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Black Family Loses 4 Loved Ones in 10 Days to COVID-19 as Racial Disparities Exposed

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medical worker - covid-19 victim (Getty)
medical worker - covid-19 victim (Getty)

Medical worker transporting COVID-19 victim to morgue

*ABC News told the gut-wrenching story of Kevin Franklin, who lost his 86-year-old mother and three big brothers to the coronavirus pandemic in the span of just 10 days.

“I’m just torn up right now,” said Franklin of New Orleans. His life has been one of anguish and anxiety since March 20 when Herman Franklin was the first of the four to die at Ochsner Baptist Medical Center. Franklin says his loved ones didn’t know they had the disease until it was too late.

“No one seemed sick. Nobody complained about nothing,” the 56-year-old told ABC News. “We didn’t know my mom had it until my mom went into the hospital.”

MORE NEWS: 5-Year Old Killed in Drive-By Shooting While Making TikTok Videos With His Dad (Video)

The Franklin family survived Hurricane Katrina, but those 2005 floodwaters that ravaged the city were at least visible. Like Katrina, though, the coronavirus appears to be bringing a disproportionate amount of pain to African Americans like Kevin Franklin, who is mourning his mother, Antoinette, his brothers Herman, 71, Timothy, 61, and Anthony, 58, all at the same time.

Below, ABC’s Nightline reports on COVID-19’s disproportionate toll on black communities.

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Disney Casts Yara Shahidi as Tinkerbell in Live-Action ‘Peter Pan’ Film

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*Yara Shahidi has been cast to portray Tinkerbell in Disney’s live-action “Peter Pan” flick.

Deadline reports that this marks the first time the beloved character has been played by a Black person or person of color. 

Helmed by David Lowery, Shahidi will be joining Jude Law, who will take on the role of Captain Hook, Alexander Molony and Ever Anderson who are playing title characters. 

The film is expected to debut in theaters. 

READ MORE: Barbie Rereleases Yara Shahidi’s ‘Shero’ Doll Ahead of 2020 Election

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In a 2016 Teen Vogue interview, Shahidi noted how she became “representation for myself” at a young age after she modeled for Mattel and Disney. 

“Some of my childhood modeling jobs were with Mattel and Disney, so I’d go into the Disney store and literally see me,” she told the publication. “My family was cleaning up the garage, and I found these life-size cutouts of 6-year-old me as the black Tinkerbell, black Cinderella, you name it, which is hilarious. But being the black version of so many characters brought up problems. I was happy to be black, but at the same time there were moments of, ‘Why is this a separate collection?’ There was this realization that being black meant I was the ‘off-brand’ version because Cinderella wasn’t made to look like me.”

News of her Tinkerbell casting coincides with the announcement that Mattel is relaunching Shahidi’s collectable Shero doll to educate young voters and encourage them to cast a ballot in the November election. 

As noted by PEOPLE, Shahidi’s doll wears a gray suit with a Tory Burch “vote” graphic tee underneath. The doll’s packaging has a QR code that links to voter registration resource WeVoteNext and comes with an “I Voted” sticker on her black leather backpack.

“I’m honored to be repping all the young ones as a Barbie Role Model,” Shahidi wrote on Instagram when the doll was initially revealed. “Let’s continue to inspire the next generation and each other. We need your voices and are watching you all Blossom and shine!”

Shahidi’s collectible doll “empowers the next generation of voters to stand up for what they believe in, emphasizes the importance of using one’s voice at every age, and shows young voters how they hold the power to help shape a better future,” a Barbie press release states.

The doll retails for $29.99 and is available for pre-sale on Amazon and barbie.com. The doll officially launches on Oct. 9. 

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Tyra Banks Admits ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Could Have Been More Inclusive [VIDEO]

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*Tyra Banks admits “America’s Next Top Model” could have done a better job at being more inclusive and highlighting diversity. 

“We were still operating in a world—I was still a model at the time, not a retired model yet, and still operating in this world that had so many rules,” the former model said on the Tamron Hall Show on Wednesday. “It was this awful push and pull that we all had.”

Banks said there were “different categories of things we messed up” and that the series had “a whole bunch of things that we did mess up.” Banks sees the show’s missteps as her attempt to avoid hurting the contestants’ careers.

READ MORE: Tyra Banks Explains Why She Was an ‘Insensitive’ Hater in ANTM Clips After Backlash

TIME 100 Summit 2019

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 23 Tyra Banks participates in a panel discussion during the TIME 100 Summit 2019 on April 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for TIME)

“I was trying to push boundaries but was also torn to try to make sure that these girls could work, so it was a balance,” Banks said. “It was like, ‘Oh, break beauty barriers,’ but yeah, I can break them all I want on the show, but they’ll graduate from the show, and they won’t work.”

In May she addressed criticism over the disturbing ANTM clips that resurfaced, showing her rude, toxic and demeaning handling of several contestants.

In one clip, she criticized cycle six winner Danielle Evans’ choice not to close the gap in her front teeth. 

“Do you really think you can have a CoverGirl contract with a gap in your mouth?” Banks said after Evans decided against dental work. 

“I had model agents here saying, ‘These three girls could really, really work, but this must change,’ so there was a whole behind-the-scenes thing happening,” Banks told Hall. “Instead of me saying, ‘You must change this,’ on TV, I think what I should have said is, ‘You’re beautiful.’”

Banks went on to explain… “America’s Next Top Model was created—I created it—to introduce diversity and inclusion into a world that was pretty much not representing that or representing it in the most minute ways,” Banks said. “So that was the crux of why I created America’s Next Top Model. It’s why my partner Ken Mok and I, who’s Chinese American, got up every single day, and we made so many inroads.”

“Top Model” debuted in 2003 and was canceled in 2015. It was later rebooted on VH1.

Scroll up and watch Tyra’s interview with Tamron via the YouTube video above. 

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YouTuber Ari Zahir Cast as New Voice of Cleveland Brown on ‘Family Guy’

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Family Guy': Cleveland Voice Recast — Arif Zahir Replacing Mike Henry

Family Guy

*Family Guy has cast YouTuber Arif Zahir to voice Cleveland Brown after Mike Henry, a white man, announced he would be stepping down from the role because “persons of color should play characters of color.”

Henry announced his departure on social media in August, saying in a statement, “It’s been an honor to play Cleveland on Family Guy for 20 years. I love this character, but persons of color should play characters of color. Therefore, I will be stepping down from the role.”

“The Cleveland Show” ran from 2009 to 2013, during which Henry provided the voice of Cleveland and his stepson, Rallo Tubbs. The comedian also voices Consuela the maid and several other minor characters. He served as co-creator and lead star on the spinoff for the series’ four seasons, The Blast reports. 

Henry provided the voice of the character since the Fox animated series’ debut in 1999. 

The animated sitcom announced on Twitter Friday that Zahir, who is Black, will now voice Cleveland in season 19.

“We have found our new Cleveland! Excited to have you join the fam, @Azerrz,” the series tweeted alongside a split photo of Zahir and Cleveland.

Of the news, Zahir, 26, said in a statement: “To Mike Henry, Rich Appel, Alec Sulkin and Seth MacFarlane, thank you for this incredible gift. And to the millions of fans who love this show, I promise not to let you own.”

Actor Wendell Pierce had petitioned to become the new voice of Cleveland Brown, SandraRose reported. 

He took to social media to pitch himself, writing “Now that Mike Henry has consciously given up the role of Cleveland, I am publicly starting a campaign to voice the role myself on ‘The Cleveland Show.’”

We previously reported, “The Simpsons” will no longer allow non-white characters to be voiced by white actors.

“Moving forward, “The Simpsons” will no longer have white actors voice non-white characters,” the producers stated.

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