All Articles Tagged "scandal"

Roland Martin And His Hypocritical Thoughts On “Sorority Sisters”

December 17th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Roland Martin And His Hypocritical Thoughts On Sorority Sisters feat

The weirdest sort of hypocrisy is happening over this “Sorority Sisters” reality show, which I find particularly mind-blogging.

And ye,s I’m talking about the selective outrage over the series while completely ignoring or even championing other alleged counterproductive images on the screen – and I say alleged. I mean we’d had several reality and scripted television shows with other non-Claire Huxtable-like representations of Black women on screen in between the time that folks were originally upset over “Sorority Sisters,” which was scheduled to air earlier this year and earlier this week, when the series premiered its first episode.  And I don’t recall petitions or boycotts, or demands to get advertising pulled.

But let television commentator Roland Martin tell it…more specifically to Tom Joyner Morning Show:

But let me just say, it was embarrassing. It was shameful. It was degrading. It was so ridiculous to watch, so called grown ass women act a complete fool on television. And talking about how sophisticated they are and talking about scholarship. One of the women, actually, ‘scholarship’ came out her mouth and she couldn’t probably even spell ‘scholarship.’ And here is my fundamental problem: I don’t watch that crap. The Real Housewives of Stupidity, I’m sorry, The Real Housewives of Atlanta. I don’t watch that ignorant Love & Hip Hop: LA, New York, Atlanta, Charlotte…I don’t care what you want to call it. Because I have respect for myself as a Black man. I have respect for my wife, respect for my nieces, for my momma as well. And here we are for years: we have fought this ridiculous Amos and Andy blackface images and what we do is turn around and watch this crap in support of it.”

Yeah what’s up with those people watching drama and being entertained by television? Why they should only be watching television to read books. Or to watch “Scandal.” Or “How to Get Away With Murder.” Or anything else attached to Shondaland. That’s something that Martin himself knows all too well. He was even dubbed by US News & World Report as “Washington’s Preeminent ‘Scandal’ Corespondent,” which I’m certain had some stiff competition from the lunch ladies in the Capitol Hill cafeterias.

Listen, I’m not one to say that Olivia Pope is a bad representation of Black women. She’s a television character and as such, is designed to be in conflict for the purpose of moving the plot along (or else you are just reading books on television). But again, the force of hypocrisy is pretty strong when we somehow view “Scandal” as acceptable, while treating other representations of Black women on other television shows as some sort of corruption of values. As obviously Black women are mindless and childlike and can be easily swayed by a pied piper tune played by Mona Scott Young. I mean, isn’t it all just guilty pleasure?

Martin had a response to that as well, specifically adding:

When I hear Black folks say, ‘this is my guilty pleasure’ Yeah but what you are doing is furthering the degradation of our people. It would be different if we had a hundred shows on TV. White people got Honey Boo Boo, the duck people and all of these little folks walking around naked, but guess what? They got 97 other shows that they get to see, they fill them with images. We got six or seven shows and five of them ig’nant.”

And this is coming from a man with a big ol’ country Black person name, who speaks that ol’ Black country grammar while dresses like every day is Easter Sunday morning. Seriously. Nothing about that man’s overall presentation says “reserved” or that he’s the least bit concerned about Black folks’ images over the past hundred years or so. What it does say is that there is still a golden ticket to the Chocolate Factory somewhere left in the world. So fingers crossed…

I kid Martin’s gaudy suits and dress shoes, but I’m serious about the exceptionalism. For the record, I don’t buy in the least that Martin, who is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha, is this upset over “Sorority Girls” based upon how it represents Black women as a whole in society. How could that even be possible when BGLOs are exclusive members-only groups? And if I ain’t invited, you can’t speak for me. Instead, it’s pretty obvious that his and all the other petition wavers, are upset about the association, which certain kinds of Black women have with the Divine Nine.

As I sincerely doubt that if this was Olivia Pope with her government job, high level access to important people, freshly permed hair and long perfectly white 100 wool blend trench coat, who was throwing up triangles or raising the pinky before running off for a weekend getaway of stealing the people’s votes, helping bad people hide dead bodies and having wild sex with the married White Republican (hello?) president, would Martin (among others) have a problem? In fact, I’m sure her fictitious face would be inducted as a real life honorary member among some chapters.

But instead “Sorority Sisters” gives us Black Greek women with names like “MeToya” and “Priyanka,” who dress like Black barbie dolls and have professions like aspiring model and burlesque dancer. And what used to be exclusive and elite institutions have become a little more inclusive, which is a good thing. However the presence of these commoners in the midst of so much “prestige” really bothers folks because how else would they feel special or different than the rest of us?

And this is not a defense of “Sorority Sisters”; that show is horrible on its own without the selective outrage over how it represents us. Seriously, they did nothing the first episode but argue about dumb shit. Call me a reality show purist, but I like my drama more subtle and with an actual plot. However, let’s be real here: some of us really get off on being different. It’s how some folks compensate from not being able to fully assimilate into mainstream White supremacy culture. And not every Black Greek is about scholarship, volunteering out in the community and sister or brotherhood. Some folks’ main interests in these organizations revolves around the step shows, the parties and of course, the identity, the Black Greek affiliation can bring them.

In fact, what’s interesting about “Sorority Sisters” is how the entire premise of the first episode centered around a bunch of women feeling superior to other BLGOs and even members within their own organizations all because of their letters. Tacky? Yes. However I’d be lying if I said I haven’t met and/or known plenty of Black Greeks, who acted just like what we saw on television. And just like Roland Martin’s suits, they too don’t think they are ghetto as hell…

I get that no institution is perfect. In fact that’s the entire premise of my argument: no institution is perfect. When you think about it, for years Black Greek Letter life in both film and television have been mostly portrayed as positive (with exception of School Daze). Therefore acting as if these institutions are sacred and beyond scrutiny and even mockery does not sit well. Secrecy and exclusivity are both breeding ground for some very dysfunctional and dangerous behavior worse than a bunch of loud mouth Black women arguing over, who’s more Greek than the other.

And yeah I’m hinting about hazing. But again, I’m talking about exceptionalism. The kind that wages wars and finger wags about the effect a reality show has on television while sitting silent and dormant while some other Black representations collect checks from a network, which might have paid the killer of a young Black teen for his exclusive interview. I have not heard a peep from Washington’s preeminent ‘Scandal’ corespondent about giving up Thursday nights for that. Talk about respectability (of us) issues.

“I Haven’t Broken Any Glass Ceilings” Shonda Rhimes Says She Stands On Shoulders Of Women Who Came Before Her

December 11th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Shonda Rhimes Says She Stands On The Shoulders Of The Women Who Came Before Her

Source: Getty Images

Shonda Rhimes is a hawse. It can’t be overstated. And every time she decides to speak to the masses, she lets us in on just a little bit more of her awesomeness. Most recently, during her acceptance speech for The Hollywood Reporter’s Sherry Lansing Award, Rhimes reminded us that not only do we tune into her shows because they’re exciting and entertaining, but they’re spearheaded by a Black woman whose social and cultural awareness are reflected in said shows.

While many would embrace the news that they were getting a prestigious award, Rhimes received the news with a question: Why?

Rhimes explained that she didn’t ask why because she’s a humble or self deprecating person. She thinks she’s awesome, like the rest of do. She asked for a written explanation. And their letter, according to Shonda’s paraphrasing,  said she was “getting the award in recognition of my breaking through the industry’s glass ceiling as a woman and an African American.

But Shonda disagrees.

I come from a very large, very competitive family. Extremely competitive. And by competitive, I mean, my mother says we’re not allowed to play Scrabble anymore when we get together because of the injuries and the tears. One of the rules in my family is you don’t ever get a trophy for participation, you don’t get a trophy for just being you. So getting an award today BECAUSE I’m a woman and an African-American feels…I was born with an awesome vagina and really gorgeous brown skin. I didn’t do anything to make either of those things happen.

To get all Beyonce about it, people: “I woke up like this.”

Seriously. I know this isn’t an award because I’m a woman or BECAUSE I’m African American. I know that it’s really about breaking the glass ceiling that exists in the face of being a woman and being black in this very male, very white town.

But I haven’t broken through any glass ceilings.

Shonda says she knows she hasn’t broken through any glass ceilings because if she had she’d be able to point to bruises, cuts, wounds. Instead, she recognizes that she’s standing there, accepting this prestigious award because of the women who’ve come before her.

Look around this room. It’s filled with women of all colors in Hollywood who are executives and heads of studios and VPs and show creators and directors. There are a lot of women in Hollywood in this room who have the game-changing ability to say yes or no to something.

15 years ago, that would not have been as true. There’d have been maybe a few women in Hollywood who could say yes or no. And a lot of D girls and assistants who were gritting their teeth and working really hard. And for someone like me, if I was very very VERY lucky, there’d have been maybe one small show. One small shot. And that shot would not have involved a leading actress of color, any three dimensional LGBT characters, any women characters with high powered jobs AND families, and no more than two characters of color in any scene at one time — because that only happened in sitcoms.

30 years ago, I’d think maybe there’d be a thousand secretaries fending off their handsy bosses back at the office and about two women in Hollywood in this room. And if I were here, I would serving those two women breakfast.

50 years ago, if women wanted to gather in a room, well it had better be about babies or charity work. And the brown women were in one room over there and the white women were in a room over here.

Think of them. Heads up, eyes on the target. Running. Full speed. Gravity be damned. Towards that thick layer of glass that is the ceiling. Running, full speed and crashing. Crashing into that ceiling and falling back. Crashing into it and falling back. Into it and falling back. Woman after woman. Each one running and each one crashing. And everyone falling.

How many women had to hit that glass before the first crack appeared? How many cuts did they get, how many bruises? How hard did they have to hit the ceiling? How many women had to hit that glass to ripple it, to send out a thousand hairline fractures? How many women had to hit that glass before the pressure of their effort caused it to evolve from a thick pane of glass into just a thin sheet of splintered ice?

So that when it was my turn to run, it didn’t even look like a ceiling anymore. I mean, the wind was already whistling through — I could always feel it on my face. And there were all these holes giving me a perfect view to other side. I didn’t even notice the gravity, I think it had worn itself away. So I didn’t have to fight as hard, I had time to study the cracks. I had time to decide where the air felt the rarest, where the wind was the coolest, where the view was the most soaring. I picked my spot in the glass and called it my target. And I ran. And when I hit finally that ceiling, it just exploded into dust.

Like that.
My sisters who went before me had already handled it.
No cuts. No bruises. No bleeding.

Making it through the glass ceiling to the other side was simply a matter of running on a path created by every other woman’s footprints.

I just hit at exactly the right time in exactly the right spot.

So I’m breaking my family’s rule today. This is a trophy for participation. And I am beyond honored and proud to receive it. Because this? Was a group effort.

Yasssss! She knows. You can read Rhimes’ speech in its entirety here.

“I Lost Myself” Columbus Short Admits To Using Cocaine

December 10th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Columbus Short Admits To Using Cocaine

Source: Access Hollywood

You would have had to completely avoid any and all news not to have noticed that Columbus Short had been behaving erratically for the past year or so. From the public fights, domestic abuse charges and other weird interactions, it was clear something was going on. And recently, in an interview with “Access Hollywood,” the former “Scandal” actor confirmed that he was actually struggling with a drug addiction. See what he had to say about it in these excerpts and then watch the video below.

“Let me just be– I’ll be candid. I was struggling with drugs. I had a lot on my plate and was using unhealthy ways to kind of self medicate to deal with a lot of heavy stuff in my life.”

What kind of drugs?

The real drugs. I did cocaine. I was doing cocaine and drinking a lot and trying to balance a 16-hour work schedule a day and a family. I lost myself back there.

Did Shonda know? 

She did and if we’re going to be fully transparent they protected me and they held me down. And that was one of the real reasons. They just wanted me to get my stuff together. And sometimes the bottom has to get dropped out for you to really get it. So I moved to Atlanta and I’ve been living there for the last five and a half months and it’s been life changing.

Why drugs?

It was numbing stuff. I was going through a lot. Going through a lot in my marriage. I had a lot of tragic loss. Last year, one of my best friends died, he killed himself. Lee Thompson Young. And that kind of started a spiral. I found out while I was on set. It really just took my legs out from under me.

How he’s getting better

First of all I think when anybody is dealing with drugs or alcohol, you have to change your environment period. So I had to move. And my therapy really was working on my album. Music changes things, period.

The impact

You got to think at the end it didn’t just affect me or my home. It’s affected Shonda, Kerry, my kids, my grandmother, my family, my church family. People care when people are going through things. And people forget that we’re human.

A judge demanded the Columbus stay in California because of all the legal trouble. Will he be able to live and work in L.A. without succumbing to his old problems?

I used to come back in to L.A. for these court dates and I would drive through the city and I’d see these triggers, real triggers. Just memories, places. It had to take a good five months, a good five or six months for me to get strong enough so I could come back to L.A. and really do what I have to do.

Admission can be cathartic. It also helps others to hold you accountable, so props to Columbus for being honest enough and brave enough to admit this. We’re hoping and praying that he’s gotten the help he needs to stay on the right track. You can watch the whole interview, including the part where he runs off stage at the end in the video, in celebration, below.

 

Later in that same interview, Columbus talked about repairing his image in the public eye. You can watch that interview too.

We Don’t Talk About That: Stars With Dark Family Secrets

November 26th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Every family has a few skeletons in it’s closet, but you’ll flip when you read about these stars with dark family secrets. Suddenly Aunt Kim’s gambling problem doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

Woody Harrelson

We’re glad this apple fell far from the tree. Woody Harrelson’s father was a professional hit man who was arrested in 1979 for taking out a hit on a federal judge.

How To Make A Network No. 1: ABC On Top Thanks To Shonda Rhimes

November 25th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Source: Corbis Images

Source: Corbis Images

To say Shonda Rhimes is one of Hollywood’s biggest shots would be an understatement. She’s nearly running things in TV land. She has a major network depending on her. ABC wouldn’t be raking in ratings and beaucoup advertising dollars without Rhimes’ hit shows.

“The network’s #TGIT-branded Thursday night lineup featuring Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get the Way with Murder broke a record in ratings during November sweeps,” reports Jezebel.

When the three series aired their winter finales last week–answering the burning question to who killed Sam–the trio had great ratings.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Grey captured 8.3 million viewers and a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating; Scandal pulled in with 10 million and a 3.1 rating; and 9.8 million people tuned into HTGAWM and had a 3.1 rating. HTGAWM saw an increase of seven percent from the previous week.

ABC has won all four Thursdays in the adult demo during the November “sweeps” period, thanks in major part to Rhimes. The network hasn’t achieved that feat in at least 23 years.

Where Are They Now? Celebrity Careers After Big Scandals

November 24th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: WENN.com

Image Source: WENN.com

Who could have predicted that Bill Cosby would be one of the biggest scandal makers of 2014? We can’t predict what’s going to happen to Bill’s career, but we have been keeping track of these other celebrities who’s careers were rocked by serious scandals.

TGITea: Can You Believe #WhoKilledSam?

November 21st, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Last night ABC aired its TGIT Winter finales and we.were.floored. Between Olivia beefing with both of her parents on “Scandal” (yes mama Pope is back) and finding out #WhoKilledSam, we were all saying “dis tew much!”

We don’t want to give away too many spoilers in the write up, but we have a few lingering questions about what’s going to happen with Olivia Pope when “Scandal” returns and we must get to the bottom of Sam’s murder and figure out who the real mastermind behind his death is. Watch the editors discuss the episode in the video above and weigh in on the finales in the comments section. What did you think?

 

Does She Have What It Takes To Be A Gladiator? Rihanna Wants To Guest Star On “Scandal”

November 19th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Instagram

Instagram

Like many other avid television watchers, Rihanna is a big “Scandal” fan. So much so, that she dreams of guest starring on the Shonda Rhimes-driven series someday.

“I love Scandal! Are you kidding?” RiRi told E! News.

“We’ll see,” she said at the idea of starring in the series. “I would love that. I just love Scandal, period.”

She’s not too sure what her ideal role would be, but she wouldn’t mind playing an enemy of Olivia Pope or Secretary of State.

“Duh!” she laughed at the idea. “That’s amazing. Let’s make it happen!”

Last week during a visit to the White House, the “Stay” singer posed for a photo in the press room pretending that she was “Scandal” White House Press Secretary Abigail “Abby” Whelan.

“#heyAbby,” she captioned the photo.

It seems that Shonda is pretty selective about who she allows to guest star on her shows, so we won’t hold our breath waiting for a RiRi feature. It also seemed that Ri was joking about appearing on the show; but hey, stranger things have happened.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise.

In The Act: Celebrities Caught Cheating

November 18th, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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We didn’t want to believe the rumors, but these celebrities caught cheating were filmed, snapped and screenshot-ed in the act.

Image Source: WENN.com

Image Source: WENN.com

Usher Raymond

Usher was outed during his divorce trial when his soon-to-be-ex Tameka Raymond revealed that she caught him in bed with her bridesmaid (who was the kids’ nanny), Maya Fox Davis.

TGITea: Betrayal Was Everywhere On “Scandal” And “HTGAWM”

November 14th, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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With all the betrayal going on during last night’s episode of “How To Get Away With Murder,” we’re still asking #WhoKilledSam — although we have a few new theories after last night’s crazy episode. Anyone else completely over Sam and Bonnie at this point?

And are y’all as scared for Olivia’s life as we are after Daddy Pope read her from top to bottom and front to back during “Scandal”? Poor baby. Chime in with us to talk about the episodes and let us know what you think will go down during next week’s winter finales. It’s #TGITea time!