama at the drop of a hat. Some of these ladies have freely admitted to having a mean streak, while others just display all the signs. Click through to see which ice queens made the list.


Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Gabrielle Union

While accepting the Essence Fierce and Fearless award earlier this year, Gabby openly admitted to being a mean girl in the past, saying “I lived for the negativity inflicted upon my sister actresses or anyone who I felt whose shine diminished my own. I took joy in people’s pain and I tap-danced on their misery.” Ouch.

Standing The Test Of Time: 13 Seasoned Black Actresses Still Working In Hollywood

July 15th, 2013 - By Kelly Franklin
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black women in hollywood

On Oprah’s “Next Chapter” special on Black Actresses in Hollywood,  Viola Davis said it best when she shared, “We’re in crisis mode as black actresses.” Beautiful, black and talented actresses play our favorite characters on the big screen, with the ability to make us laugh, cry or high-five our sisters in solidarity (think Angela Bassett torching her cheating husband’s things on Waiting To Exhale). Unfortunately, despite the success, fame, and riches, black actresses still face a shortage of opportunities and limited types of roles in Hollywood. If you factor in the competitive nature of this career, it’s amazing we can even say there are thriving black actresses in Hollywood. But when it comes to these women that’s the case. And what’s even more remarkable about these ladies is that they’ve been excelling in the industry for decades. Check out the list.

Viola Davis On Competition In Black Hollywood: ‘If You Throw A Piece Of Cheese In A Room Full Of Rats They’re Going To Claw At Each Other’

June 20th, 2013 - By La Truly
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black women in hollywood "viola davis"

It feels as if we’ve been waiting a long time for this kind of discussion to happen on the OWN Network and now, it’s finally here. On Sunday night at 9 pm Oprah will be sitting with Alfre Woodard, Gabrielle Union, Philicia Rashad, and Viola Davis to discuss the internal and external struggles of being Black, female, and an actress.

This conversation proves to be very open and honest as one clip shows Union stating, “I was a mean girl from about 8 years old.” But Viola Davis takes the rawness one step further, discussing the lack of diverse roles for Black women as opposed to the laundry list of options available for Caucasian actresses. She argues the competition is only natural when there are a limited number of roles for African American women.

Check out a sneak peek of Viola’s comments about the rift between black women in Hollywood. What do you think about her suggestion that it’s natural and we are actually in crisis mode in Hollywood?

Back to Black: African American Stars That Should Be Leading in Hollywood

March 18th, 2013 - By Diamond Newman
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We all know there’s Hollywood and then there’s black Hollywood. African American stars don’t get the same notoriety as their white counterparts despite their good looks, amazing acting chops and undeniable star power. Sad,right? From heartthrobs to veterans, these 15 thespians deserve the awards and accolades more than any other. Check out this list of black actors and actresses that should be leading in Hollywood.




Nia Long

Nia Long is beautiful. She is also the girl next door with a great deal of sass and sophistication. She lit our fire playing Nina in “Love Jones” and Bird in “Soul Food.” She’s been acting for quite some time and her staying power is phenomenal. Hollywood should take a deeper look.

WANTED! Stars We Haven’t Seen In A Minute!

September 23rd, 2012 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Rachel Worth/WENN

As Hollywood has changed, so have some of our favorite stars.  People we used to see all the time sort of disappear on us and we never hear about them again.  That’s just the way it seems to go for many stars but we just wanted to take a minute to shout out some of the actors we miss!

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Ouch: Harry Belafonte Says Beyonce and Jay-Z Have Turned Their Back On Social Responsibility

August 8th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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When your elders speak, you shut up and listen. Eighty-five-year-old entertainment legend Harry Belafonte has certainly earned his right to call out the younger crowd in the industry and he definitely has a lot to say about the current state of affairs concerning black celebdom. The activist just received the Golden Leopard Honor Award at the Locarno Film Festival to receive the event’s Golden Leopard Honor Award, recognizing his contributions to political activism as an actor. And when speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about the honor, he didn’t miss the opportunity to call out other celebrities who he feels fail to do their part in society.

When Mr. Belafonte was asked if he’s happy with the image of minorities in Hollywood today, he said, “not at all.”

“They have not told the history of our people, nothing of who we are,” he said. “We are still looking. We are not determinate. We are not driven by some technology that says you can kill Afghans, the Iraqis or the Spanish. It is all – excuse my French – s**t. It is sad. And I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility. That goes for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.

It’s interesting that Mr. Belafonte is being asked about this on the heels of similar discussions concerning Oprah’s contributions to the black community, and even President Obama’s. Jay-Z has been criticized quite frequently for not doing anything to build up the community, yet on the other hand the attitude as of late seems to be that these individuals have no social responsibility to give back to black people or society as a whole. Maybe Harry Belafonte is just old school, but he clearly has a different take on things, which he feels makes his latest honor all the more special.

“Such awards, coming from culture and societies where I do not linger, are a validation that there was a global receptivity to the fact that I have taken a stand against war, taken a stand against racism, sexism and so on, throughout the years,” he said. “While at home some people would want to crucify me because of my political position, I am also being honored for what I do, and that validation is extremely important.”

I wonder what he thinks about Bey and Jay’s push to get President Obama reelected?

What do you think about Harry Belafonte’s charge against Beyonce and Jay-Z and other minority entertainers?

More on Madame Noire!

How This Duo of Award Winning African American Filmmakers Are Making Their Mark on Hollywood

June 20th, 2012 - By Rhonda Campbell
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Morgan Stiff and Patina Mabry. Morgans Mark Movie Producers

MEET Morgan Stiff and Patina Mabry:  Tina Mabry and Morgan Stiff aren’t waiting for Hollywood to green light their success. They’ve pulled out the stopper and are going after success in the major motion picture industry with everything they’ve got. Of this dynamic duo, Tina Mabry has an MFA in film production from the University of Southern California. Mabry also co-wrote Itty Bitty Titty Committee, which won Best Feature Narrative at South by Southwest. Her feature film, Mississippi Damned, premiered on Showtime and won an impressive thirteen awards including Best Feature Film at the Chicago International Film Festival. In 2009, Mabry was named one of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film in Filmmaker Magazine. Her feature County Line won the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award in 2011.  She recently completed the FOX Writer’s Intensive, which is a highly selective television and feature program, held at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, CA.

Morgan R. Stiff graduated from the University of Southern California, School of Cinema-Television, with an MFA in Film Production in 2005 after receiving her BFA from New York University in Dramatic Writing in 2002. As a producer, Morgan has produced fiction and documentary films. Producing projects include Porcelain (2004), which is currently being distributed by Iron Rod Motion Pictures, Inc.; Hip Hop Homos (LOGO Networks, 2004); the award-winning Brooklyn’s Bridge to Jordan (Showtime, LOGO, BET J, 2005); the award-winning feature documentary One Bad Cat: The Reverend Albert Wagner Story (Ovation TV, 2009), which she also edited; and the critically acclaimed and award-winning Mississippi Damned (Showtime 2011). In 2007, Morgan participated in the FIND Producer’s Lab with Mississippi Damned, which she also edited, as well. Morgan is the Chief Productions Officer of Morgan’s Mark; a production company dedicated to bringing marginalized stories to the mainstream. Morgan’s new feature, County Line, was accepted into FIND’s 2010 Screenwriters Lab as well as their 2011 Fast Track program. In April 2011, the script  won the Tribeca All Access Creative Promise Award.

MN:     When and why did you launch Morgan’s Mark?  

TM:      We launched Morgan’s Mark in September 2007 because we felt stories of marginalized groups were being neglected in mainstream media.  We wanted to start an independent film company and editing facility that would focus on producing films that emphasized character and an editing facility that focused on quality over quantity.   Mainstream films mostly center on plot, failing to portray a variety of people.  Therefore, we asked ourselves – who’s listening to the millions of people looking for something more, something that echoes their experiences?  There was an obvious void and we wanted to lift original characters and innovative ideas from the margins and redefine mainstream culture in film.

MN:     Businesses cannot succeed without capital. What resources did you use to finance Morgan’s Mark?

MS:      You certainly have to hustle. Morgan’s Mark is a production company and editing facility and often the editing work allows us to earn the capital that keeps the business running. Early on we often edited industrials as a means to keep money coming into the business while we pursued our fiction and documentary projects.

Hey Tee Tee! Barry Floyd of The Game Reflects On His Acting Career and The Lack of Black Roles

June 13th, 2012 - By MN Editor
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Tee Tee is the quietly hilarious cousin/assistant of Malik Wright on The Game and although he's a minor character, the actor behind the man, Barry Floyd, knows just how lucky he is to have the rare job of being an actor in Hollywood. Floyd started off as a production assistant on Girlfriends, with no aspirations of becoming an actor. But the constant push by show creator Mara Brock Akil and the show staff inspired him to direct his natural charisma and humor into acting. The actor, who also happens to be a writer, sat down with to talk about his career and why Black Hollywood needs to reinvest in itself.

More on Madame Noire!

How The Hollywood Equation Is Endangering Black Stories

March 6th, 2012 - By MN Editor
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by Steven Barboza

Great black stories almost never get shown at America’s megaplexes. The reason? They are an endangered species.

In a perfect world, major studios would green-light a dozen films per year with mostly black casts, and audiences of all persuasions would pay to see them. But Hollywood moguls seem stuck on the color of actors’ skin. Either major studios don’t think white audiences would pay to see universal human dramas played out by black actors, or studios are bewildered by black films. Many fail at the box office for a host of reasons, including lack of audience development and badly hatched advertising and publicity campaigns.

“Ultimately, to reach an African American audience, there needs to be a cross-section of tactics,” said Ava DuVernay, filmmaker and publicist. DuVernay, who helped to market such Hollywood releases as “Dreamgirls” and “Invictus,” has formed an alliance that aims to bring more black films to commercial theaters. The African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement (or AFFRM) uses social networking and grass-roots tactics to reach its marketing goals.

The alliance hopes to overcome a host of mistakes being made by otherwise savvy producers and film makers. Many black films fall victim to their creators’ good intentions but inept marketing practices. “I think that a lot of people overshoot in terms of the number of screens that they put a film on,” said DuVernay, “and I think that a lot of people undershoot in terms of the type of marketing that they apply toward certain types of films. But in cases where there’s been a happy marriage of distribution and marketing, you’ve seen modest and successfully distributed films that give nice returns to investors.”

The film “Just Wright,” starring Queen Latifah and Common, was “on too many screens,” DuVernay said. “And it was a campaign that didn’t integrate any kind of grassroots effort or real local outreach. They had a very national campaign, and they were relying on their stars. If they would have had some boots on the ground, it might have made some difference.” The film only grossed $21.5 million.

Other black films succeed if producers employ the right marketing mix. “You look at something very successful like ‘Jumping the Broom’ — they had a full-fledged publicity campaign, a very aggressive advertising campaign and local support on the ground — and you get a hit,” DuVernay said. “Same thing with ‘The Help.’ With the right marketing, the right push, the right kind of perfect storm of elements, you can actually have a successful release.”

She herself has left nothing to chance. She has written and directed a film titled “I Will Follow,” starring Salli Richardson-Whitfield, who plays a woman sorting through memories of a dead aunt. The film was the first to be marketed by the AFFRM. “We couldn’t afford big advertising so we upped our ground game,” DuVernay said. “We did more grassroots organizing. We did heavy, heavy publicity. We were in a market for six months, when you’d [customarily] be in a market for 3 or 4 months before opening.”