All Articles Tagged "Hollywood"
Planning a trip to the Hollywood Walk of Fame sometime soon? Even though there are nearly 3,000 stars moving up and down that long walk, there are a lot of deserving celebrities who have been left out for a long time while newer, more popular celebrities have been receiving such honors sooner than later. But just around the time we were all wondering if these celebrities were ever going to get their own star, they were finally immortalized on Hollywood Blvd.
So the next time you make a trip to that other H-Town, be sure to be on the lookout for these stars who were recently added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Happy” was Pharrell’s latest hit to blow the charts away. But he was making hits long before the minions were dancing along to his tune. Did you know that one of Pharrell’s first hits was “Rumpshaker” way back in 1992? Talk about a Hollywood star that’s overdue!
So, Janet Hubert is still talking…
More specifically, Hubert has done an interview with the LA Times elaborating more on her disdain for the Smiths as well as talk of a boycott.
The interview is very insightful; and way too long to copy and paste here, So I encourage you to read the whole thing. But for the sake of brevity, I just want to focus on her responses to the criticisms that her original call-out of the Smiths was rooted in bitterness.
“People have said you’re bitter for bringing up “old stuff.” How do you respond?
Every day of my life, I’ve had to deal with “old stuff.” Every time I try to move forward, somebody brings up “Fresh Prince.” Every time I walk into a room or make a phone call, somebody brings up “Fresh Prince.” I brought that story up simply to say, “You didn’t stand up 25 or whatever years ago to get more money for your cast” — and I asked him as a fellow actor, not as the person who owned the show. I had no idea. I brought it up to say that if you don’t stand up all the time, you can’t pick and choose when you decide to stand up.
If you Google me, you’ll see I’ve worked with the [National Coalition on Black Civic Participation’s] Black Women’s Roundtable from school to school, community center to community center, church to church. I’ve always been a warrior.
I have dealt with the ramifications of [rumors about being difficult on the “Fresh Prince” set] and I’m tired. You’re asking my fellow actors to step out and put their lives in jeopardy, and hang themselves the way you hung me. No, bro. I’m not going to let you do that. Especially when you put your woman out there to do it.
What then do you have to say regarding the broader issue of diversity in Hollywood, as it pertains to award shows?
Why do people need awards? Don’t you know your value and your worth? I don’t need anybody’s award or acceptance. We have a bigger problem. There needs to be huge changes in the system, but it’s not our system. Let’s make our own system. But I don’t want to hear those two. When you don’t stand up for the people who helped you get your start and now you’re asking people to stand up with you, it’s ironic to me. And it’s suspect.
If I understand correctly, you’re saying diversity is an issue, but black Hollywood has its own problems?
I think the black community has a lot to work on internally with what they deem successful. Did you know NeNe Leakes made it on Broadway before Janet Hubert? Something’s wrong with the whole system of bad behavior being rewarded. I think in the black community, ratchet has became the new black, ghetto has become the new black.”
This is not just about the Oscars. And truthfully, it doesn’t sound like it is just about The Smiths either.
For all intents and purposes, it is clear that Hubert feels a bit slighted here by all of Hollywood. Some may call it bitterness. I could definitely see that.
But if we are being honest, we can also see where she is coming from. And that is important too.
Because it is a narrative that speaks to how we tend to treat and relate to each other. In particular, how we treat those of us who have not been chosen as “exceptional” by the very institutions, which do not respect us all.
Even without White folks being present; (which is a oxymoron because thanks to White supremacy, the White gaze is omnipresent), Black folks will still make decisions about each other based upon what White folks think.
That’s what I gathered from her first video in which she called out Will Smith for not standing with her during contract negotiations. And that is also what I gather from Hubert when I read this portion of the aforementioned interview:
“So you’re not saying diversity in Hollywood isn’t an issue?
We’re all complaining about diversity in Hollywood, but we’ve got to address the colorism within the black community of Hollywood first. I’m called “dark-skinned Aunt Viv.” [Reid] is called “light-skinned Aunt Viv.” The whole ridiculousness of black Hollywood — there is no black Hollywood. It’s every man for himself. We’ve got to address that first before we can start attacking someone else’s awards that were never designed for us.
The Oscars were never designed for us. There are actors who have never gotten an Oscar and have done amazing work. If you are waiting for an award of a little … gold statue and that’s supposed to validate you, then you’re not in this business for the right reasons. We do the work. It’s about the work. It’s about taking the pages of a script and bringing them to life. It ain’t that deep. We get paid a lot of money to do very little work.”
Hubert might be bitter. How else can you explain her saying “it ain’t that deep. We get paid a lot of money to do very little work” after a lifetime of calling out folks for not taking the issues that Black folks go through in Hollywood seriously?
Still, there is no denying that she has suffered greatly for being the difficult one in an industry, which has been less than welcoming to Black folks. And while everyone was keeping their heads down low and doing all of the things that Hollywood told them to do and be, Hubert had something to say (and seeing how she is now, we can imagine that she had something to say about all of it).
And when she stood up, she found herself standing alone – and ostracized for it. And not just by White folks but by a bunch of us too, who felt she and her causes were too much of a risk and a liability to their own careers to be on that “old radical stuff.”
Generally, I agree with the Smiths’ personal pledge to not only boycott the Oscars but to bring resources back to the community. Regardless of what the motivation, the outcome of said action has the potential to bring about a lot of reform, which could help a lot of Black folks in Hollywood make inroads – even Hubert’s bitter behind.
But I also believe that Hubert has a right to feel some type of way about years of being passed over and disregarded in favor of folks who might be less trained but could say “yessir” more.
And while we are calling out White folks in Hollywood for overlooking us, we need to pay attention to the ways in which we have been complacent in our own oppression.
In this digital age, it’s easy to express collective outrage over a particular subject or event. Such was the case when the poster for Gods of Egypt was released. As the title suggests, the movie takes place in Egypt. Yet, the primary actors and actresses are White.
The people spoke up about their confusion and disgust of the blatant and unnecessary Whitewashing.
Their voices were so loud that both Lionsgate and the film’s director Alex Proyas apologized for the lack of diversity in their casting choices.
Proyas said, “The process of casting a movie has many complicated variables, but it is clear that our casting choices should have been more diverse.”
Then the studio reiterated the statement.
“We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize.”
The apology means very little considering the studio is not planning on changing anything,
Director Ava DuVernay stepped forward to say as much.
This kind of apology never happens – for something that happens all the time. An unusual occurrence worth noting. https://t.co/xRTEy7woWs
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) November 28, 2015
Then she celebrated the films that are starring actors of color.
GODS OF EGYPT makes me value Abrams' STAR WARS choices more. Makes me cheer more for Coogler's CREED. We all deserve icons in our own image.
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) November 28, 2015
What do you think about the apologies? Does it mean anything to you?
This week, The Hollywood Reporter released their annual actor’s roundtable issue. The roundtable interview featured Will Smith, Benicio del Toro, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, Joel Edgerton and Mark Ruffalo, who were all asked a series of questions surrounding their profession. When asked if prejudice had ever affected their careers, Will Smith had this to say:
My wife and I were just having this conversation, and we were going to the dictionary for “prejudice” versus “racism.” Everybody is prejudiced. Everybody has their life experiences that make them prefer one thing over another — it makes them prefer blond hair over a brunette; if you see somebody with dark skin walking down the street, you have a different reaction than you have [with] someone who is 5-foot-1 and white. But there is a connotation with racism of superiority: You feel that your race generally is superior. And I have to say, I live with constant prejudice, but racism is actually rare — someone who thinks their race is superior. I don’t want to work for them. I don’t want to work at that company. And the times I have come in contact with it, you get away from those people.
Will Smith is right: racism is rare…if you are one of the biggest entertainers in the world who has millions of dollars in the bank and can create the roles and opportunities you want. Smith has the type of clout that allows him the choice to move in and out of circles that don’t serve his needs. He has the type of money (and pull at the box office) that makes smart Hollywood people with racist views know when to shut their mouths. He and his family are visible on a worldwide scale in such a way that they may not experience very many moments of blatant hate due to what they look like. Indeed, racism is absolutely very rare for the Will Smiths of the world.
There are definitely moments when racism rears its heads for Black people in Hollywood, like the time a boutique employee assumed Oprah couldn’t afford a purse the store carried so she wouldn’t let her see it. But moments like those are few and far between because big money and fame tend to silence hate when you’re in a high position of power in Hollywood. Because of his status and bank balance, Will Smith does not have to deal with the pressures of being the average Black man in Hollywood or America as a whole. Statistically, if Smith had never become an A-list star and he was just a working-class man from West Philadelphia, he or one of his sons might be in jail. This is because systemic racism is deeply ingrained within our society, and it is hellbent on keeping Black people down.
His statement was earnest but cloaked in both naiveté and ignorance, and it’s important to bear in mind that Will Smith has been rich and A-list famous for far longer than he was a poor kid from West Philly. While he was busy looking up the distinct differences between the definitions of prejudice and racism, racist and prejudice acts were disproportionately occurring against other POC in entertainment and the working class. For Smith to make a statement in a well-known publication that denies the constant nature of racism is wholly irresponsible and shows of his privilege. When bigots hear people like Smith say that racism is rare (even if just in Hollywood), it provides them ammunition, or better yet, justification to do nothing when racist acts occur. It also allows them to dismiss the underlining cause behind the lack of diversity onscreen and behind the camera.
It is great that we as Black people can see someone ascend to the heights of success that Will Smith has attained, but it is dangerous that while high on his perch, he should dare make such a lofty statement with such long-reaching effects.
If you’ve ever asked a Black man between the ages of 25-40 who their celebrity crushes are, Meagan Good’s name will come up a lot. Quite a lot. And perhaps that’s a part of the problem.
In a recent interview with the LA Sentinel, the actress talked about the journey to be taken seriously as an actress.
She mentioned that Viola Davis calling her name during her Emmy acceptance speech was a huge moment for her.
I cried. It meant so much to me to be acknowledged by someone like Viola who I have so much respect for. We all face challenges in this business especially as black women. It’s been a really long crawl for me to transition from being a child actress to an adult actress; in addition to being in that sex kitten role in my early 20s and fighting to be taken more seriously. It’s been a really long journey and to hear her say my name really blessed me. To listen to her journey and to know what she’s gone through to be acknowledged for the great actress that she is…it’s all of our struggles to get out of the box that people always try to put us in.
It’s an incredible time for women and minorities in TV and film. There’s been a massive shift that we’ve all been patiently waiting for. I’m a big believer in not complaining about the things that are wrong. Instead I place my energy into being on the front line of change, having a positive attitude and fighting to see things shift. To be in Hollywood right now and have these opportunities as the shift is coming is incredible.
To that point, Good said that she relies on God to help her determine which roles will be right for her career.
I pray and read my bible every single day, I stay close to God because He’s what matters the most; everything else is secondary. My career can never give me what God can give me. When Deception initially came to me, I was afraid to do TV because it’s a huge time commitment and you’ll potentially be playing the same character for several years. And for at least six months of the year you’re away from your family in a different state or even a different country.
I had all of these stipulations about what the situation had to be in order for me to do television. When the opportunity for me to star in Deception presented itself, it was everything I said it had to be, so I knew it was God. When it ended, I was very thankful because it created so many other opportunities for me in the process. Deception opened the door for Minority Report as well as my role in Anchor Man 2: The Legend Continues. God wanted me to have those different roles to be able to build a platform where I could be more affective as a Christian.
Deception allowed people to see me in a really different light. At the time, I had just gotten married and being away from my family I had a lot of time to grow personally and professionally. So I wasn’t disappointed when the show got canceled because I knew God had something else lined up. Similarly with Minority Report, I asked God for certain things within the role and it was everything I said it needed to be. It’s a testament to not settling. I would rather not work than to do something that I’m not passionate about.
I’m so excited about Minority Report. This show is definitely the hardest I’ve ever worked but it’s been an incredible experience. I trust God so much that even if my decisions don’t make sense to other people, I know that God knows what He’s doing.
Good’s comments are interesting to me. Before this interview, I would have thought she preferred the sex kitten roles. It always seemed to me that she was so anxious to break away from the child actress label that she went for the sexy route. Hell, even when she wasn’t in a movie, Good’s red carpet choices were sexy. We all remember the dress she wore to the BET Awards, pictured above. And she was presenting a gospel award.
This whole discussion reminds me of an episode of “Tia and Tamera” where Tamera told Tia that she was tired of being typecast as the innocent, sweet girl. Tia just looked at her and laughed saying, well maybe you should stop going to auditions wearing Shirley Temple curls.
Hollywood, and society at large, is shallow, always attempting to put people in one box or another. I’m sure this applies even more so to Black women who are just now being offered roles that are more complex and whole.
It’ll be interesting to see if Good ever breaks out of this “sex kitten” pigeon hole.
You can read her full interview with the LA Sentinel, here.
For decades, Whites actors and actresses have been cast to play people of color in Hollywood, making whitewashing a very nasty habit in Tinsel Town. But these Black actors managed to turned the table and were selected to star in traditionally White roles.
Michael B. Jordan
Comic book fans everywhere were in an uproar when Michael B. Jordan was selected to play Johnny Storm in the reboot of The Fantastic Four. But Chris Evans, who first played the role a decade earlier, gave Jordan his stamp of approval in hopes to appease loyal fans. The film tanked anyway at the box office and studio executives hope the sequel, which had already been announced, can salvage the franchise.
Taraji P. Henson is truly one of a kind. She possesses that rare quality that makes you feel like she could be a member of your family, a friend you grew up with or one of your best friends. But she just so happens to be one of the most successful actresses in Hollywood. Today, we celebrate Henson’s 45th birthday (seriously?!) by taking a look at 10 moments when the star absolutely slayed us.
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith are one of the most prolific and successful couples in Hollywood. And despite rumors of swinging, infidelity, and impending divorce, they remain a shining example of Black love in Tinseltown. Together, they have raised a family in which their daughter Willow and their son Jaden have been able to become empowered and unique artists; even if their point of views are oft-applauded and denounced in the culture. And while trying to be the best parents possible, Will has still found time to reignite his film career, and Jada has remained a constant in television and movies. She has had a banner year so far with her roles in the hit Fox series Gotham and her scene-stealing turn as “Rome” in Magic Mike XXL.
Will and Jada have never given anyone reason to think that their marriage is in the dumps. And yet, they are so often plagued with rumors of a split that Will, who virtually ignores any and all rumors about his family, finally spoke out about the situation. He said this on his Facebook page on Monday:
Under normal circumstances, I don’t usually respond to foolishness. (Because it’s contagious) But, so many people have extended me their “deepest condolences” that I figured – “What the hell… I can be foolish, too!”
So, in the interest of redundant, repetitious, over & over-again-ness… Jada and I are…
NOT GETTING A DIVORCE!!!!!!!!!!!!! : -)
I promise you all – if I ever decide to divorce my Queen – I SWEAR I’ll tell you myself!
#Dumb People Should Have to Wear Scarlet D’s
A short while later, Jada hopped on social media to support her husband’s statement with a simple response:
My king has spoken.
— Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) August 3, 2015
And if that weren’t confirmation enough, Willow tweeted out her thoughts on the constant reports:
The media thinks my parents are getting divorced like every second hahaha !
— Willy (@OfficialWillow) August 4, 2015
The family delivered the ultimate “Bye Felicia” to the rumors. Will dropped that Facebook message and then went on and partied at the OVO Fest with Kanye and Drake. Jada threw on a bikini and flaunted her flawless figure on a beach in Hawaii, completely unbothered. So with the death of that latest rumor, fellow media outlets, haters, and naysayers, can you finally leave Will and Jada alone?
The entertainment dynasty they’re creating is important. To see Will Smith be a caring Black father and husband while maintaining his position among Hollywood’s elite is necessary as we often don’t see many positive representations of the Black family in entertainment. To see them support their daughter who is quickly becoming a role model by choosing to stay true to her unique look and perspective is important. Watching Jaden become a young international star and an individual who motivates young people to think outside the box is a beautiful thing. There’s been no family like the Smiths, and whether you hate them or love them, they’re living their lives their way and doing nothing to hurt others. That’s why it’s maddening that the media has been on a mission to split Will and Jada up for so long. It is the plight of the A-list star. Once you become very successful and your fame elevates to a prominent level, the media seeks to find a chink in your armor in order to feed the obsessive public. Many people like to watch people reach success, but a lot of people really enjoy watching the mighty fall. And while we’ve seen the end of several long-term A-list celebrity marriages within the last year—Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale, and Chris Rock and Malaak Compton—I am thrilled that Will and Jada are not a part of that list.
No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors. At the end of the day, I’m going to take Will and Jada’s social media word as bond. If the day comes where they say they are splitting up, I’ll believe it. If they say they’re staying together and they love each other, as they have, then I believe it, and I champion it. May we see more examples of prominent Black love in Hollywood in the future.
And while celebrity marriages are ending quicker than Meek Mill’s rap career, the Smiths have put their collective feet on the ground and set the record straight. Now, can they live?
It’s pretty common to see a male celeb dating a younger woman. In fact, it’s expected. But nowadays celeb women are looking for their own PYT (pretty young things), and we are so here for it. Check out these 15 celeb women who are getting their cougar on!
We all know that Hollywood is a weird place. But is it cursed? These stories sound out there. But these stars say the evidence speaks for itself. These are superstitions and “curses” that people believe to be true.