Category Archives: hollywood

“The Help”: Is it just me or…

…are black people not feeling this movie trailer?  I’ve witnessed a very conflicted reaction to the trailer of the new movie “The Help” recently, in a movie theater that was filled with black folk.  Conflicted is the best way I can describe the mix of disgust and curiosity.  Am I surprised? No. It’s 2011, but the subject matter and images still sting.  Nothing like a dark-skinned black woman serving white folks in a maids uniform…in a period movie…set in the deep south.  Sigh.  Especially when it centers around a classic white savior character.  Since it takes place during the Civil Rights era, I think the author could have done a better job of developing the black lead character.  However, would Hollywood even make such a movie if it didn’t have a white lead?  I don’t know.

Unlike a lot of people I know, I read the book last year.  I can see how the movie trailer is off-putting without the book as reference.  I had some problems with the book, but overall I thought it was a decent read given the full context of who wrote it and the back story presented.  At times, reading it was heart wrenching for me as a black woman whose family is from Mississippi (mom’s side) and who’s great-grandmother was a maid for several white families.  Parts of the story were plain old scary, as racism sometimes is.

I don’t know for sure how this movie is going to be received by the black community.  I think Michele Wallace’s recent review in Essence is dead on (if they post it to the site, I’ll link to it).  In my opinion, this is not going to be a celebrated movie (like “The Color Purple”), but I’m glad that great actresses like Viola Davis and Cicely Tyson are taking on the roles in this film so that they are played with dignity.

One more point that doesn’t help: A Maid Sees Herself in a Novel, and Objects – Yep, a black maid, named Ablene, that worked for Kathryn Stockett’s older brother is suing her.  Dag! At least name the main black character in your book something other than your brother’s REAL, black maid’s name.  Come on!  To add insult, the woman says that part of the storyline was taken from her life.

NY Times | “Ablene Cooper, a 60-year-old woman who has long worked as a maid here, has filed a lawsuit against Kathryn Stockett, the author of the best-selling novel “The Help,” about black maids working for white families in Jackson in the 1960s.

In the complaint, Ms. Cooper argues that one of the book’s principal characters, Aibileen Clark, is an unpermitted appropriation of her name and image, which she finds emotionally distressing.

It is more complicated than that. For the past dozen years, Ms. Cooper has worked for Ms. Stockett’s older brother, Robert, and sister-in-law, Carroll, and still does.

“Ain’t too many Ablenes,” Ms. Cooper said at a law office after a day’s work at the Stocketts, for whom she has helped raise two children. Ms. Cooper also said that she had their support in her legal quest.

“What she did, they said it was wrong,” Ms. Cooper said of the Stocketts, members of a prominent Jackson family. “They came to me and said, ‘Ms. Aibee, we love you, we support you,’ and they told me to do what I got to do.””

Quote from Viola Davis in the August issue of Essence magazine:

”Of course I had trepidations. Why do I have to play the mammy? But what do you do as an actor if one of the most multifaceted and rich roles you’ve ever been given is a maid in 1962 Mississippi? Do you not take the role because you feel like in some ways it’s not a good message to send to Black people? No. The message is the quality of the work. That is the greater message… As Black women, we’re always given these seemingly devastating experiences – experiences that could absolutely break us. But what the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What we do as Black women is take the worst situations and create from that point.”


Filed under african american, black, black women, celebrity, civil rights, history, hollywood, media, opinion, race, racism, society, women, youtube

What if Michelle Obama said half the stuff Christine O’Donnell said?

Can you imagine what would happen if Michelle Obama said that she studied witchcraft…But it’s ok…because she never actually joined a coven?  Fox News would have a field day.  Most evangelicals equate Wiccans with Satanists, but an admission like this might be considered minor.  You see, I’m almost sure many of them consider being a Muslim as far worse that either.  Just my opinion. Maybe that’s why they aren’t tripping about comments made years ago by Senate Candidate Christine O’Donnell on “Politically Incorrect”.

If the First Lady ever admitted practicing Voodoo or dabbling in Islam or considering Athiesm…It would be ON and poppin…like popcorn!  LOL

I just love this quote from Bill Maher – “It’s funny to me, Chris, because this is the woman who claimed on another one of our ‘Politically Incorrect’ episodes from the ’90s that she would not lie, even in the case of hiding Anne Frank in her attic,” Maher told Matthews. “Eddie Izzard confronted her and said, ‘Really? If Hitler was at the door and you had Anne Frank in the attic, you wouldn’t lie?’ She said, ‘No. God would find a way.’ ” Now that is good TV!  Crazy with a side of oblivious.

Hopefully, God will find a way for the people of Delaware to have proper representation.  In my opinion Christine could make far more money as an entertaining pundit.  Look at Sister Sarah P.  She’s gangsta…the Lil Kim of Pundits.


Filed under black women, celebrity, christian, funny, government, hollywood, obama, politics, white folks, women

Sex and the City 2: Black Don’t Crack

Black actresses need to thank God that “Black Don’t Crack”.  Apparently HD brings out every little flaw.

I saw “Sex and the City 2” Thursday and I’m telling you, HD film is NOT forgiving!  Not at all.  All of the ladies looked much older than in the first film.  Even Charlotte, who was so youthful looking, was showing major signs of aging (most notably in the chin area).  SJP has always shown her age and is not a Botox or surgery girl so I wasn’t surprised at how she looks.  I will say, Samantha looked the best out of all 4.

I really would have expected that they’d found some way to filter out the harshness of HD.  Whoo!  Makeup Artists, you have your work cut out for you.  Sistafriend actresses, ladies let’s hope that the Melanin and some good moisturizers helps your black not to crack.


Filed under african american, beauty, celebrity, culture, hollywood, opinion, race, women

Is Gabourey Sidibe Attractive or Are People Being Nice?

Most people would never call a person ugly or fat to their face unless they wanted to hurt the other person’s feelings.  Howard Stern is not one of those people.  He’s make a living saying whatever he wants about whom ever he wants.  He recently made some comments about “Precious” star, Gabourey Sidibe.

Stern drew criticism from the mainstream media for his comments about Gabourey Sidibe’s appearance at the Academy Awards. Howard Stern said: “There’s the most enormous, fat black chick I’ve ever seen. Everyone’s pretending she’s a part of show business and she’s never going to be in another movie.”

Howard Stern played clips of reporters from mainstream media outlets fuming over his frank statements about Gabourey Sidibe’s weight on Wednesday, and then responded by saying: “Obesity in this country is out of control….What’s really sad though is that there are people who say it’s okay to be this heavy. You’ve got to love your body, you’ve got to embrace it.” – Washington Examiner

What do you think readers? We all know that sometimes things are said because they are nice, but they are not realistic.  Let’s face it, people lie.   Is it realistic to think that in a society that is obsessed with physical beauty and perfection that a person of Gabourey’s size will have a vibrant film career?  If she was not a famous actress, would people call her beautiful? If we acknowledge the skin color politics of the black community, how does that figure into this conversation?  I want you guys to think about this honestly. If this were your child, what perspective would you give her about what people may be saying in her face and what they might be saying behind her back?

(Note: She recently landed a role on Showtime’s “Big C” playing a “smart-mouthed student“.  Um…don’t large black women have a history of playing smart mouthed maids, friends, students, etc.  Typecast!)


Filed under african american, beauty, black women, celebrity, hollywood, media, news, opinion, women

O.J. Simpson, Rodman, RuPaul: Black History Role Models?

LA Times – In a letter addressed to parents and community members, a South Los Angeles elementary school principal apologized Thursday for “questionable decisions” about which prominent African Americans to highlight in a parade marking the culmination of Black History Month.

Lorraine Abner’s letter did not name the individuals. But her apology came after three teachers at Wadsworth Avenue Elementary School were suspended while the Los Angeles Unified School District investigates allegations that they had their first-, second- and fourth-grade students carry pictures of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul at last Friday’s event.

“Unfortunately, questionable decisions were made in the selection of noteworthy African American role models,” the letter said. “As the principal, I offer my apology for these errors in judgment.”

I don’t know about you, but for me Black History is Black History. If we remove one part of it, we are not telling the whole story. It is the whole story that makes history. We as African-Americans have had to fight to have our history included.   Now it would be a little hypocritical for us to start excluding people. To now start removing people or making apologies is unacceptable.

RuPaul represents a portion of our community.  We can’t celebrate our LGBTQ brothers and sisters?  There was a time in history before the trial and acquittal when O.J Simpson was a hero.  You remember those commercials.  Dennis Rodman was one hell of a basketball player. I think that Michael Jordan could give you a list of reasons why he should not be discarded.

I’d also like to note that the tale of O.J is not equal to the stories of Rodman and Rupaul.  Come on, people.  LA, I thought you guys were more progressive than this.  Oh no, I forgot…Prop 8.    Ok, but yall do like basketball so Rodman is ok, right.  Oh no, Yall only like the Lakers!  SMH


Filed under african american, black history, black men, celebrity, community, hollywood, news, opinion, race, sports

Surprised That I Love Fonzworth Bentley’s Fireside Chat

I’m so surprised that I really, really love Fonzworth Bentley’s Fireside Chat.  This brother has “some sense” as my grandma would say.  He is underestimated.  He is also signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music.  His debut album, Cool Outrageous Lovers of Uniquely Raw Style or C.O.L.O.U.R.S. was slated to drop in 2008, but was delayed.  Wonder why they are sleeping on this Morehouse alum.

Oh the apologies that he gave out need to be given out so so so so bad.  I know all those artists were like, “Yes!  Finally!”.  Come on hip hop A&R people.  Yall got to stop giving deals to people who sound like they read and spell on a 3rd grade level.


Filed under african american, art, black, black man, culture, hip hop, hollywood, music, video, youtube

Why I Don’t Like Today’s Article in the Washington Post Express on Mike Epps

I read the Washington Post Express a lot in the mornings.  It’s got just the right mix of pithy entertainment and actual journalism.  Well, today I was in for a real Post-Racial treat.

I don’t know who you are, Roxana Hadadi, but I’ve got to tell you that I think your article to day on Mike Epps was terrible and had some serious problems.  Here’s what I didn’t like:

  • You mention a story where 2 movie reviewers at a screening for “Resident Evil: Extinction” think that Omar Epps is the movie instead of Mike.  That played into the “All black people look alike” myth.  You note that they are cousins.  That’s no excuse.  They look Nothing alike.  Nothing.  Omar doesn’t even do comedy.You even say, “…Epps is inevitably the guy you immediately laugh at– even though you may first mistake him for his more dramatic relative”.  Huh?  I’m sorry, no one is mixing those two brothers up.
  • The title of this article “Familiar Stranger” made me think of “stranger danger”.  So is this black man scary, like a stranger?
  • You say that he takes stereotypes about the “funny brother” and “drop-kicks them back in your face, making them absurdly believable wile also hysterically humorous”.  Basically your saying that he does the stereotype so well that it’s hysterical.  How can you flip something but then end up being the embodiment of it?
  • You move on to Epps’s role in “The Hangover”: “Oh, and those comments on roofies — “Just the other day, me and my boy was wondering why they even call them roofies. … Why not floories, right? Cuz when you take them, you’re more likely to end up on the floor than the roof” – may be horribly inappropriate, but they’re also guiltily funny. They’re not as divisive or controversial as the kind of stuff fellow comedians-turned-actors Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle have said, but in a way, Epps — who performs Saturday at DAR Constitution Hall — has a goofy, universal appeal that rivals Rock’s and Chappelle’s natural charisma.”

    First of all, are you saying that it’s not controversial to make fun of roofies?  It’s the damn date rape drug!  Then you call two very intellectual Black comedians “divisive”.  I really, really would love to hear your explanation for the use of that word.  What do you find divisive about Rock and Chappelle.  Perhaps their jokes about race and race relations?  Divisive is a whole lot of things in this “Post-Racial” world, huh?  Question: Would you call Richard Pryor divisive as well?  You say Epps has a universal appeal, but I think Rock and Chappelle are even more universal in their appeal.  Of course all of this is just my opinion.  Roxanna, you are entitled to yours as well, I just think you’re off.Also you mention Epps’s joke about getting money from white friends and never having to pay it back.  Isn’t that a divisive joke?

I dont’ understand where you were going with this article, Roxana. It seems a bit, well…divisive.


Filed under african american, black, black man, culture, d.c., funny, hollywood, opinion, race, stereotype, washington, washington dc

Sunflower: The hoof polishing black centuar from Disney’s “Fantasia”

Cracked Magazine put together a list of Disney’s 9 most racist characters.

  1. Boy Thursday (1948)
  2. Uncle Remus in “Song of the South” (1946)
  3. The Indians in “Peter Pan” (1953)
  4. Sunflower the Centaur in “Fantasia” (1940)
  5. The Siamese Twin Gang in “Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers” (1989)
  6. King Louie in “Jungle Books” (1967)
  7. The crows in “Dumbo” (1941)
  8. Sebastian in “Little Mermaid” (1989)
  9. The Merchant in “Aladdin” (1991)

Oh Lordy, I remember dem Crows.  Who doesn’t remember those doggone crows.  Sigh.  However the standout for me is the little known Sunflower the Centaur.  Many are not aware of this character who was banned (removed) from the 1960 re-release of the film.

Cracked tried to link to the video below showing a clip from Fantasia.  It’s sense been removed.  You know Disney isn’t having that.  Never fear, I found a clip on YouTube that includes Sunflower (about 1 min in).  It’s crazy to see all these lovely white centaurs and all of a sudden…Bam… a shoe shining “jigga boo” black centaur.  SMH  It’s even sadder to me when the male centaurs come on the scene and all the white female centaurs are having their heads adorned for their dates, around 2:17 you see Sunflower again, with a sunflower in her hair, putting flowers all over someone else’s tail.  The portrayals of black beauty that our foremothers had to deal with…shame.  View it now before they take this one down, too.

I love what Cracked had to say about this character:
Lesson Learned:
Even in Fantasia‘s beautiful, magical landscape, African centaurs are hoof-polishing handmaidens for prettier, Aryan centaurs. Also, 1940 was a great year to be a centaur fetishist and/or Don Imus.

Best (Worst?) Moment:
It was insulting enough for Disney to include the smiling servant stereotype to begin with, but, to make matters worse, they started categorically denying Sunflower’s existence with the Fantasia re-release in 1960. How does that possibly make things better? “No, you misunderstand. In our perfect, Fantasia world, Africans aren’t servants. They don’t fucking exist.”

Ouch.  I’m sure a black person wrote that last line. :)  I actually wish more films were released on DVD with their racist content as a special feature.  When this stuff is removed the public doesn’t have a chance to witness the kind of blatant racism that was so common in the media 60 plus years ago.


Filed under african american, black, black women, culture, hollywood, media, opinion, race, racism, stereotype, youtube

Never Can Say Goodbye: RIP Michael Jackson

I’m in shock.  Really.  Michael Jackson has died today, so suddenly.  It’s a shame.

I was on the Metro (Red Line…I’m never scared) around 5:45 and I heard someone say “Michael Jackson died”.  Well that just sounded like craziness.  There was a quick rebuttal from another random passenger saying, “NO, he just went into cardiac arrest.”  While losing all function of your heart is no simple matter and from what I hear 90% of the time leads to coma or death…The thought that came to my mind was “OH, that’s all. Mike will be alright”.  I went on to the gym and was greeted by CNN’s coverage.  At the time, they hadn’t confirmed Jackson’s death and were quoting the LA Times and AP Wire.  In an interview on CNN, Brian Osman (Jackson Family spokesperson) basically compared Jackson’s situation to Anna Nicole in terms of drug abuse.  Heavy allegations.  That’s serious.  Shortly after that, the LA coroner’s office confirmed Michael Jackson died today at the age of 50.

Somebody tell me this is just a publicity stunt.  Somebody roll the secret footage.

Damn.  The King is dead.  No comeback album.  No colabo with Prince, or Beyonce, or the Jonas Brothers.  Damn.  This is worse than Luther.   If Stevie Wonder goes anytime soon, I’m not going to make it.

Rest in Peace, Michael.  I never will say goodbye.  “Though I try and try to hide my feelings, they always seem to show…don’t wanna let you go…”

Sidenote: [Updated: In the last 24 hours over 70,000] people have come to this site today and viewed the post on Michael Jackson’s children (one of our most popular posts).  Why?  I have no clue.  Keywords make the world go round I guess.


Filed under african american, black man, celebrity, hollywood, media, music, television

RIP Eartha Kitt: One of the most sultry women who ever lived

Christmas is a little less merrier this year with the loss of Eartha Kitt, diva and legend.  She was the ultimate Catwoman.  I loved her in Boomerang playing Lady Eloise.  “Marcussss, Darlingggg!”  Too Funny.  Rest in Peace

Yahoo – Dec 25, 2008 – A family friend says Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died. She was 81.

Andrew Freedman says Kitt died Thursday of colon cancer and was recently treated at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York.

Kitt, a self-proclaimed “sex kitten” famous for her catlike purr, was one of America’s most versatile performers, winning two Emmys and getting a third nomination. She also was nominated for two Tony Awards and a Grammy.


Filed under african american, beauty, black, black women, celebrity, fierce, hollywood, music, news, video, women, youtube