Category Archives: Actresses

You Think You Know What Hate Is? Bless Your Heart

I don’t know how many of you watch Person of Interest, a show I have ranted about before. If you have, you may have seen a little known actress by the name of Wrenn Schmidt on few episodes. She played the therapist Iris, who ignored ethics and common sense to become the love interest of the main character John Reese. Unfortunately for Wrenn, the couple had all the chemistry and sizzle of bleached flour mixed with tap water. On Tuesday’s episode they broke up. Both of them looked relieved, but neither was as relieved as the fandom was.

That should have been the last word. PoI is cancelled and CBS is burning off the last season so fast that if you blink you’ll miss it. Fans of the iReese or Riris ship numbered in the single digits, so one cared. Iris kissed John good bye and walked off with much more dignity than she deserved considering she ignored all known standards and ethics for therapists so she could get laid. Fans were just happy to see her go, but Wrenn had one last bit of drama for POI fans, and it’s a story that I think is a terrific example of White Privilege in fandoms.

As you may recall, the fabulous Taraji P Henson once graced the cast of POI, playing one of the best WOC characters on the small screen in the fierce Detective Joss Carter. In a decision that will probably go down in TV history as one of the dumbest casting decisions ever, she was fired in favor of lesser actresses. Fans of Taraji and the Careese (Carter/Reese) ship were furious and stopped watching in droves. Other members of the fandom were angry with the Careesers (a large percentage of whom are black) for not supporting a show that erased a black woman character. They coined the term “Bitter Careesers” to explain away any and all dissent in the fandom, because it was all our fault that the show went to hell you see. The (white) producers and the (white) writers had NOTHING to do with it. POI fandom remains bitterly divided today. Continue reading You Think You Know What Hate Is? Bless Your Heart

Gear up the Defense Squad, Dr Who’s new companion is a WOC

A new companion will be joining Dr Who on his adventures next year, and she’s a WOC. Pearl Mackie has been named as “Bill”, the latest in a long line of traveling companions for the titular Dr Who. She was introduced in this trailer, which aired during a major soccer match:

Bill is not the first WOC companion for the good Dr.,  Martha Jones, played by Freema Agyeman, traveled with him during the 2007 season and made a few appearances after she quit the time travel game. Unfortunately Freeman faced the usual racist crap during her time on one of the oldest and best loved SciFi franchises from so-called fans. We expect Pearl to face the same issues.

But for now I’ll just rejoice that we have another WOC lead in the SciFi genre. One with natural hair, who looks to be sharp and funny. As Pearl herself described her character, “cool, strong, sharp, a little bit vulnerable with a bit of geekiness thrown in.” I’m there for it.

Brace yourselves, Thor gets a new love interest and she’s a WOC

Applications are now being taken for the Tessa Thompson Defense Squad and she’s going to need all the support she can get.  According to Deadline.com, she been cast as Thor’s new love interest in the 3rd Thor film. Details are still sketchy, but reportedly she will be “some sort of superhero” and will appear in other Marvel Universe films as well.

Can you hear the howls of outrage yet? If the reports of her being Thor’s new love are true she will be replacing Natalie Portman, who played Jane, the canon love interest from the comics. You just know how much the fans love it when they mess with canon, especially when they swap out the white woman for a WOC. Remember when The Flash announced that Candice Patton was playing Iris West? Candice is still taking shit for being black two years later. Hope Tessa has some thick skin.

Thor: Ragnarok will begin production at the end of July and is slated for a November 2017 release.

Another WOC is leaving a genre show

Hot on the heels of one of the few leading WOC on TV getting unceremoniously snuffed on her own show comes more bad news, another WOC is out on her genre show. Arden Cho is no longer a member of the cast of Teen Wolf and no one seems to know why.

Arden released this video on YouTube announcing her departure. It doesn’t sound like she made the choice to leave, just saying…

“But unfortunately, it looks like we’re wrapped up with Kira’s story line and she won’t be coming back for Season 6.”

Ever notice the WOC’s storyline always seem to wrap up before any other characters? Are you sick of this shit too?

I admit I do not watch the show, but from what I have read, her story line was not really “wrapped up.” Show creator Jeff Davis had said specifically that the writers were planning on returning a plot line with Cho’s character trapped in a WWII interment camp. Guess they changed their minds.

Whatever the reason, the fact remains that genre TV remains a mostly hostile environment for POC. Given the changing demographic of the population, if producers want new viewers, they are going to have check their privilege and change their ways.

#AbbieMillsDeservedBetter #CancelSleepyHollow

They fucking killed Abbie Mills on Sleepy Hollow’s season finale.
It’s taken me a couple of days to calm down enough to write this. I asked fangirlu if she wanted to be the one to write this, but she’s too emotionally drained to do it.

Another black woman on a genre show has died to service the white male lead’s story line.

Sleepy Hollow was supposed to be different. It premiered with a diverse cast and Nicole Beharie was clearly the lead or at the very least the co-lead. Finally, we thought, a genre show where the black woman would get her due. And she did for the first season. Abbie Mills introduced Tim Mison’s Ichabod Crane to this century with humor and enough chemistry to torch a city block. The bad guy, the Headless Horseman, was off the charts badass. Who didn’t love a headless demon wielding an automatic weapon? The show was batshit crazy. Critics and fans alike were delighted. Continue reading #AbbieMillsDeservedBetter #CancelSleepyHollow

Amandla Stenberg to star in movie based on Black Lives Matter

Outspoken actress and activist Amandla Stenberg has been tapped to play the lead in The Hate U Give, based on the Young Adult novel of the same name by Angela Thomas. Thomas first got the idea for book  after the shooting of unarmed Oscar Grant in 2009 by a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) cop. As the Black Lives Matter Movement gained steam, she began working on it while a Senior at Belhaven University.

Apparently there was a huge bidding war on this book and it’s very timely subject matter.

Amandla will play Starr, according to the The Hollywood Reporter, which first broke the story:

a 16-year-old girl … who grew up in a poverty-stricken slum, but now attends a suburban prep school. After she witnesses a police officer shoot her unarmed best friend, she’s torn between her two very different worlds as she tries to speak her truth

George Tillman Jr (Soul Food) will direct.

My one hesitation over this film is the fact that Audrey Wells (Under Tuscan Sun, George of the Jungle) will write the screen play. I’ve read both the book and seen the film of Under the Tuscan Sun and I have to say that it was the crappiest book adaption I have ever seen. The movie had NOTHING to do with book aside from the location. Seriously, calling it crappy is an insult to crap. She set fire to the book and wrote her own story almost completely from scratch. Can this woman pull off the screenplay for what is sure to be a controversial movie? Nothing in her resume indicates she is up to the challenge. I can only hope the Tillman and Amandla can keep her honest and keep the focus on #BlackLivesMatter where it belongs.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw to star in Bad Robot’s “God Particle”

Several sites are reporting that David Oyelowo and Gugu Mbatha-Raw will be starring in JJ Abrams’s latest project God Particle. To sweeten the pot even further, Nigerian-American filmmaker Julius Onah is directing.

credit: thesource.com

As you may have guessed from the sciencey title, the movie is described a SciFi thriller. Yes folks, we are getting a diverse SciFi flick! Lord knows we need more visions of the future that include POC.

The synopsis for the film reads:

After a physics experiment with a large hadron accelerator causes the Earth to seemingly vanish completely, the terrified crew of an orbiting American space station is left floating in the middle of now-even-more-empty space. When a European spacecraft appears on their radar, the Americans must determine whether it’s their salvation, or a harbinger of doom.

It is unknown what parts Gugu and David will be playing at this time.

You may recall that Gugu has worked with Bad Robot before, starring in the short lived series Undercovers. God Particle is currently slated to release on Feb. 24, 2017.

Abrams has been very out spoken recently about the need to diversify Hollywood, and this casting indicates he is willing to walk the talk. Whatever you think of JJ and his projects, he is a major player in Tinsel Town and this is a positive step forward.

‘Shooter’ suddenly became much more interesting

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Looks like I’ll have another show to watch whenever Shooter premieres.

Cynthia Addai-Robinson (Arrow) has been cast as the female lead opposite Ryan Phillippe in Shooter, USA Network’s upcoming drama series from Paramount TV and Universal Cable Prods. She replaces Emily Rios, who played the part in the pilot.

The thriller, based on Stephen Hunter’s novel Point Of Impact and the 2007 Paramount film starring Mark Wahlberg, is written by John Hlavin and executive produced by Wahlberg. It stars Phillippe as Bob Lee Swagger — the role played by Wahlberg in the movie — an expert marksman living in exile who is coaxed back into action after learning of a plot to kill the president.

Addai-Robinson will play FBI agent Nadine Memphis. Nadine has a strong intuition and dogged determination which has made her a rising star in the Bureau, but her headstrong personality has also landed her in trouble in the past. As the arresting officer of a would-be-assassin, she may have set her career back on the fast track, but her gut tells her there’s more to this case. Not realizing the depth of the conspiracy, she unwittingly puts both her investigation and her life in jeopardy. [Deadline]

Watch Lupita Nyong’o act out Maz Kanata

Remember when Star Wars: The Force Awakens was first released and there some foolishness going around the internet that Lupita “struggled” with her role and JJ Abrams was forced to cut several of her scenes from the movie? JJ himself slammed the rumors.

“In truth, her performance wasn’t satisfactory. It was spectacular. She has brought the character of Maz Kanata to life in the most wonderful, wise, touching, deep and funny way. Lupita never ceased to amaze me. Yes, we tried many approaches, and we finally landed on just what the film needed. She elevated all the scenes she is in, I’m forever grateful, and can’t wait for people to see her stunning performance.”

A video has surfaced showing Lupita acting in a motion capture similar to the ones Andy Serkis and Benedict Cumberbatch used to film the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit respectively. If anyone out there still think that Lupita struggled, this video should put the rumors to rest once and for all. Enjoy.

CBS whiffs on casting “diverse” Nancy Drew

Back in January I wrote about the new Nancy Drew series under development at CBS and I was skeptical about the whole concept. They basically took the whole idea of Nancy Drew and threw out everything that made her unique except her name. Instead of a clever 18 year old living in a white upper middle class suburb, she was going to be a world weary 30 something detective living in gritty New York.  However, even though I devoured the books as a pre-teen like a hungry tiger, I was willing to give it chance since the new president at CBS, Glen Geller, promised a “diverse” Nancy Drew.

“She is diverse, that is the way she is written,” says the CBS president. He doesn’t specify if she is African-American, Latina or Asian-American, but he does say she will not be Caucasian. “I’d be open to any ethnicity,” he adds.

I’m always down for another WOC in a lead role, but at the time I wrote the first post I asked the question, “Can they really make white bread Nancy Drew a real WOC?” While I was traveling on business last week I got my answer, and it was a resounding “No!”

Almost as soon as I left town, the news broke that Sarah Shahi (Person of Interest, Life) had been cast as the new “diverse” Nancy Drew. Despite the fact the woman is half Persian, this casting falls far short of the expectations Geller set back in January.

When you watch Shahi walk down the street, you do not look at her and think, “There goes a WOC.” She passes for white at first glance, and second glance, and third glance. You basically have to be told she’s WOC.  Given Geller’s insistence that Nancy Drew wasn’t going to be white, I was disappointed to see that he cast someone who passes very well as white. He might as well have gone with the traditional “titian” haired white girl.

They followed up casting Shahi by casting the very white Anthony Edwards as her father, Carson Drew. So our “diverse” heroine was adopted into a Wonder Bread family, which is fine if you’re watching Full House, but not when you’ve been promised a “diverse” heroine. I wasn’t expecting Fresh off the Boat, but I was hoping for something more colorful than Family Ties.

So where is the diversity? The Hollywood press has been eating this up extolling Shahi’s Persian heritage, but they completely miss the point. The diversity here is all smoke and mirrors. CBS slides by on the barest of technicalities. They found a WOC who doesn’t look WOC and gave her a white supporting cast. Shame on the Hollywood press for eating it up like toddlers with a birthday cake.