All Articles Tagged "Tatyana Ali"
Zoe Saldana, Lauren Velez, Tatyana Ali, Melissa de Sousa and Gina Torres are the names of some of the most successful dark-toned Latinas making key appearances on the big and small screen. Women such as Judy Reyes, Dania Ramirez and the aforementioned actresses have helped to update the image of what it means to be Latina on television or in film. Nonetheless, difficulties for Afro-Latinas persist. Latina marketability in Hollywood is intertwined with colorism. Fairer Latinas not only earn more Latina roles, but Afro-Latinas are often pushed to solely play African-American parts, forced to stifle a part of their ethnic identity. Failure to devise more roles for Afro-Latinas in Hollywood is problematic because it perpetuates the social invisibility of Afro-Latinos, and isolates them by failing to promote the diversity of Latino skin tones and national backgrounds.
Hollywood homogenizes ethnic groups of color, simplifying race on screen by creating a sense of uniformity. Brown is brown, unless it’s Black. If you happen to both, then you are asked to choose between the two, because to be biracial or bi-national is apparent too complex.
Cuba, Panama and Columbia are only a fraction of Latin American countries that’s included within the African diaspora. Nonetheless, women who generally represent those nations on screen are no darker than Sophia Vergara; and Latina women who also identify as Black are slated to exclusively portray African American roles, and are excluded from roles that are advertised to Latinas. The “choose one” attitude of directors is one that has been reported by many Afro-Latina actresses, though the choice is usually made for them.
The book Negra & Beautiful: The Unique Challenges Faced By Afro-Latinas quoted Panamanian writer, poet, activist, and Founder and Director of Encuentro Diaspora Afro in Boston, Yvette Modestin, saying: “It doesn’t help that despite the high-profile black Latinas making it in Hollywood and other industries, black Latinas are rarely seen as such in movies (many black Latina actresses play African Americans on screen) and in ads, which generally depict Latinos as light-brown hued. The effect on Afro-Latinas, Modestin says, is the creation of a “very schizophrenic world” in which many are not understood or accepted.”
Dominican Judy Reyes, who played the Dominican nurse Carla on Scrubs helped to modernize the perception of Latinos and Afro-Latinos in Hollywood. She remains committed to her dual identity as both Black and Latina. Lauren Velez, one of the few Black Latinas in Hollywood to have a prolonged career, indicated that initially she couldn’t get Latina roles because she was Black, but forced her way into those roles. As a result, however, it has become impossible for her to acquire African American roles, because she has somehow transitioned into being seen as Latina due to certain success.
Latinas being hiring based on skin color is not an act perpetrated by white directors, but Latino directors as well, which Afro-Panamanian actress Melissa de Sousa once attested to. She once stated many Latino directors don’t want to cast Latinas who are darker than Jennifer Lopez or Shakira.
The internalized racism orchestrated by members of the Latin community and the Black community works to cripple an effort to get the American public to see the diversity within Black, Latino and Black Latino cultures; particularly at a time when successful directors of color are becoming more apparent in Hollywood –and have an opportunity and access to realistically display ethnic experiences.
It’s been nearly 16 years since actress Tatyana Ali released her fist album “Kiss the Sky.” Quite a bit has changed since then and the 34-year-old actress is ready to show the world just how much with her new EP, “Hello.” According to The YBF, the “Young and the Restless” actress’s new music will make its debut on Spotify beginning January 21st.
To prepare fans for the upcoming project, Tatyana released a short film, also titled “Hello,” that offers a glimpse into what we can expect from her new project.
“An introduction to my forthcoming EP also entitled ‘Hello,’” Tatyana described the film project. “I’m so excited this day is here! All of this is coming from my heart. It’s my story: it’s what I believe in, what I dream about and what I’ve been through. My hope is to connect to people and share what I love. This is truly an independent effort. So, If you think it’s cool, share it.”
During the 5-minute video, which also previews some of her new music, the former “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actress dropped plenty of hints that she’s sick of people trying to limit her growth and evolution as an individual.
“That’s the reason scars disappear…it’s like you become brand new. It was so long ago. I’m literally not the same person,” she says at one point in the video.
If her new music is anything like the film, it will definitely be interesting.
Check out “Hello” on the next page.
The cast of “Fresh Prince” reunited this past Saturday to say their goodbyes to their television father and real life role model James Avery.
Alfonso Ribeiro, who served as a host for the memorial ceremony, posted the above picture on Twitter with this caption:
“We said goodbye to the amazing James Avery last night. I was honored to host the memorial for Barbara Avery. It was a wonderful tribute and celebration of his life. He will be deeply missed”
Daphne Reid (the second Aunt Viv), Tatyana Ali (Ashley), Karyn Parsons (Hilary Banks), and Joseph Marcell (Geoffrey) and Avery’s wife Barbara were all there to celebrate his life.
**Update** For those of you wondering Will is currently in Dubai. Maybe he’s working on a project. I’m not sure. But he did issue a statement on Avery’s passing. And the original Aunt Viv wasn’t there because she pretty much didn’t and perhaps still doesn’t get along with her former cast members.
Yesterday, Ribeiro posted pictures from the service on his Faebook page.
According to TMZ, Avery suffered from heart disease, kidney disease and type 2 diabetes and died from cardiorespiratory arrest in Glendale Hospital on December 31, 2013. He was cremated and his family spread his ashes in the Pacific Ocean. Check out more pictures from the ceremony on the following pages.
If you’re like me, you’re a sucker for Lifetime movies and Holiday films. I don’t care how cliche or predictable, I’m here for it. So I was really excited to learn that on Saturday, while we’re eating all of our Thanksgiving leftovers, we can do so while watching Tatyana Ali in a Lifetime Holiday movie called “Dear Secret Santa.”
Shadow and Act reports that the film follows a newly single Jennifer who moves back to her childhood home. While there she is flooded with memories of her friend Jack who recently passed away. One day Jennifer gets a Christmas card in the mail from a secret admirer. Who calls himself her secret santa. The admirer knows personal details about her life and so she decides to write him back. In fact, his letters remind her of her friend Jack. Throughout the movie she tries to determine who’s been writing her.
You can watch the trailer for the film which stars Della Reese, Bill Cobbs and Jordin Sparks.
The film premieres on Lifetime on Saturday, November 30 at 8/7c.
With the holiday season swiftly approaching, Christmas movies will be taking over television airways in no time. But as opposed to simply replaying the same old classics, TV networks have also been pretty busy producing original holiday films as well. Lifetime recently announced one of their new Christmas movies, starring Tatyana Ali, which is titled Dear Secret Santa. A brief description of the film reads:
“After breaking up with her boyfriend, Jennifer (Ali), moves back to the house she grew up in bringing back memories of her friend Jack, who used to live next door but recently passed away. One day, Jennifer gets a Christmas card from a “Secret Admirer” in her mailbox and becomes curious as to who sent it. The admirer knows so many personal things about her that she decides to write back and is astonished when something they say reminds her of Jack. Is it possible that he is sending her the Christmas cards?”
Tatyana’s co-stars include Jordin Sparks, Della Reese, Bill Cobb, Ernie Hudson and Lamorne Harris.
“It’s a story of coming back home. It’s about true love. It’s about finding your faith again,” Tatyana said of the film.
“I think Jennifer has to learn how to love again and how to be emotional and how to not be afraid of that. I think it’s about family. It’s really sweet and innocent because it’s about the idea that anything can happen. What I should say is the spirit of Christmas. Like, wow, miracles are actually possible. Magic can actually happen,” she continued.
Dear Secret Santa debuts on Lifetime November 30th at 8/7c
Check out a behind-the-scenes look at Dear Secret Santa on the next page.
Earlier this year, Degrassi’s Andrea Lewis announced 2013 will be the year where not only will you know her name (again) but most importantly the work she produces. Thus her new web series, Black Actress, was born. The series takes the bull by the horns, revealing how black actresses try to perfect their craft in an industry that suffocates them. Produced by Lewis, Issa Rae and Tatyana Ali, Black Actress addresses black women walking the thin line of supporting their fellow “sistas” while remaining competitive.
Prior to the web series premiere, veteran actress Viola Davis shared with Oprah during OWN’s Next Chapter:
“We’re in crisis mode as black actresses. Not in the sheer number of roles that are offered, but in the quality of roles. When you only have two or three categories for black actresses, it’s a natural instinct. If you throw a piece of cheese into a room full of rats, they’re going to claw at each other.”
The first episode of Black Actress opens up with our childhood friend (in our head) Ali. Famously known for her role on The Fresh Prince as Ashley Banks, Ali shares how acting brought her out of a rut while attending Harvard University. As Ali unfolds her personal story, viewers are introduced to Kori Bailey, played by Lewis – a black actress trying to navigate her way back into an industry where she used to be the “it” girl. Viewers follow Bailey throughout her numerous auditions and even catch her during a bathroom pep talk running down a laundry list of why she will and can book every audition. Though some may not relate to her need to constantly repeat mantras of positive affirmations, the scenes from Black Actress left me feeling nostalgic.
I reminisced on weekends during my last year of junior high school, filled with auditions for performing arts high schools in New York City. My prospective concentration in high school would have been and eventually became vocal music. I spent endless hours rehearsing the song Edelweiss from The Sound Of Music only for my 13-year-old self to feel mildly insecure. Masses of pre-teen black vocalists usually showed up and out at auditions with “His Eyes Are On The Sparrow” or their Grand Concourse rendition of Alicia Keys “Fallin.” Just like Kori in Black Actress, I understand it is hard to comprehend if you will be chosen for a role when the time slot of your audition is saturated with sameness . The arts world will trip you up as you create your niche. The messages you receive from directors, whether it be drama, music or fine arts, often become blurred and you often wonder if the difference or the norm will set you a part.
Lewis’ webseries offers viewers an uncomfortable piece of honesty by shedding light on how uninterested people are about you during auditions. Or if they are interested, they too, become actors to throw you off your A-game. Like life, the demos you showcase for, will teach how to hone every moment as though you represent the final product you desire. Black Actress prepares its viewers for roles of a lifetime.
Watch the premiere of Black Actress below!
From Black Voices
Our favorite ’Awkward Black Girl’ Issa Rae is on a roll dishing out project after project. Not only is she working on an HBO series, and starring in a few webseries, she’s also producing and curating content on her YouTube channel.
The latest project she’s behind is entitled “Black Actress,” and falls right in line with an issue that hits close to home for African-American actresses and creatives trying to make it in Hollywood. The webseries, created, written by and starring actress Andrea Lewis, features cameos and commentary from the likes of Tatyana Ali, Naturi Naughton, Essence Atkins, and Jenifer Lewis.
“My channel started off with ‘Awkward Black Girl’ but I always wanted to be a curator of great content, so when I saw “Black Actress” it was just like ‘wow this story is hilarious.’ I know so many women that have gone through this as an actress,” said Rae.
The mockumentary style series centers around “Kori Bailey,” played by Lewis, as she”struggles with the pursuit of getting her big break.”
You may recognize Andrea Lewis from her role as ”Hazel” on the hit show “Degrassi: The Next Generation.” Since then, Lewis has appeared in guest and recurring roles on the Syfy network and CTV and is set to appear in BET’s upcoming TV movie “A Very Larry Christmas.”
“I grew up in the acting industry and I’d yet to have an experience on a set where I didn’t feel like ‘the black girl’ whether it was the way a script was written or how the cast/producers/director interacted with me,” Lewis said in an email to The Huffington Post.
Read more at BlackVoices.com
TV One, the guys that brought us R&B Divas LA, is collaborating with Radio One for the “‘Are You That Girl?’ Mall Takeover Tour.” To enter, contestants must upload a photo of themselves and include a 50-word statement about why they are “that girl.” Through user voting, the top 30 entries will be selected to compete in a runway show in one of the eight participating cities: Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD; Washington D.C.; Dallas, TX; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Philadelphia, PA and Raleigh, NC.
From Oct. 12 and Oct. 13, judges will be looking for the woman with stand-out style, personality, and of course, a unique quality in each of the eight cities. “That girl” who makes the best lasting impression on the runway will win a $2,500 gift card — a prize that Imunique herself would love.
“This campaign highlights TV One’s commitment to offering entertaining and diverse portrayals of the real black experience to our viewers and in keeping with our brand promise providing a destination where black life unfolds,” said Linda Finney, Senior VP of Marketing for TV One, said in a press statement.
Love That Girl is about the life, times and cohorts of Imunique Jefferson (Bresha Webb), “a dynamic and quintessential ghetto-fabulous chick.” The cast includes actors and actresses Phil Morris, Alphonso McAuley, Reagan Gomez and Tatyana Ali. Love That Girl will be back on October 11th with two back-to-back episodes at 9:00 and 9:30 PM ET.
These celebs are not just known for acting in some of our favorite shows but they also made it known that they have a passion for singing. Secretly, we think these actors wanted a singing career outside of acting. Fortunately, for many of them, they could actually sing and are now known as a singer. For others, well, I guess it was just pipe dreams.
20 Years Later: Why It’s Time for Everyone To Move On From The Question Of “What Happened To Aunt Viv?”
Janet Hubert, most known as the original Aunt Viv from the hit ’90s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and her open letter to Wendy Williams just proved that there’s nothing worse than somebody, who just won’t let go of old -ish.
Tatyana Ali appeared on The Wendy Williams Show last week to promote the show Second Generation Wayans. However, in true Wendy Williams form, they end up talking about everything but the show, including bringing up why Hubert was replaced as Vivian Banks after the show’s third season. Not really pleased with Williams mentioning her in any context, Hubert wrote an open letter to Williams, which was also read on BlogTalkRadio, basically giving Williams the business.
While I won’t go through the entire letter, because by now most of you have probably already seen or heard it, she does say some pretty ugly things about Williams, including calling her a demon, body snarking and questioning Williams’ “sense of womanhood or manhood as some suggest.” She also took Williams to task for other unrelated offensive remarks that Williams has made over the years, including her comments about natural hair not being red carpet appropriate and kissing up to her fans on her show and then turning around and berating them later:
“Now perhaps other black women have allowed you to berate them and continued to support you in this manner of madness and rewarding hatefulness. It seems to become the norm and has taken over our society completely. But I, Janet Hubert, sat there and watched you tell the world that I was not a nice mother. I’m thinking to myself, the only person who has the right to say that is my child. So I sat there and watched you like some devilish sinkhole swallow up Tatyana Ali. You reduced her to a child sitting there tempting to keep some symbolism of dignity about her as you pried and invaded her life until you got what you wanted.”
First off, can we start a Change.org petition to get Janet Hubert on the next season of Celebrity Apprentice? I just need to see her on some sort of reality-based television, where she is just reading other people about both real and imagined infractions. Hollywood, can we make this happen?
But more to the point, I had to go back and watch the episode to better put this blow up into context. Without it, you are likely think of this as just the maddening, yet hilarious, rambles of an obvious self-absorbed, crazy woman. Not to mention that this is the second time Hubert has penned a open letter to the current Queen of talk; the first time she called Williams a “bully” and accused her of using Whitney Houston’s passing for money. After watching the episode, I have to say that while the conversation between Williams and Ali strayed completely away from what Ali was ultimately there to discuss, which was her show, I don’t think that Williams was exactly “devouring her poor soul” as Hubert suggested in the letter. In fact, Ali didn’t look very bothered by Williams’ prying at all. So maybe Hubert might have been exaggerating there a bit.
And I’m not quite convinced that Hubert is that offended by the gossip. While there is an entire industry built around the dirty business of tongue wagging and rumor mongering, not all gossip is bad. Recent research has suggested that the same backbiting speak, which can be used to drag a person through the mud, is also said to have positive outcomes, such as helping us police bad behavior, provide a boost to one’s career or even prevent exploitation. Now whether or not you personally buy that is up to you, but the over-arching point is, there is a market for gossip. And Williams is quite good at this sort of ditch-digging and producing little nuggets of dirt like, Ali and Drake might have been/are hooking up? Um, how come we are not discussing that?
With that said though, there is such a thing as old gossip. And I think that gets to the heart of Hubert’s annoyance. I don’t know about you all but Hubert strikes me as a woman who really wants to leave the entire Fresh Prince-era behind her. Every time I hear her discuss it, it always sounded like the experience was really a traumatic part of her life. And yet she is reminded of it daily, both directly and indirectly, through the gossip host and fans of the classic sitcom alike, who keep bringing up a situation that occurred nearly 15 years ago. Everybody else got to move on. Correction: Will Smith got to move on. You don’t see anybody asking Smith about Hubert (or anybody else from the show for that matter) in interviews do you? And yet every Fresh Prince actor, who is not Will Smith, will forever be pigeonholed to identifying with that show. Granted those roles made most of them somewhat household faces, however, as serious actors with probably other acting ambitions, they probably don’t want to get typecast either or thought of by the public as one character for the rest of their lives. After all this time, people still refer to Hubert as Aunt Viv as if it were her actual name and identity. Alfonso Rivera is most known by Carlton and people don’t even think about the other television shows he did before and after the Fresh Prince. Matter of fact, I think I saw him recently doing some sort of Carlton dance flash mob. I’m convinced that he is going to be doing that dance-for-pay through his twilight years. Even poor Ashley…er…I mean Ali, who despite being on The Wendy Williams Show to talk about herself and her new show, was dragged way back into the early ’90s for some old-timey gossip.
Janet Hubert has to find a way to move on past the drama surrounding the Fresh Prince from years ago. At the same time, we have to allow her and the other cast members to move on past it too.