All Articles Tagged "Hollywood"
Black Folks And The State Of Comedy: On Kevin Hart, The Lack Of Black Female Representation On SNL, And Black Men In Drag
Kevin Hart on gay jokes:
“The repercussions for saying certain words are harsh, and careers have been shut down. I can understand how people could be affected by certain words and slurs. I get it. My way of showing respect is to not play around with it, not mention it, not joke with it at all. I understand how serious it is.”
Now Kevin Hart on jokes about dark-skinned women:
“People are stupid. This is something so minute. If you are a Kevin Hart fan, you know exactly what I talk about and how I talk… Last time I checked, I’m as black as a doggone oil can. How can I be racist against what I am? Women, y’all just go off the deep end. Y’all kill me with this whole light skin/dark skin thing… Kevin talks about everybody. Nobody is left off limits… ”
Obviously Kevin Hart doesn’t believe that the “showing of respect” he has graciously extended to the GLBTQA [Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Allied] communities equally applies to that of black women. Obviously Hart is full of crap and his temperance for the GLBTQA communities is probably based more on concerns about the threat that saying the wrong thing might have on his career rather than actual genuine respect. Duly noted.
Speaking of black women and respect; why are there no sisters on Saturday Night Live? Not since Maya Rudolph has a black woman, or half-black woman, graced the comedic stage of the long running sketch comedy series. In fact, there have only been three black female members of SNL, including Ellen Cleghorne and Danitra Vance, in the entire 33 years of the series’ existence. I can understand why some of the more raw comedians like Sommore, Leslie Jones or maybe even Mo’Nique might not seem like a natural fit for the series, which caters to more of a pop audience. However, an Aisha Tyler, or Wanda Sykes or Loni Love can certainly pull off the dry and cheeky humor, which SNL is known for. Heck, Kim Wayans, formerly of In Living Color, and Debra Wilson, formerly of Mad TV, not only have sketch comedy experience, but also have proven that black women can and are in fact, funny too. So the mere fact that our reflection on the popular sketch comedy show is non-existent definitely raises a perfectly arched eyebrow or two.
Or as the website For Harriet said of the issue in December:
In today’s world, Black women are Grammy-award winning pop stars, media moguls, First Ladies, TV show hosts, actresses, sports stars, and more. We are also mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, career women, dreamers, and anything that could be just as funny or as socially relevant as SNL’s current output. To virtually make Black women’s imprint on today’s society non-existent on a platform like SNL is highly negligent in my perspective. Even more cutting is when Black women are parodied, distorted, and exaggerated by Black men in drag. As a Black woman, that only leaves me feeling like the butt of the joke, not an active agent in the humour.
And yet, SNL continues to perpetuate the idea that black women can only be funny if black male comedians in drag are parodying them, such as the case of Kenan Thompson or Kevin Hart, who as first time host of the show last Saturday, donned a blue dress to play Academy Award nominee Quvenzhané Wallis. I sent the clip to many friends, who absolutely hated the sketch. Outside of any offense to Hart’s imitation of Wallis, who has already had a tough few weeks with the whole Onion/c-word incident, there was an undercurrent of anxiety over what is believed to be a conspiracy against black manhood. More specifically, that Hollywood is aiming to feminize black male actors by making them wear a woman’s apparel. This conspiracy against black manhood is a long held belief in some more paranoid circles, however, it has gained traction over the years thanks in part to comedian Dave Chappelle, who appeared on Oprah back in 2006 and spoke very candidly about the time when he was asked, and ultimately declined, to wear a dress for a part in a major motion picture film. His reasoning also involved a belief in the Hollywood/black man in drag conspiracy.
Sure there are black men like Eddie Murphy, Flip Wilson, Martin Lawrence, Jamie Foxx, Wesley Snipes and the entire male half of the Wayans family who have all explored their feminine side for the purpose of a few laughs. But to be fair, men across the racial line like Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hanks, John Travolta, Robin Williams, Michael J. Fox, etc…have all rocked a skirt and heels too. Hollywood seems to have a strange relationship with men in drag period. For some reason, it is supposed to be funny. Or as Chris Rock once said:
“I mean, hey, lots of comedians dress up like women, not just Black. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book. Men in drag…There was Mrs. Doubtfire. [Adam] Sandler’s next movies is Jack and Jill. He plays his brother and sister. [The Black community] doesn’t have that many movies, so if there’s only four Black movies in a year and two of them star Black men in dresses, I could see how that would upset some people. But that’s a job for some people. Tyler Perry is great in a dress, but I don’t want to see Denzel or Will Smith in a dress. And I don’t think we’re in any danger of seeing that.”
It’s a cheap laugh – although a stupid and sexist one. If anybody should be offended it should be women, who have to sit around and watch men reinforce certain stereotypical images (particularly the finger snapping, eye-rolling flamboyantly dressed black woman) and basically have to endure what is best described as the gender equivalent of black face – or if the character happens to be black: blackface. So before we can talk about Hollywood’s nefarious grand scheme to feminize black men, let’s not ignore how black women have been completely censured, mis-characterized and eventually erased comically not just by the white decision makers, who deny them platforms, but also with assistance from our very own black brothers, who seem more than willing to sell out our image for a check. Perhaps I am making a big deal out of what is just a joke. However, as Hart says, there are repercussions for offensive material and perhaps for all the talk about “respect,” it’s about time that black women start demanding some of our own.
Race-bending is the common Hollywood practice of changing the race or ethnicity of a character to produce a movie. This can be done to give a leading role to an A-list actor or even to make a movie more “acceptable” to audiences – and yes, sometimes blackface is a part of this ya’ll. Thankfully, we can take comfort in knowing that race-bending isn’t always offensive. Click through to see what we mean.
Everyone In The Last Airbender
“Racebending” became an actual term following outrage over casting choices for the 2010 film The Last Airbender. Instead of hiring Asian actors to play the lead roles, as the source material called for, producers cast four white actors as leads, and just one Indian actor as – you guessed it, the villain.
Tags:a beautiful mind, a mighty heart, blackface, Breakfast At Tiffany's, Cloud Atlas, Elizabeth Taylor, halle berry, Hollywood, jake gyllenhaal, john wayne, mickey rooney, prince of persia racebending, racebending, racebending actors, racebending controversy, racebending movies, racebending roles, the conqueror, white actors who played black roles
If you don’t hear them, don’t worry: I’m sure you saw the “look at the ring” picture.
After dating for just under a year, actor Rockmond Dunbar and his girlfriend, actress Maya Gilbert, are engaged to be married. The 42 year old actor popped the question while the two were in Montego Bay, Jamaica on Decmeber 30th.
The happy couple were spotted Saturday on the red carpet for the 44th NAACP Image Awards Nominee’s Luncheon. They got a tad bit PG-13 when they gave each other a kiss which ended in a bit of a tongue exercise.
The ring is a 5 carat cushion cut fancy yellow diamond set in 18k gold accompanied with 21 cushion cut diamonds to complete the 5 carat band. All in all, its a 10 carat total weight engagement ring. Well, alright then!
Known for his role as Kenny on Soul Food,” Dunbar has been gushing all over his Facebook page since he announced that “she aid yes.” They’ve also entered a contest to win a celebrity designer wedding at the Empire State Building in New York City and a honeymoon to Anguilla.
Not much is known about Gilbert but she’s mostly known for her role in Zane’s The Sex Chronicles. She can also be seen on the upcoming GMC series, For Richer or Poorer, which also stars Dunbar.
This will be Rockmond’s second marriage. He was married to Ivy Holmes from 2003-2006. He has no children.
Actress Vivica A. Fox hasn’t given up on finding her dream guy.
At 48, Fox says she’s single and loving it. In a recent interview with EURweb, the star, whose 10-month engagement to 29-year-old club promoter Omar “Slimm” White ended abruptly in 2011, opens up about the value of holding out for the right man.
“I’m gonna wait for Mr. Right to come along and take my time,” Fox said. “I’m just enjoying just having a little me time, you know? But it’s not that I’m not taking applications.”
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, Auntie Viv. You can check out the rest over on Essence.
There are few people in this world who can say they’ve made it to a certain level in their careers without hard work and perhaps, someone who didn’t mind lending a helping hand.
Oscar winner Octavia Spencer has taken it upon herself to lend that hand in her industry. EURweb is reporting that Spencer is currently holding a contest on her Facebook page for aspiring filmmakers. She explained that she knows the struggle of “making it big” in the industry because it was the same way with her and many of her friends. As she stated:
“What many people don’t know is that it takes an average of 15 years to become an over night success. At least that’s how long it took me and my friends. But, in that time you must create and continue to hone your skills. If you are a musician, write poetry and turn it into an amazing song. If you are a filmmaker write a short and shoot it. I’ve done it twice now. I know it’s not easy. Two of my friends shot beautiful, award winning shorts on the CANON EOS 60D. One of those films was shortlisted to potentially receive an Oscar nomination yesterday. Trust me I know money is tight. So, in honor of Award Season, I’d like to help someone else see their dream realized.”
Each film, which must be in short form, must be posted right on her page and cannot exceed 20 minutes in length. All filmmakers can enter as many films as they’d like but can only submit each film once. The winner will receive a Canon EOS 60D, Platinum 6000 digital tripod and $1,000. The second and third place winners will receive $500 and $250, respectively.
All entries must be submitted before February 10th and the winner will be announced during Oscar weekend (the show will air live on February 24th).
This is a wonderful thing Spencer is doing. Not only is she encouraging up and coming artists by sharing her story (which clearly hasn’t been easy), but she’s also doing her part to further a filmmaker’s talents. There’s something to be said for a person who sees that their success can be used to build up someone else.
If you’ve got a film or have been thinking about making one, get to it and submit!
When you’re looking for a reunion of some sorts, it’s probably never a good idea to put it out in public.
According to the National Enquirer, Jamie Foxx’s father, Shaheed Abdullah (his former name was Darrell Bishop), has been trying to get in touch with the actor for years but Foxx will not return his calls. His father is now very sick and is still looking to speak to his son.
This was all told to the Enquirer by Abdullah’s wife, Hellema. She says that her husband now has scar tissue on his lungs and is on oxygen everyday but is still hoping to end the feud. As she states, “We’ve called Jamie several times over the years and left hundreds of messages. But he has never returned our calls. I just wish Jamie would call.”
Foxx has told the story many times in the past that he was raised by his grandparents (his mother’s adoptive parents) after both of his parents abandoned him. While they continued to live close to him, neither parent had a hand in Foxx’s upbringing. In fact, Foxx credits his grandparents, particularly his grandmother, in making him into the man he is today.
A source said Foxx and his father kept in touch which his father for many years due to his grandmother’s encouragement. However, that ended in 2004 when his grandmother passed away. The source says Jamie is getting revenge on his father for abandoning him when he was young.
During an interview with Oprah last month, Jamie revealed that his mother Louise and her ex-husband live with him so Hellema wonders why he’s helping her but holding a grudge against his dad.
While that may be a valid question, it is irrelevant in trying to repair a relationship. No matter how old a person may be, they may never forget how they were treated as children, especially by their parents.
What do you think? Should Jamie give his father a call and get to the full root of their problems? Should his father just forgive himself for what he’s done and move on?
Well, when you’ve filmed three movies back to back to back, it’s no wonder Leonardo DiCaprio is about to take some time off.
Now, before you start screaming at your computer screen with the “Why is this news” question, let me just put it on the table: in the month that Django Unchained has been in theaters, I’ve noticed that black women – many being part of our Madame readership – have been very vocal about their love for Leo. Seriously, he’s apparently one of the actors we (collectively so it’s okay if this doesn’t apply to your directly) love – for his looks and his talent – so that’s the long and short of why we’re sharing.
Cool? Cool, let’s carry on!
According to Celebuzz, the critically acclaimed actor told Germany’s Daily Bild that he is desperate need of a break saying, ““I am a bit drained. I’m now going to take a long, long break. I’ve done three films in two years and I’m just worn out.” We can see why: after wrapping up Django Unchained, he went on to film The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street.
DiCaprio says he hasn’t really seen his home or any of his friends in that time.
So what’s he going to do with this time off? Well, apparently he’s a semi-environmentalist:
“I would like to improve the world a bit. I will fly around the world doing good for the environment. My roof is covered with solar panels. My car is electric. A normal person does not drive more than 50 kilometers (31 miles) a day. That can be done with a plug.”
Well, who knew Leo was all about going green! Of course, flying around the world probably doesn’t help the environment but we certainly get his point.
It’s always good to be able to work hard and be rewarded for it by taking some time off. But we’ve got to wonder if part of the break comes from the fact that neither the Academy members, who are responsible for choosing Oscar winners, nor the Screen Actors Guild, responsible for choosing SAG winners, have ever rewarded DiCaprio for his immense talent. He’s also only won one Golden Globe award for his role in The Aviator.
It looks like 2013 may be the last time we see DiCaprio on the big screen for some time. It’s cool, Leo, take your break.
Hollywood has made a comeback—at least at the box office. News out of Tinseltown is that Hollywood expects to end the year with its best-ever U.S. box office. If moviegoers continue going to the theaters at the current clip, Hollywood will celebrate a record breaking $10.8 billion take, domestically. Hollywood is counting on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a Warner Bros. release, to lure millions to the theaters. That film opened high this weekend, as expected. It earned $84.7 million domestically. Ultimately, The Hobbit could rake in, according to industry experts, up to $450 million Stateside. But, some black films added their share to Hollywood’s bottom line for 2012.
Other Christmastime films are expected to do big business as well, including Weinstein Co.’s Django Unchained, with Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington. The movie is expected to pull in $100 million-plus.
Some African-American films pulled in high box office numbers this year, such as Think Like A Man, which debuted at number one when it opened. According to BET, “Despite conventional wisdom to the contrary, Black films have a long history of coming in No. 1 at the box office. Think Like a Man is just the latest, scoring a $33 million opening weekend and knocking Hunger Games out of the top spot.”
Last year box office totals reached $9.49 billion by this time, while in 2009 — a benchmark year at the domestic box office with $10.6 billion total, reports Variety. Year-to-date ticket sales are six percent better than 2011, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. “If that pace holds, 2012 admissions would end at 1.36 billion, making it only the third (and largest) uptick since 2002, which tallied 1.57 billion,” according to Variety.
Do you have plans to see Django Unchained? Here are a few others that you might be excited about.
Hollywood hottie Nia Long and R&B crooner Tyrese have teamed up with Johnson and Johnson to deliver health services and educational information to expecting and new moms. The pair is promoting a new Text4baby campaign, a free mobile health service that sends critical health and safety education messages directly to participant’s cell phones.
“I was raised by a single parent growing up in South Central, Los Angeles,” said Tyrese. “It is an honor to be part of this program to help reach mothers, who through all of life’s adversity, put the health of their children first.”
Moms-to-be who sign up for the Text4baby service will receive three text messages per week throughout their pregnancy and baby’s first year tailored to their due date and the developmental stage of the child.
Very nice! You can see the full details of the campaign over on ESSENCE.
Congratulations are in order for actor Donald Faison and Jessica Simpson’s former personal assistant, CaCee Cobb! People confirm the two were married on Saturday afternoon at actor Zach Braff’s home. He and Faison were co-stars on NBC’s Scrubs.
Faison and Cobb have been together since 2006, a year after Cobb came to “fame” after appearing on then couple Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson’s reality show, Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica. Faison, of course, has maintained quite the acting career with credits including Clueless and Waiting to Exhale.
Jessica Simpson served as a bridesmaid for Cobb as they not only worked together but are best friends. The entire Simpson family, including Joe Simpson who has seen better days in the media, were in attendance. It has also been reported that other celebrities were there but no one but Simpson was identified.
The two were engaged in August 2011. This is the first marriage for 35 year old Cobb and the second for 38 year old Faison. In addition, Faison has four children: three with his ex-wife, Lisa Askey and another from a previous relationship.
We wish them all the best!