Monthly Archives: November 2015

Gods of Egypt, “Oops, sorry about the white guys”

No they didn’t really say it that way, but close.

In case you have not been following the controversy, the movie Gods of Egypt is the latest example of whitewashing. They cast all white guys in a period piece set in ancient North Africa. Let that sink in for a minute.

As you can imagine this did not sit well with the masses.

GodsofEgypt

Even the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler herself, had something to say:
BM

^^^Truth^^^^

Lionsgate, sensing that they had the next Exodus: Gods and Kings on their hands (i.e. an expensive flop) groveled.

“We recognize that it is our responsibility to help ensure that casting decisions reflect the diversity and culture of the time periods portrayed. In this instance we failed to live up to our own standards of sensitivity and diversity, for which we sincerely apologize. Lionsgate is deeply committed to making films that reflect the diversity of our audiences. We have, can and will continue to do better.​​”

I’ll believe it when I see receipts. Someone buy them a ticket to see Hamilton on Broadway.

THR talks to Lea Salonga, Phillipa Soo, “Stop seeing us as exotic and oriental and far-removed from the experience of what this country actually is”

The Hollywood Reporter has a great interview with Tony award winning Allegiance lead actress Lea Salonga and Hamilton lead actress Phillipa Soo. (I should mention that Soo is considered a possible Tony award winner in 2016 for her role as well)

As we have pointed out on this site before, Broadway has been an oasis of diversity compared to Hollywood. It’s been paying off big time for them, Hamilton is the talk of the town,  Allegiance is a smash hit and The Color Purple and On Your Feet look like successes even though it’s very early in their runs. Remember those Sony emails that said a POC couldn’t open a film? Someone forgot to tell the Broadway producers, and the POC are playing to packed houses while revitalizing the theater scene. They are bringing a new fresh perspective to the stage, and the audiences can’t get enough.

Diversity was the big theme for this interview with the two leading ladies. Phillipa spoke about Lea’s role in Aladdin was an inspiration to her, to see a WOC be successful.

This exchange, however, was the one that stood out to me:

What can Hollywood learn from Broadway right now?

SALONGA: Watch the season, first of all! And with On Your Feet! and The Color Purple, it’s an incredible season of shows. It’s quite groundbreaking, and it just shows what’s possible. It’s possible for any ten-year-old of any background to look up at the stage and say, ‘Mommy, that’s what I want to do,’ and then for that mom to say, ‘Well then go for it. I’m right behind you.’ It’s nice to be able to have a hand in that, instead of saying, ‘There’s nobody like you onstage, where are you gonna fit?’ But we’re fitting quite nicely, eight shows a week.

Stop seeing us as exotic and oriental and far-removed from the experience of what this country actually is. Don’t see us as foreigners, see us as part of the country. Then, maybe there will be more really great stuff written on film for people that look like us, because theater people are writing things for us! Kei was written for me — I can actually say that!

Read the rest of the interview here.

Amazing Photo Series Showcases Black Superheroines

As a huge superhero geek and amateur photographer, I fell in love with this photo series the moment I saw it.    Four friends of blogger Paola Mathé, envisioned as superheroes and photographed for posterity.

The photos really are amazing and make me want to both grab my camera and cosplay at the next available Comic Con.

*bows down*

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Continue reading Amazing Photo Series Showcases Black Superheroines

Misty Copeland wants to be called a Black Ballerina

Misty Copeland has embraced the label “black ballerina” with gusto. As the first black female principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater tells the Huff Post:

“…it’s so rare and because it’s an issue and because it’s been my path and my struggle. I’m not going to deny or pretend that that’s not who I am,” Copeland told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. “And I think that just because I’m now in this position as a principal dancer doesn’t mean all of a sudden I’m going to drop the fact that I’ve had all of these obstacles and so many are continuing to have it. Just because I’m here doesn’t mean racism goes away in the ballet world.”

What? You mean one black dancer doesn’t mean we are living in a post-racial world? A lot of people are going to be disappointed to hear that, Misty!

You can see the interview here or watch it on the Hoff Past:

Ava DuVernay responds to Quentin Tarantino in the best way

You all might remember Quentin Tarantino’s snide comments about Selma in the New York Times T Magazine,

“She did a really good job on Selma but Selma deserved an Emmy.”

He made things worse a few days later by admitting he hadn’t even seen Selma. This from a guy who repeats the N-word in his movies like a 3 year old who just learned a new word.

Like a lot of people I had been wondering if Ava DuVernay had seen those comments and how she felt about it. If you were like me, wonder no more, Ava has spoken and it’s perfect.

“I was surprised by how surprised everyone was. When you look at his work and his persona, there’s nothing surprising about what he said,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “But it didn’t bother me like so many assumed it would.”

In other words: we all know he’s dick, so why is everyone surprised by him being acting like a dick and why should I care he’s a dick? Stand aside, the adults are talking here! #TeamAva

Captain America is a black woman!

Yup, you read that headline right. Welcome to the wonderful alternative world of Marvel’s Earth-65 where Spiderman is actually Spiderwoman Gwen Stacey (You might remember Gwen as the blonde who died in the last round of Spiderman movies). In this alternate world, not only is Spiderman a Spiderwoman, but SHIELD is run by eye-patch wearing Peggy Carter, and Captain America is not white bread Steve Rodgers, but rather AA Samantha Wilson. And yes, that is a nod to Sam Wilson, Falcon in the movies and the current Captain America in the mainline Marvel comics

Check out the info graphic on her, this the Captain America we’ve needed all along:

Credit: IO9
Credit: IO9

The bad news that Samantha is not slated for her own comic (Boo Hiss!) but is a supporting character in the Spider-Gwen comics. The good news is that she seems to have a rather large supporting role and is fully fleshed out. The response among the fans has been very positive, so we should be seeing more of the marvelous Earth-65.

You can read more about it on the IO9 site. For once it’s even safe to read the comments, even the boys are into this AU, it is that well done.

THR’s White Girl cover shows us just how far movies haven’t come

The latest issue of the Hollywood Reporter has a bunch of white women on the cover. Yes, I know that white women dominating the cover of a major entertainment magazine is hardly news, except that these are the women that THR has dubbed the leading contenders for an Oscar this year. Think about it, a leading trade publication has declared that there are no WOC  in contention for the leading award in movies.

No, this is not a Downton Abbey  cast photo
No, this is not a Downton Abbey cast photo

Continue reading THR’s White Girl cover shows us just how far movies haven’t come

Nicki Minaj reciting Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” is the best thing you will see all day

You might as well go to bed now, because nothing better can happen today:

Nicki performed during the Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America, a benefit concert to raise money for the United Way fund and to raise awareness about racism in America, You can see the concert November 20 on A&E, and will be simulcast on AOL.

First Look: Queen Latifah as The Wiz!

NBC has released another new ad for its version of The Wiz airing on December 3rd, and this one features Queen Latifah as The Wizard of OZ. I think this is the first time we have seen her in costume and make up. We also get glimpses of Common, Amber Riley, Stephanie Mills and Uzo Aduba in character.

Along with the new ad, they have released some very cool stills. You can see more of Amber, Stephanie, Uzo, Latifah and Common here.

Prepare yourself! NBC has pulled out the stops on it’s last couple of live musicals, and this one looks like it will be no different.