All Articles Tagged "Emmy"
‘We’re Not Nominated When We Do Honorable Work’: Jamie Foxx And Kerry Washington Speak On Hollywood And Black Actors
Django Unchained stars Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx recently sat down with The Grio‘s Chris Witherspoon to discuss their new film, which follows the story of a slave who frees himself from slavery and then goes back to rescue his wife. The two A-listers opened up to Chris about some touchy subjects including Kerry not being Emmy-nominated for her outstanding work in Scandal as well as the common belief that Black actors are frequently overlooked when it comes to award nominations in Hollywood. Check out some of the interview’s highlights.
On Kerry not getting the recognition she deserves:
Kerry: I feel really grateful to have a job and to be able to do what I love for a living and to work with people who I respect and admire. I do this because I love to do it, not because I have a desire to have attention.
Jamie: Well, I think she should be nominiated. I think it’s right to feel that way.Because sometimes you look at people that do get nominated and you go [makes confused face]… but I tell people, Kerry Washington has yet begun to fight.
On if they’d be opposed to getting an Oscar nomination for playing slaves:
Kerry: I don’t think you can ever control how people respond to the work. I’ve never had shame in playing somebody who is a slave or a prostitute, or anybody who may be looked down upon in society. I think we all deserve to have our stories told no matter who we are. And if I’m proud of playing a woman who is handling a crises, I’m gonna be proud of playing a woman who is a maid. My story doesn’t deserve to be told more than my grandmother’s story. My grandmother did clean houses. My great great grandmother was a slave. Everybody deserves to have their story told. There’s no shame in who we are or who we’ve been.
Jamie: A lot of times we’re not nominated when we do honorable work. Because with the slave she [Washington] plays there is dignity in everything she played. It wasn’t subservient; she wasn’t giving up to anything. So a lot of times they do overlook that, they may not want to reward that.
Check out the interview on the next page. How do you feel about Hollywood’s tendency to overlook Black actors?
St. Louis-born film, music and television director Millicent Shelton is turning Hollywood upside down. She’s made history with her directing work. Created some of the most talk-about video clips. And is now in constant demand in television.
Shelton, who began her career in 1989 as a wardrobe production assistant on the Spike Lee film Do the Right Thing, made music videos for artists such as Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, Aaliyah, CeCe Peniston and Salt-n-Pepa, creating that latter group’s iconic “Let’s Talk About Sex” video in 1991. After directing more than a hundred music videos, Shelton, a graduate of Princeton University and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, made her first feature film — the hip-hop inspired Ride in 1998.
After working hard to break into television directing, she now has racked up not only impressive credits, but an Emmy. In fact, she became the first African-American woman to earn a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series for the episode “Apollo, Apollo” on the series 30 Rock. She’s also put on the director’s cap for episodes of Everybody Hates Chris, The Bernie Mac Show, Girlfriends, Castle, Californication, My Name Is Earl, 90210, Men of a Certain Age, Pan Am, Leverage, Parenthood, Jane By Design, and Cougar Town.
Madame Noire recently caught up with Shelton in between filming. Here’s what she had to say.
Madame Noire: What is the most enjoyable part of what you do?
Millicent Shelton: I like to create. Taking words on a page and bring them to life in living color is an amazing experience.
MN: Do you find there are more women directing in TV?
MS: The Directors Guild Of America just published some statistics based on the 2011-12 TV episodic season. They found that 11 percent of the episodes were directed by Caucasian females and only four percent by minority females. Those percentages are up one percent from last season, so, no, there has not been a significant change in the amount of TV episodes that female directors are working on.
Part of me says that this industry is naturally nepotistic the other part of me thinks that some males find it difficult for a female to be in that type of leadership position.
MN: What have been some of the obstacles you have faced as an African-American female director?
MS: Lack of work. Always hustling for the next job. Which you can say is an obstacle for all directors. I just think that sometimes the hill is a little higher for me to climb. I face it by putting on my hiking boots and forging forward…never looking back.
MN: Do you feel you are opening doors for other women in the industry?
MS: I don’t have a clue. A door may be open on a show that has worked successfully with me and they feel like, “Yeah it doesn’t matter that she’s a woman or an African American. It matters that she’s a good director.” But if the door opens, then it is up to the individual director to succeed on her own merit.
MN: What are some of your latest projects?
MS: Go On with Matthew Perry on NBC and Parenthood on NBC. I am shooting a pilot for BET right now called What Would Dylan Do? Dallas is my next stop.
MN: Advice to young filmmakers?
MS: It’s going to be tough. Learn your craft well. Never give up.
MN: Any tips on juggling career, marriage and motherhood?
MS: It’s the hardest thing in the world. Most of the time I feel so torn between loving what I do and loving my children. The two clash a lot especially since I have been traveling out of town to work fairly frequently during the past two years. My kids are amazing giving souls. They accept that mommy is working and we Skype almost every day.
MN: What’s your favorite downtime activity?
MS: Spending time doing anything or absolutely nothing with my kids.
By Mame Kwayie
Scan recent media headlines about Oprah Winfrey and her eponymous Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), and you’ll find chatter about dismal ratings, a reported $300 million dollar loss, staff layoffs and even her own second thoughts about taking on the endeavor that took over the Discovery Health Channel on Jan. 1, 2011 (“If I knew then what I know now, I might have made different choices,” she told CBS News in April). To many, it appeared that when Winfrey stepped off her daytime television throne in 2011, ending “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and its groundbreaking 25-year run, she stepped into her last ride. But there are a few reasons why media watchers and viewers should not count her out just yet.
1. Her Interview Game is Still On Point.
The Oprah Winfrey Show may have ended over a year ago, but not only does she still know how to ask the questions, she still reels in big names – and growing ratings. Parts one and two of Winfrey’s chat with the Kardashians, the most recent episode of the interview series “Oprah’s Next Chapter” (which airs Sundays nights on OWN), brought in 1.1 million and 1.2 million viewers respectively. Big numbers, but 2.4 million viewers shy of OWN’s biggest boon yet: Winfrey’s March interview with the late Whitney Houston’s daughter, brother and sister-in-law.
Winfrey maintains her prowess for securing a variety of high-profile subjects for a sit-down. Not only are Winfrey’s “Next Chapter” interviews major coups for her fledgling network, but many are still clamoring for the opportunity to sit face-to-face with the media tycoon. In a story with the Associated Press, OWN President Sheri Salata acknowledges that there are opportunities abound for those with stories to tell. “That really does keep us in the game with all the big interviews,” Salata said.
This Sunday, Winfrey is meeting with the Miami Heat’s NBA title-winning trifecta of Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James, and in August, she’s visiting with controversial pop star Rihanna.
2. Her Generosity is Still Paramount.
Admittedly, I usually watched Winfrey’s yearly “Favorite Things” holiday giveaway to see unsuspecting audience members go ham at the prospect of getting Panini makers. But Winfrey has proven that giving is not just the stuff of daytime talk show shtick. It is reported that when a Los Angeles English teacher tweeted the media maven about her inner-city students’ need for prom dresses, Winfrey worked her maven magic, enlisting Macy’s in donating formal gowns for all 25 of the educator’s female students. The department store transported the girls to the shopping spree via chartered bus and provided breakfast, lunch, and even stylists.
3. Her Endorsement Still Sells Books.
Oprah’s Book Club 2.0, which was announced in June, accommodates the way readers read in the age of Web 2.0: with e-readers, tablets and other mobile devices. Where she would devote an episode or two of her talk show to facilitating conversations between authors and audience members, she’s now using the likes of social media to engage readers in loving and discussing books again.
“I love this book so much and want to talk about it so much, I knew I had to reinvent my book club,” Winfrey writes in the July 2010 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine. The book? Wild, Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about a treacherous hike through the Pacific Crest Trail. Winfrey launched the original book club in 1996, inciting readers across the country to propel such titles as Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and the James Frey’s not-so-non-fiction A Million Little Pieces into best-seller status. The book club ushered the concept of “The Oprah Effect,” Winfrey’s propensity to spur viewers to turn written works into profitable literary gold. Winfrey’s Midas touch later did the same for cakes, Carol’s Daughter beauty products and possibly President Barack Obama (before he was the president of course).
And it seems that tech-savvy readers are indeed wild about Winfrey’s latest pick: Wild recently hit number one on the New York Times’ bestseller list for non-fiction e-books.
4. Her Shows Still Win Emmys.
While beleaguered in the press, OWN is making shelf space for its first Emmy Award. “Super Soul Sunday,” the network’s Sunday morning mix of spiritual programming on happiness, enlightenment and well-being, received a Daytime Emmy this month for Outstanding Special Class series. The series, during which Winfrey chats with the likes of Deepak Chopra, T.D. Jakes and Wayne Dyer, “is the reason Oprah wanted to create this platform,” OWN president Salata said in a statement. “We are thrilled that our first Emmy is for this show.”
5. Her Magazine Wins Awards, Too.
The team at O: The Oprah Magazine recently picked up recognition from the American Society of Magazine Editors for General Excellence in Women’s Magazines. In case you didn’t know, Winfrey’s name is on the masthead of the magazine bearing her name and cover image as its founder and editorial director. The publication, which aligns with Winfrey’s “live your best life” branding mantra, was launched in 2000.
To (wo)man the helm of a media empire is not easy, and Winfrey, who once compared the building of OWN to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, has proven no shrinking violet in the face of a challenge.
“Just because you fail doesn’t make you a failure,” Winfrey told CBS News. “When you know that in the core of yourself, you can keep trying or you can use whatever is happening in that moment to say, ‘Maybe I need to move in a new direction.’”
And perhaps the greatest reason why Oprah Winfrey continues to win is that she is her own best example.
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