In recent years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science has been subject to much criticism over a lack of diversity over it's membership. After the #OscarsSoWhite controversy of 2016 (although it kinda started in 2014 and gained steam after 2015 and 2016 nominations repeated the trend), the Academy has been trying to do more to include women and people of color. The 2017 Academy Awards featured many more diverse films and actors than some of the past years, but it wasn't enough change for many. Now the Academy is trying to add more diversity at it's core by inviting a record number of people of color and women to their membership.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy recently sent out 774 invite to people to join their membership. Of those invites, 30 percent of them are people of color, while 39 percent of them are women. In fact, the reports says that seven of the Academy branches (actors, casting directors, costume designers, documentary, executives and film editors) invited more women then men.
Some of the names invited include Donald Glover, Phylicia Rashad, Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Leslie Jones, Wanda Sykes, Janelle Monáe, Riz Ahmed, Priyanka Chopra, and directors Barry Jenkins and Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, to name a few.
The Academy has been pushing for diversity the last few years now, and they showed it well this year with Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight winning Best Motion Picture, making it the first all-black film to win the award. Now with these potential additions to the Academy, even more diversity should be on it's way.
Remy Ma recently open up about her experience with an ectopic pregnancy on Love & Hip Hop: New York, which eventually lead to her having a miscarriage. Now she hopes to help other women who face the same ordeal by establishing a fund o help those who are fighting fertility complications.
In a video interview with Essence, Remy said her organization will assist “women who are like me or have a similar situation to me, but they can’t afford it, could possibly get these procedures done and have children, because as a woman, that’s one of the things that you can do that no other being can do.”
Extrauterine pregnancy occurs when the fertilized egg is stationed outside of the uterus. According to americanpregnancy.org, this “happens in 1 out of 50 pregnancies.”
Fresh Off A Mistrial In His Own Sexual Assault Case, Bill Cosby Is Going On A Speaking Tour...About Sexual Assault.
After a short trial that included tidbits from a 2006 deposition where Bill Cosby admits to using quaaludes on women he then had sex with and the defense rested after only six minutes, the highly publicized trial of Bill Cosby ended in a mistrial. For 50 hours, a jury that included seven men and five women were unable to determine whether or not the comedian and television personality was guilty of allegedly sexually assaulting Andrea Constand in 2004. Despite the fact that the prosecutor has said that he will retry the case, Cosby will be going on a speaking tour, about sexual assault.
Thursday (June 22) morning, Cosby spokespeople Andrew Wyatt and Ebonee Benson paid a visit to Good Morning Alabama where they revealed that Cosby will go on a speaking tour. The goal of the tour will be to advise young people on how to ward off sexual assault allegations, seriously.
During the interview, Good Morning Alabama host Janice Rodgers asked “Is it kind of a, ‘do as I say, not as I do?'” While Wyatt laughed off the question, Benson quickly chimed in with an interesting response. “Laws are changing,” she said. “The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. So this is why people need to be educated on a brush against the shoulder. Anything at this point can be considered sexual assault.”
You can view the complete interview below.
Jay-Z had himself a really good Father's day, and he made sure other dads did as well. Not only did Hov, with wife Beyonce, welcome twins to the world, but he also help make sure several New York families got to see their fathers as well. The Songwriter’s Hall of Fame inductee bailed out several men being held in NYC jails because they couldn't afford bond.
“If you’re from neighborhoods like the Brooklyn one I grew up in, if you’re unable to afford a private attorney, then you can be disappeared into our jail system simply because you can’t afford bail,” Jay Z wrote in an op-ed piece for Time. “Millions of people are separated from their families for months at a time — not because they are convicted of committing a crime, but because they are accused of committing a crime.”
He later referenced organizations like Southerners On New Ground and Color of Change that bailed out moms for Mother’s Day. “As a father with a growing family, it’s the least I can do, but philanthropy is not a long fix, we have to get rid of these inhumane practices altogether. We can’t fix our broken criminal justice system until we take on the exploitative bail industry.”
Read Jay Z’s full Time piece here.
Back in August 2014, a young black man was walking down the street in his neighborhood when he was approached by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer, moments later, that young man was dead. That young man's name was Mike Brown, and his death sparked outrage throughout the country as many just didn't understand why a young man, who was unarmed and appeared to not be doing any illegal activity, would be killed in cold blood by a police officer.
After over a year of court battles, the family of Mike Brown never got their justice as the officer who killed Brown, Darren Wilson, never even got charged with a crime. While justice was never served, his story may now live forever in the form of a feature film.
The Root reports that Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to “Tell the Truth & Shame the Devil: The Life, Legacy, and Love of My Son Michael Brown,” a memoir co-written by Brown’s mother, Lezley McSpadden and novelist, Lyah Beth LeFlore. Insiders say Warner Bros. won the rights in a bid against several other studios looking to make a movie about the shooting. Now, a writer of color-for-hire on the culturally significant and racially sensitive topic is next on the to-do list.
What’s more, according to Tracking Board, the film based on Brown’s shooting is being developed akin to Oscar-winning motion pic, Crash (2005).
Once more info is released about the movie we will let you know.
by STEVE KARNOWSKI and AMY FORLITI
Associated PressJune 16, 2017
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota police officer was cleared Friday in the fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a black motorist whose death captured national attention when his girlfriend streamed the grim aftermath on Facebook.
Castile's family stormed out of the courtroom after the verdict was read, and the city of St. Anthony swiftly announced plans to dismiss Officer Jeronimo Yanez, despite his acquittal. Yanez was charged with manslaughter in the death of Castile, a 32-year-old school cafeteria worker, during a July 6 traffic stop that turned deadly seconds after Castile alerted the officer that he was carrying a gun. Castile had a permit for the weapon.
"The fact in this matter is that my son was murdered, and I'll continue to say murdered, because where in this planet (can you) tell the truth, and you be honest, and you still be murdered by the police of Minnesota," his mother, Valerie Castile, said, referring to the fact that her son was shot after he volunteered to Yanez, "Sir, I have to tell you, I do have a firearm on me."
"He didn't deserve to die the way he did," Philando Castile's sister, Allysza, said, through tears. "I will never have faith in the system."
Thousands of people gathered Friday evening at the nearby state Capitol to protest the verdict, and began a march that organizers said was headed for the St. Paul Cathedral. The mixed-race crowd, including many people with children, carried signs that read "Unite for Philando" and "Corrupt systems only corrupt." The protest was peaceful as darkness fell, though it disrupted light-rail trains.
Just in time for Independence Day, recreational use of marijuana will be legal throughout Nevada, including in Sin City, a.k.a. Las Vegas. While the news is being welcomed by many, officials are warning that you better not light up on the strip.
“Marijuana is legal in the privacy of your own home, your own domain,” said Officer Jay Rivera, a spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “You cannot smoke it publicly. “As far as I know, there’s no hotel property that allows it either on the Strip or Fremont Street,” he added. “They do not want it on their property.”
For those wanting to indulge in the green while visiting Vegas should remember a few things:
--You must be 21 or older, and able to prove it with government ID, to buy marijuana.
--Tourists will be limited as to where they can indulge without getting hassled or busted.
--Most hotels have a strict no smoking policy, this includes cigarettes, cigars and any drugs.
For tourist willing to take the risk, a good option may be to opt for edibles, as doesn't give obvious clues to authorities that you are using weed. In anycase, it would be smart to not indulge while while walking around the strip as police will most likely be on the lookout for any offenders.
By a 54.5% majority, Nevada voters approved recreational marijuana last November.
Early this morning (June 16) Amazon announced that it has agreed to purchase Whole Foods Market. The stunning move will cost Amazon $13.7 billion. In pursuing its largest acquisition ever, the Seattle-based online retail giant will pay $42 per share in an all-cash deal. That's 27% higher than Whole Foods' Thursday closing stock price of $33.06.
This move coincides with Amazon's latest efforts to get into the brick-and-mortar store business. They have already opened a string of bookstores in the last year, and now they are on their way to owning a massive super market empire.
While the move still needs to be approved by Whole Foods shareholders, it is expected to gain full approval by late 2017.
In the grocery realm, Amazon has opened to "click and collect" stores in Seattle where customers can order online and then drive through to have their groceries loaded directly into their cars at a predetermined time. It also has a concept Amazon Go store near its headquarters in downtown Seattle where customers don't have to check out at all, sensors and cameras automatically charge consumers for items they pick up and carry out.
In addition, its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service, is available for $14.99 a month in selected markets. But acquiring Whole Foods, with its 450 stores nationwide, represents a dramatic departure from its early business model founded on online retailing and related technology.
The racial justice group that published Lynchings in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror two years ago today collaborates with Google to bring us an interactive digital platform that fuses comprehensive data and varied personal stories – visually and orally – so that people can explore our nation’s dark history of lynching.
According to USA Today, the goal is to spark a national dialogue about a subject that is too rarely discussed yet is crucial to understanding racism today, says Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of best-selling book Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption.
He later adds: “We want to change how we think about this era in America.”
The website centers a map of 4,300 lynchings in 20 states and the voices of people who have been affected by lynching. The hub is complete with a series of oral histories, a documentary and call for the dismantling of the prison industrial complex through the Equal Justice Initiative.
For more information, visit here.
Ice Cube joined Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time w/ Bill Maher" just one week after Maher used the N-Word on the show. Ice Cube accepted Maher's apology for using the term, but he had more to say. It was truly a teachable moment for the host and the viewers. You can watch the interaction between Maher and Cube above.