Those of you who follow SciFi and Fantasy are probably aware of Ursula K. Le Guin. For those who don’t, she is a highly influential writer who incorporates considerable cultural diversity in her writing.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who follows this blog that Ms. Le Guin has had a huge problem with her multi-cultural work consistently getting whitewashed. Her most famous work, The Earthsea series, features a wizard named Ged who is clearly described in the books as being Native American in appearance and yet this is how he was portrayed on TV:
Misty Copeland has got to be one good sport. She recently attempted to teach Jimmy Kimmel and his side kick Guillermo Rodriguez how to dance the classic Swan Lake. I say “attempted” for reasons that will become obvious as you watch the video.
One good thing That came out of the Project Greenlight flap was that it helped push the conversation about diversity to the forefront, according to the panelists at the Produced By NY conference. Effie Brown, the producer who clashed with Matt Damon, was a member of the panel.
“Black Twitter is real,” Brown said, noting how social media fueled a discussion that extended well beyond the premiere of the episode. “What was beautiful was that black Twitter showed up and you know who else showed up? Everybody else,” she said. She described the impact of the two-way conversation that fans have around TV and film as “a new millennium call and response. You can’t do something shady and think nobody’s going to hear about it,” she said.
Project Greenlight was not the only topic of conversation. How to Get Away With Murder was held up as an example of the wonderful things that can happen when you have a diverse cast and crew:
Brown gave a shout-out to (Pete) Nowalk and the show for last season’s momentous episode in which Davis’ Annalise Keating takes off her wig to show her natural hair. Nowalk said he initially did not understand what the moment would mean to so many African-American viewers, but Davis did, and he took her guidance. “The open-heartedness of collaboration means listening and learning something,” Nowalk said. “And it helps your show.”
Like General Sherman burning a path through the South, Shonda Rhimes is marching through ABC’s schedule, burning it to the ground, and taking over. So far she has 3 shows tearing up the network, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder. She has another show, The Catch, premiering at mid-season. She has 3 pilots on order for next season, a divorce comedy, a drama about nuns in a convent and another drama about soldiers in Iraq. Now news comes that she has sold a 4th show to ABC.
Sill Star-Crossed will follow the families of Romeo and Juliet in the aftermath of their teenager’s suicides. Apparently, the conflict did not end with the deaths of the star-crossed lovers. Shonda herself is writing the pilot, and we all know how well she does angst!
As far anyone knows, there are no plans to rename ABC, The Shonda Channel, but the TV season is still young, just sayin’.
Be still my beating heart! Misty Copeland has been on fire lately, from being named the first black principal dancer for the American Ballet Theatre to having a documentary made about her amazing life. Now she can add television producer to her long list of accomplishments.
Misty Copeland, who broke barriers and defied convention to emerge as a ballet superstar, has teamed with rising writer Tracy Oliver for a drama set in the world of dance. The untitled project, which has been set up at Fox through 20th Century Fox TV, follows a young, hip and diverse group of aspiring dancers as they fiercely compete for places in a top ballet company.
I seriously think we need a #IrisWestDeservesBetter campaign like last year’s wildly successful #AbbieMillsDeservesBetter campaign. You know, the one that helped to convince the producers of Sleepy Hollow they were effing up, because they were. Right now The Flash is guilty of some serious disrespect towards their leading lady.
Last season Iris West was kept on the sidelines under the guise of “protecting her” from all the bad things that happen when you hang with a super hero. Because you know hanging with a super hero and not knowing he has some bad-ass enemies is wayyyyyyy safer than hanging with a super hero and knowing that one should keep an eye out. *eyeroll* This over-used and annoying trope aside, Iris was kept out of the action and stuck in the “Love Interest” B-plot all season. Iris’s main purpose in S1 was to give Barry something to moon over. While Grant Gustin does moon very well, Candice Patton had very little to do. We got a lot of CP’s frustrated face as the other characters consistently lied to her about, well, just about everything.
Recently I have noticed a very pleasing tread while perusing entertainment pages for this blog, it seems that now is a very good time for a POC to be in theater.
Exhibit A: Hamilton, the hip-hop version of the founding of our country. It’s the hottest ticket on Broadway. The critics are drooling over it in way that is almost embarrassing and the creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has a MacArthur Genius award gracing his mantle and his bank account.
Exhibit B: The Color Purple starring Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Ervio will open soon on Broadway. This is bound to be yet another flaming hot ticket. I’m including Jennifer and Cynthia singing the title song here because I love you all and I want you to have nice things.
It looks like Candice Patton has finally had enough. Someone tried to come for her the other day, and she had the perfect comeback.
Sadly, what this person tweeted to her is actually tame compared to some of the things I’ve seen. Candice has had to deal with entitled and racist fangirls (and boys) wishing death on her character, calling her racial slurs, and outright demanding that Iris West be turned back into her white comic character iteration.
And these aren’t subtweets. These are tweets that are sent directly to her. These are people who, emboldened by the anonymity of the Internet, see nothing wrong with attacking an actress over a fictional character she plays on a fictional television show. As if she has no feelings and every mean, ugly, nasty, racist comment will slide off her back and not affect her. While I’m sure most do, she’s not a robot. She’s a human being. Constant harassment of any kind will eventually get to even the strongest person. Continue reading Candice Patton and the Power of the Perfect Comeback→
I thought I couldn’t get any more excited when I heard that HBO had ordered a pilot for Issa Rae’s comedy Insecure, but I was wrong. Because HBO has decided to order the show to series. Yay!
The 30-minute laffer will star Rae, who is also a co-exec producer and writer on the series. Wilmore will serve as a consultant, as he’s helming his late-night Comedy Central show.
“Insecure” follows the friendship of two modern day black women, and all of their uncomfortable experiences and racy tribulations.
Rae — who gained Internet fame for her popular, award-winning web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” and has more than 200,000 subscribers and over 20 million views on her YouTube channel — will topline the show as the character Issa Dee. Yvonne Orji, Lisa Joyce and Jay Ellis (“The Game”) round out the cast.
Orji plays Issa’s best friend, Molly, who is very successful in her corporate work life, but very unsuccessful in her love life; Ellis plays Lawrence, Issa’s depressed and unemployed boyfriend who has been getting his act together for four years; and Joyce plays Frieda, Issa’s liberal and empathetic co-worker at an educational non-profit firm. [Variety]
I know I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it as many times as I have to: if you’ve never seen The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl, do yourself a favor and watch it. It’s absolutely hilarious and will have you just as excited for Insecure as I am.