All Articles Tagged "scandal"

So We Missed The Memo That “Scandal” Isn’t Coming Back This Fall

May 31st, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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Start thinking about what to do with your Thursday evenings this fall because you’re going to have more free time than before. No longer will you have to rush home for three hours of Shondaland because Scandal is going on hiatus.

Somehow we missed this news when it was announced earlier this month, but according to Entertainment Weekly, the series that sparked the #TGIT movement has been pushed to midseason and won’t return until Spring 2017.

Kerry Washington’s pregnancy was likely the impetus for the change, though new ABC chief Channing Dungey hinted that wasn’t the only reason. “We did have to make some adjustments to Scandal for a variety of reasons that had to do with the production schedule,” he stated.

If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, you’ll still have reason to rush home, as the show will be back in its 8pm time slot this fall, with How To Get Away with Murder also returning at 10 pm. Filling the void Scandal leaves behind is the new, non-Shondaland project Notorious, a drama that delves into the intertwined world of criminal law and the media, based on the real-lives of criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos and cable news producer Wendy Walker, who serve as executive producers.

Will you tune in to Notorious at 9pm or hold out for Scandal next year?


After Yet Another Alleged Scandal, Is It Time For Jamal Bryant To Step Down?

May 18th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Is It Time Jamal Bryant Step Down?


A couple of months ago, I signed up for this app called ROHO. Basically, every morning ROHO, which was created by a Black man, texts me the link to sermons from ministers all over the country. All of them are good, quite good and a great way for me to start the day off with my mind focused on the right things.

One morning, after clicking on the link, I saw that today’s sermon came courtesy of Pastor Jamal Bryant. Immediately, all the stories we’ve covered about Jamal Bryant flashed through my head. Adultery, alleged sex with a minor, “these hoes ain’t loyal.”

I didn’t know if I’d be able to enjoy a message from Bryant with all of the scandal I associated with his name. But for one reason or another, I decided to listen anyway.

And the sermon was better than good, it was excellent. Titled “I Am Significant,” it was about knowing who you are in God and allowing that knowledge to shape your life and help you follow your dreams. If you need to hear a message like that, I would suggest you listen.

After I listened, I understood why after his scandal, people were still flocking to his church. I understood why the women in his church were literally running when he said “These hoes ain’t loyal.” (It wouldn’t have been me but I understand it.) As church folk say, he’s anointed. And I thought, you know just because he messed up, doesn’t mean he should no longer be allowed to exercise his gift. As Christians we’re supposed to see ourselves in everyone else, love them in spite of themselves and forgive. And it seems like Bryant’s congregation was able to do just that. That’s Christianity in practice.

But according to recent headlines, and a few seemingly credible receipts, it would seem that Bryant still needs to put some other Christian principles into action, particularly if he’s going to continue standing in front of his congregation and Christians across this country, representing God and His word.

If you haven’t heard, Bryant allegedly fathered a child out of wedlock.

According to The Christian Post, Bryant had a sexual relationship with 34-year-old California woman, Latoya Shawntee Odom. Odom told Obnoxious Television that during the course of her relationship with Bryant, she got pregnant. She claimed that when Bryant learned of the pregnancy, he asked her to get an abortion but she refused and gave birth last July to a now 10-month-old John Karston Bryant.

With Bryant’s past, there are a quite a few women who could be persuaded to step forward with these types of allegations. But Odom also came forward with paternity test results from LB Genetics.

The last page of the results said:

“The alleged father, Jamal Harrison Bryant, cannot be excluded as the biological father of the child, John Karston Bryant, since they share genetic markers. Using the above systems, the probability of paternity is 99.9999%, as compared to an untested, unrelated man of the Black population…”

With his name swirling around yet again, Bryant took to his Periscope to address Odom’s allegations.

The broadcast has since expired but the words were recorded and continue to live on the internet. After saying that his lawyers have advised him not to share details with the public, he said:

Over the last week, a lot has been said and a lot has been suggested and like you I was thrown into a tailspin. I had to shut down for a minute so that my response would not be that of a man but be priestly as a man of God. To that end, let me say to you I am one of those rare people who are flawed with character. That with all of my issues I don’t run from them I stand right next to them. Those of you who have been with me you are fully aware that some eight, nine years now, I went through a divorce and claimed all of it my responsibility. The worst mistake you can ever make is to repeat the exact same mistake.

The last time I went through something, I shut down, wouldn’t talk to anybody, tried to in fact deal with it all by myself but I understand that there is strength in numbers. The issues, pertaining and surrounding the allegations are in the middle of a legal discourse that preclude me from going into any depth to talk about it. But let me say to you, while many things have been said about me, running is not one of them, I stand on God’s word that he is my battle-ax and my butler and I bear witness His grace is sufficient and his mercy endures.

Thank God He’s merciful for Bryant and for the rest of us too. I’m not here to sit low and still have the nerve to look down on others. We all fall short. Still, I believe God’s messengers are held to a higher standard because they bear the greater responsibility of fostering spiritual growth and development. If Pastor Bryant is as anointed as I believe him to be, there’s no doubt that God has been speaking to him about his temptation. And since it’s something he hadn’t dealt with yet, it might be time for him to retreat from the public eye and spend more private time with God, getting stronger in his spirituality.

Every time Bryant’s name has been in the news for something less than holy, he’s attempted to defend himself in the public eye, calling out news outlets and whatnot. Years later, it’s evident that there was more pressing, more personal, spiritual work that needed to be done and apologies he needed to offer instead of being so concerned about public opinion and “rumors.”

I don’t say that to mean he should never preach again. Because he does have a gift from God. And the Bible is full of people who’ve messed up and have gone on to do great things for the Lord. Jamal Bryant could be one of those people. But it would appear that there are some steps that need to be taken before that reemergence can happen.

Olivia, Mindy & Annalise: TV’s Best-Dressed Women

April 29th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

In addition to running the world and being badasses in their respective fields, some of our favorite TV characters have the added bonus of being fashion mavens.  Icons, in some cases.  That especially comes with the territory when you’re the lead of a hit show.  Whether they’re running political campaigns, delivering babies or trying to get back in the good graces of a musical dynasty, these dynamic women maintain their style with ease.  A style that reflects their uniqueness and individuality, as no two characters are alike.  So here’s a list of some of the best-dressed women on TV right now.  Did your favorites make the cut?


Olivia Pope

There’s a reason why The Limited came out with an Olivia Pope collection in 2014.  She’s a high-powered businesswoman who doesn’t take no for an answer, and that quality is reflected in her clothing.  Though Pope mostly wears neutral shades, every cut that adorns her frame is infused with just the right touch of flair.

Why Olivia And Fitz Can’t Be Together

March 16th, 2016 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Mellie was out of the way and it looked Olivia and Fitz could finally be together. Like, for real. The most obvious obstacle standing in the way of their love and much-talked-about future in Vermont—Fitz’s wife—was gone. Yet somehow, they still fell apart. But why? During a panel event at the Paley Center for Media’s 33rd Annual PaleyFest, Scandal’s mastermind, Shonda Rhimes, broke it down.

According to Glamour, Miss Shonda explained that Olivia is on a journey and that journey is about much more than what man she allows her heart to become entangled with. Olivia’s purpose isn’t to be “an appendage” of Fitz.

“Olivia is on a journey,” Shonda shared. “She has been on a journey since we started. It’s interesting to me that it’s a romance, that her primary story is a romance—that’s what you’ve seen. But to me, her primary story has been discovering herself. I’m happy that you have fallen in love with Fitz because that’s the journey that Olivia went on. She got the fantasy and then discovered the fantasy wasn’t real. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t love Fitz, but it means Olivia does not know who she is yet. The idea that they’re together under the circumstances of which they were together—move into the White House and [sort of] become Mellie—is a farce. Mellie was miserable in that role. That [Olivia] was going to surrender every piece of who she was to be an appendage of [Fitz] was never going to work. For Olivia, the breaking free of that, while painful, was the first step in realizing that’s not who she is supposed to be.”

Apparently, Fitz is also on journey; however, it may be a while before we witness the full manifestation of that journey. Right now, he’s busy behaving like a h-rny high school jock.



TV’s Most “Woke” Shows 

March 16th, 2016 - By Nneka Samuel
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Who says television can’t be woke?  Network, cable and streaming services like Netflix are proving that the content we consume can entertain while addressing issues like racism, social injustice, police brutality, sexism, classism and more head on.  The result?  Thought-provoking, intelligent, engaging content that keeps viewers tuned in week after week and season after season, while bucking longstanding cultural norms, delving into issues in ways that traditional media can’t, or rather, won’t, and seeking positive, lasting change.  Are you watching?

Image Source: NBC

Image Source: NBC

The Carmichael Show

Salon recently named Jerrod Carmichael, star, and creator of NBC’s The Carmichael Show, the most important comedian in America.  The sitcom, now in its second season, uses humor to tackle issues of social and political importance, and all through the lens of a Black, working-class family.  The show, the likes of which we haven’t seen in a long time, has discussed everything from #BlackLivesMatter to transgender issues and even Bill Cosby.  The varied perspectives of The Carmichael Show’s diverse characters always welcome and encourage debate.

ABC Renews Shonda Rhimes’ Entire TGIT Lineup

March 6th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Image Source: Splash News

Image Source: Splash News

Guess what? If Thursday nights were already your favorite weekday to tune into broadcast television, things just got even better.

Earlier this week, ABC’s new entertainment president, Channing Dungey handed out early renewals of several series — including multiple shows from outside studios, according to The Hollywood ReporterNot to mention, prized producer and writer Shonda Rhimes’ entire TGIT or “Thank God It’s Thursday” lineup was also brought back too: Grey’s AnatomyScandal and How to Get Away with Murder.

America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, Black-ish, Dancing With the Stars, Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, Agents of SHIELD, The Middle, Modern Family, Once Upon a Time, Shark Tank and Quantico were announced for renewal as well for the 2016-17 season.

“We’re very proud of our strong roster of performers, and we’re excited about what they will bring us creatively next season,” Dungey said in a statement to Variety.

What else can we say? Congratulations are certainly in order for our gal Shonda!

From Olivia Pope & Associates To Central Perk: TV And Movie Hangouts You Can Visit In Real Life

February 19th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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As the weather starts to warm up, we’ll all be thinking about using up some of those well-earned vacation days. But instead of the usual cruise or wine tour, why not switch things up this year by visiting one of these TV and movie hangouts?

From Craig’s house from Friday to the bar from Grey’s Anatomy, these accessible locations will make you feel like you’re really on set. Or, at least, they will give you some Instagrammable moments when you post up outside. But be sure to plan ahead. Some of these locations require appointment times to actually get inside.

Image Source: BET

Image Source: BET

Mary Jane’s House from Being Mary Jane

If the BET show Being Mary Jane gave you serious house goals, you’re not alone. And you’re not the only person dying to see this beautiful house in person. You can drive by the gated home, called the Ridgewood House, in Atlanta. But it’s privately owned and it’s unlikely that you’ll be invited inside. However, you can take a virtual tour from the comfort of your own living room.

The Breakup Of Olitz: When Having A Man Causes You To Lose Yourself

November 20th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: ABC

Source: ABC

I just have to be real. For the past season and a half, “Scandal” has not had the same allure to me. I know I’m not the only one who feels the same way. I just so happen to tweet for MadameNoire during the show and I saw how the response and reaction to the show went from boiling hot to less than lukewarm, damn near cold.

But I kept tweeting. Partially because I was desperately hoping it would come back around and also because I wanted to see how much further Fitz and Olivia could go. Frankly, the back and forth the two of them go through was working my very last nerve. Week after week, I rooted for Olivia to get her mind right and go ahead and be with Jake, decent man–or as decent as they come on that show–who loved her.

But the heart wants what it wants and Olivia’s heart wanted Fitz.

And personally, I couldn’t stand it.

You might think I had a moral conflict with their adulterous love affair. But that wasn’t it. One, I never thought Fitz was of sound moral character and their dreams of being together were just that, dreams…of the pipe variety.

So, needless to say, the last few weeks of the show, watching Olivia admit, in front of television cameras, to sleeping with the president, seeing Mellie sign divorce papers and be callously thrown out of her own house only to have Olivia moved in, deeply irritated me.

Despite all their wishing and hoping and thinking and praying, I knew from the season 1 of “Scandal” that there was just no feasible way for Fitz and Olivia to be together and be simultaneously happy.

Last night, both Fitz and Olivia realized this. And while I’m sure Team Olitz mourned the ending of their relationship, I rejoiced.

In the same way you rejoice when your homegirl finally realizes the man she’s been going back and forth with since high school is just no good (for her or just generally speaking).

All the signs have been there. But it wasn’t until Olivia got a taste of what she’d always wanted that she realized, nah.

Olivia who was introduced to us as a bawse was looking like a shadow of herself running elusive cookie recipes all over Washington D.C. while Mellie hosted a 16 hour filibuster that stopped the senate from potentially defunding Planned Parenthood. That’s the type of change Olivia is known for, but being with Fitz doesn’t afford her those type of luxuries.

And what’s so interesting is that all this time, Olivia and Fitz both acted like Mellie was always underfoot, scheming and naive. They never acknowledged her sacrifices unless they were getting ready to ask her for another favor. It wasn’t until Olivia got a chance to live Mellie’s life that she felt herself shrinking into irrelevancy.

Last night, was the first time in the show’s history that they really talked about the ways in which Fitz selfishly manipulates everyone–man and woman alike– in his life to keep himself soothed and in power. Instead of having a discussion with Olivia about how he really felt about her releasing Daddy Pope from prison, instead he moved her into the White House without asking her whether she wanted this or not. She didn’t. But as it often is with Fitz, it wasn’t about her, it was about him. It’s always about him.

And as such, Olivia never really understood all that Mellie had to sacrifice to keep Fitz content. She was the one who had to deal with the alcoholic, the quick-tempered, mean spirited, neglectful man. Meanwhile Olivia got the thrill-seeking, “we can do it anywhere,” romantic who went to war in order to rescue her and was always full of sweet-sounding but empty promises. And that’s cute…I guess. But it’s not anything anyone can hold on to in the real world. Last night, when Fitz told Olivia that she only wanted him when he was unavailable, she responded perfectly, “I don’t know you available.”

Whew Jesus!

Truer words have never been spoken.

People love to write “Scandal” off as some type of beacon of hope for side chick’s around the world. But I’ve never seen it as such. Olivia has never been happy in her relationship status. She was always hiding, always running scared, thinking she might be exposed. She couldn’t step out in the street and hold her man’s hand. She went to an empty apartment at night and drank wine when she really wanted to live in a house in Vermont and make jam. Homegirl was in constant pain not being able to be with the man she loved. And sadly enough, the man she loved just wasn’t the right one. Because when she finally got a chance to give their relationship a shot, she realized she would have to sacrifice the only thing that’s fulfilled her and given her purpose in D.C., her job.

This is not about women not being able to have it all. This is about Olivia not being able to have it all with that particular man. It was ill fated from jump street.

And as fictional as Olivia and Fitz’s lives are, watching that breakup scene was like watching so many of our lives, including my own, play out on the television screen. Sometimes we’re so busy and so dead set on having a man that we don’t realize what we’re sacrificing to get him. And hopefully, we realize, like Olivia, that having him is not worth losing yourself.

The Black And White Of Interracial Relationships On TV

November 13th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Recently, there’s been some controversy surrounding the depiction of interracial relationships as seen in popular TV shows like Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project, and a lot of Shonda Rhimes’s shows, including Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder.

While people are thrilled to finally see people who look like them on TV, many wonder why so many of these shows feature characters exclusively pining for and dating White men and women?

Since The Mindy Project debuted in the fall of 2012, many people have called Kaling into question about the lack of diversity on and behind the scenes of her show. On the program, Kaling plays Mindy Lahiri, a charming ob/gyn who is looking for love straight out of a rom-com. Lahiri exclusively lusts after and dates White men and is surrounded by a predominantly White cast of characters. People quickly noticed this and called Kaling out, and she responded to the backlash by going on the defensive. In a 2013 interview with Entertainment Weekly, Kaling stated, “Do people really wonder on other shows if female leads are dating multicultural people? Like I owe it to every race and minority and beleaguered person. I have to become the United Nations of shows?”

Aziz Ansari, the popular comedian from NBC’s Parks & Recreation, recently premiered the first season of his semi-autobiographical comedy series, Masters of None, on Netflix. The show is being lauded for showcasing the unique experiences and points of view of South Asians, Black women, Taiwanese men and their parents. But on the show, Ansari’s character, Dev, is a twentysomething looking for love, and it appears he can only find it with White women. While Ansari manages to tell an engaging story with underrepresented minorities, his character specific interest in White women brings his progressive edge to a halt.

And over in Shondaland, we have watched Olivia Pope ping-pong between Jake and Fitz for several seasons, leading many fans of color to question Rhimes’s fixation with mostly Black and White interracial romances. A brief dalliance between Pope and the extremely frigid senator, Edison Davis, was the character’s only foray into the land of Black men (her involvement with Brian White’s Franklin Russell was just a brief sexual relationship) and it ended with her back in the arms of the White love of her life. Some celebrate the fact that a powerful Black woman is depicted in a relationship with a powerful White man on network TV, as these images have never been seen in this light.  Others wonder why Rhimes’s characters rarely date any other people of color (aside from the relationship of Dr. Cristina Yang and Dr. Preston Burke on Grey’s Anatomy). From Private Practice to HTGAWM‘s Annalise Keating to a bevy of doctors from Seattle Grace, there does seem to be a pattern: Many Shondaland characters are a part of interracial relationships, but most of those relationships are between POCs and White people.

And ABC’s shows feature more interracial relationships than any other network. Their newest hit drama Quantico focuses on Alex Parrish, an Indian woman and FBI recruit, who is romantically involved with one of her fellow trainees, a White man. Even the character of a young Eddie Huang, the Chinese pre-teen from Fresh Off the Boat, exclusively crushes on White girls.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with interracial dating/love/marriage. It is a sign of our times that this type of love can be shown in a positive light on network TV. But one question hangs in the air:

Why have White people become the default race for the love interest of characters of color on TV?

Is it because the network demands that White people be featured in some romantic capacity so the White viewing public can find someone to connect with? Are those behind Master of None scared that if Ansari dated another South Asian then people wouldn’t be able to connect with it? That if Olivia Pope fell in love with a Black man then it would become a Black show, and they would lose their audience? Or is it because the show’s creators have their own preferences and they call the shots? But what message is it conveying when these shows exclude the possibility of interracial relationships with their POC leads and Latinos, Asians, and Middle Easterners?

In the end, these decisions are made by the people in charge of these shows. They are free to cast anyone they’d like as love interests for their characters. But there is no denying that there is an obvious pattern when it comes to their casting choices. Since there only a handful of shows on network television that feature POC as leads, and are led by people of color, the showrunners shouldn’t be surprised that they have to answer to certain expectations from viewers who look like them. While they may not like being questioned about their decisions for their work, they should know that as long as the pattern continues, people will continue to call them out about it.


Boxer In Gay Porn Scandal Says He Was Drugged…Here’s Why We Should Hear Him Out

October 28th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

It’s one of those stories that, on the surface, rings a little bizarre.

Okay it is definitely bizarre…

‎Yusaf Mack, a 35-year-old middleweight boxer from Philadelphia, was caught in a porn scandal involving two other men. The self-professed “whoremonger” who also has 10 children and is set to be married to a woman, tells Jenice Armstrong with the Philadelphia Daily News that he “loves females.” He also says that there is a perfectly valid reason for all of this: he was drugged.

As reported by Armstrong:

“Mack’s saga began earlier this year. Someone reached out to him on Facebook and asked if he would be willing to be in a porn flick. Since he was short on cash, Mack decided to do it.

Sometime in June – he can’t recall exactly when – Mack boarded a train to New York City and made his way to an address in the Bronx. Once inside the apartment where the filming was to take place, he noticed a number of naked women walking around.

“I think, ‘It’s about to go down.’ I needed a drink or something,” Mack told me over the phone. “They gave me a pill and a shot of vodka. I took the pill down with the vodka.”

The next thing he can recall is being on a train at 30th Street Station and someone telling him to wake up.

“I don’t remember getting on the train,” he told me.

But Mack did later notice that he had $4,500 tucked inside his pocket.”

Mack tells Armstrong that he only learned what really happened to him after a friend pulled him aside and confessed that he, as well as much of West Philly, had seen snippets of the porn, which is currently floating around social media.

The boxer also said that he wants “to go after whoever it was that got him into this predicament.” But he can’t remember many pertinent details, like who hired him, who drugged him or even the password to his Facebook account (Mack also told Armstrong that the “Facebook page that he met his porn contact through is inaccessible because he forgot his password”).

He also adds:

“I’m just hurt right now…I can’t really sleep at night, but I’m getting by. . . . Everybody thinks I’m going to hurt myself. I’ve got to stay strong for my children.”

Crazy story, right? Or is it…

I will admit that Mack’s story doesn’t pass the smell test – more on that later. However it does present a good opportunity to talk about the preconceived notions many of us have about a man’s ability to be a victim of sexual assault.

And yes, if what Mack is alleging is true, this was an assault.

Yet, sexual assault that happens to men is often mocked. Or it is looked at as punishment for some other misgiving. Like whenever we joke about prison rape. Very rarely is it treated as a legitimate issue.

This was the case when earlier this year The Huffington Post ran a story about sexual assault against men on college campuses and how those stories are often ignored by not only the administrations at these institutions, but the media itself.

Yet, as reported in the article, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has revealed that “of 5,000 college students at over 130 colleges, one in 25 men answered “yes” to the question ‘In your lifetime have you been forced to submit to sexual intercourse against your will?”

Likewise, other statistics suggest that while 10 percent of reported sexual assaults in the United States, involve men, most sexual assaults go unreported. The reason, according to the website for the Florida Council Against Sexual Assault:

Men and boys are often reluctant to report the crime of sexual assault, or to seek services, because they feel humiliated, shamed or confused by the crime or because they feel that seeking help will make them feel vulnerable or weak. Anyone who has been the victim of a sexual assault needs compassion, sensitivity and caring, and male victims may also have special needs to consider.”

All of this to say that if Mack had been sexually assaulted, this is no laughing matter.

If he had been a victim, it is possible that the reason he had not come forward sooner was out of shame and embarrassment. I mean could you imagine telling that story to your spouse, extended family and friends or even the police? And more importantly, could you imagine the self-blame? After all the stigma is that only gay men can be sexually assaulted.

But rape is about power and control and predators tend to pick people, regardless of sexual orientation, who are vulnerable. And there is nothing more vulnerable than a man hard up for cash.

That’s if his version of events are true.

Since this story has hit the papers (and the Internet), Twitter has produced more evidence that this is not Mack’s first gay porn production. Still, this is also problematic as well. Currently, his twitter mentions are filled with all sorts of homophobic slurs and threats against his life.

If he is lying, shame on him for exploiting rape and for making it a lot harder for men who have been victimized. But even if he is lying, we have to stop shaming people who have yet to come to terms with their own sexual orientations. Not only does it not help them embrace their true selves, it also sends a message to other men who might be watching, and who have been victimized, to feel less secure in speaking out about what’s happened to them.