*Lena Waite is calling on Emmy voters to show more love to Black shows and content creators of color.
After reading Hollywood Reporter’s 2020 Emmy forecast that highlighted predominantly white TV shows, Waite noted her objection and penned a response for the publication.
Waite, who won an Emmy in 2017 for her work on “Master of None,” wrote, in part:
A few weeks ago, I found myself reading the Emmy forecast in The Hollywood Reporter — as I always do. Then I found myself being a little bewildered, but not surprised by the usual “frontrunners”: Succession, Ozark, The Crown, Better Call Saul, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Morning Show. All fantastic shows. All white as fuck. (Yes — This Is Us and Westworld are on the list, and I dig those shows, but right now I’m talking about shows with Black creators.) When it comes to comedies, except for Insecure, the list is even whiter. These lists aren’t just a fun guessing game. These lists tell the TV Academy who to vote for.
Awards campaigns aren’t that different from political campaigns. The more visible you are, the more likely it’ll be that Academy voters will think of you when it comes time to vote. But visibility costs money. And often shows with predominantly Black casts don’t have big budgets for robust campaigns. That, coupled with being absent from these lists, means that a lot of shows with majority Black talent continue to be absent at the Emmys. Awards can seem superficial, but the truth is that awards mean power. My Emmy made it possible for me to regain control of my own show. I was able to create job opportunities for people who look like me.
As white people continue to accumulate trophies and dominate the awards conversations, it makes it difficult for Black and brown people in Hollywood to gain wealth and power. The vicious cycle continues. Now don’t get me wrong. We don’t want pity nominations. All we want is to at least be a part of the conversation when Emmy season rolls around. We’re worthy of it.
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It’s time to remind voters that there are other shows out there they should be paying attention to. White voters need to get out of their comfort zones and start watching shows about people who don’t look like them. @THR https://t.co/rUkJy8pkhm
— Lena Waithe (@LenaWaithe) July 8, 2020
She went on to say:
If I made a list of Emmy hopefuls, it would probably include shows about Black and brown people, shows about the LGBTQIA+ community and people living with disabilities — such as Insecure, Dear White People, Pose, #BlackAF, Queen Sugar, Work in Progress, All American, Bigger, First Wives Club, Ramy, Betty, A Black Lady Sketch Show, Power, Snowfall, Black Monday, Wu Tang, Desus & Mero, Greenleaf, Never Have I Ever, High Fidelity, Gentefied, Cherish the Day, Vida, One Day at a Time, Los Espookys, Feel Good … the list goes on. Now, some of these shows have made appearances on the coveted lists, but they rarely fall into the “frontrunner” groups. I also find it ironic that the same trades generating these white-ass lists then turn around and do cover stories asking why awards shows are so white.
During a recent appearance on “The Late Late Show With James Corden,” Waithe called out media companies for ignoring Black TV shows during award season
“Look, I just read The Hollywood Reporter, and The Hollywood Reporter has some explaining to do, because their list of TV/Emmy nominees, like, people that are hopefuls, all the Black shows are, like, on the long shot list or a major threat,” said Waithe. “It’s, like, don’t act like Black television is invisible,” continued Waithe. “And that’s up to places like The Hollywood Reporter, and Variety, and all these trades, to not ignore the ‘Insecures,’ the ‘BlackAFs’ the ‘Dear White Peoples.’ They have ignored our shows for so long, and they act like we don’t even belong in the conversation. And I think it’s unfair. I think it’s not cool, and I don’t have any qualms about calling them out on that.”
Read Lena’s full response to THR and Emmy voters HERE.
Shonda Rhimes Says Clash Over Disneyland Ticket Lead to ABC Exit: ‘I Felt Like I Was Dying’
*Shonda Rhimes has detailed her decision to leave ABC and the straw that broke the camel’s back was a request for a Disneyland pass.
For 15 years, Rhymes created TV magic (and made history) at the network, with shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal,” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” She reportedly make more than $2 billion for Disney, but had a constant battle with ABC, which is owned by the studio. The writer producer tells The Hollywood Reporter that her creativity was limited at the network
“I felt like I was dying,” she said of her work producing nearly 70 hours of annual television. “Like I’d been pushing the same ball up the same hill in the exact same way for a really long time.”
The final nail in the coffin was hammered in 2017, over a pass to Disneyland.
Here’s more from Us Weekly:
As part of her contract, the showrunner had an all-inclusive pass and had negotiated a second one for her nanny. However, her pass was not interchangeable so when her sister needed one to take Rhimes’ daughter to the park, she had to go back and forth with the network and was told, “We never do this” multiple times.
The park eventually issued her an extra pass — which would have cost $154 — but it didn’t work when her family arrived at the park. Rhimes then called a “high-ranking executive,” who allegedly asked her, “Don’t you have enough?”
With that, she called her lawyer and asked to exit ABC to go to Netflix. Rhimes later inked a deal with the streaming giant worth $150 million.
In August, she announced her new deal, saying, “Shondaland’s move to Netflix is the result of a shared plan [Netflix CEO] Ted Sarandos and I built based on my vision for myself as a storyteller and for the evolution of my company.”
Her statement continued, “Ted provides a clear, fearless space for creators at Netflix. He understood what I was looking for—the opportunity to build a vibrant new storytelling home for writers with the unique creative freedom and instantaneous global reach provided by Netflix’s singular sense of innovation.”
Shonda’s first two projects with Netflix include a documentary about Hollywood icon Debbie Allen (releasing Nov. 27) and the period drama “Bridgerton” (releasing Dec. 25).
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Archewell Foundation Gets Official Website
*Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have launched the website for their new Archewell foundation.
Archwell.com went live on Wednesday, featuring an email sign-up form and contact information, along with a breakdown behind the meaning of the name.
The royal couple announced the foundation in April, noting that the Archewell name is connected to their 1-year-old son Archie.
“Like you, our focus is on supporting efforts to tackle the global COVID-19 pandemic, but faced with this information coming to light, we felt compelled to share the story of how this came to be,” the couple said in the statement.
“Before SussexRoyal came the idea of ‘arche’ — the Greek word meaning ‘source of action,’ ” they continued. “We connected to this concept for the charitable organization we hoped to build one day, and it became the inspiration for our son’s name. To do something of meaning, to do something that matters. Archewell is a name that combines an ancient word for strength and action, and another that evokes the deep resources we each must draw upon. We look forward to launching Archewell when the time is right.”
Since stepping down as senior members of the royal family, Harry and Megan have relocated to Los Angeles with their son. They have appeared in severa virtual conversations with various influencers and organizations, speaking out about the impact of social media and the importance of voting in the Nov. 3 presidential election.
Most recently, the dynamic duo hosted a specially curated edition of TIME100 Talks, where Harry and Meghan spoke about the state of the digital world.
“What our job is, especially throughout these conversations, is to get people to listen to the experts and for them to explain how what’s happening in the online world is affecting the world,” Harry said. “It is not restricted to certain platforms or certain social media conversations. This is a global crisis: a global crisis of hate, a global crisis of misinformation and a global health crisis.”
Dr. Dre’s Wife Nicole Young Calls Him Out on ‘Ironclad Prenup’
*Dr. Dre’s wife Nicole Young has filed legal docs demanding he turn over the original version of the “ironclad prenup” at the center of their divorce battle.
Here’s more from TMZ:
In the docs, she says Dre’s failed to produce the prenup even though the law is clear he must turn over all relevant financial, business and personal documents.
She says because Dre hasn’t produced it … she doesn’t know which version of the alleged prenup he’s referring to, and calls his refusal to share the info an “intentional abuse” of the divorce process.
Young, 50, filed for divorce over the summer after 24 years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple married on May 25, 1996 and share two adult children, son Truice, 23, and 19-year-old daughter Truly.
In his response to the divorce filing, Dre noted that the couple have a prenuptial agreement that he wants enforced.
The hip-hop mogul reportedly has no issue paying spousal support, but any distribution of property should be controlled by the prenup.
Young reportedly filed documents contesting the prenuptial agreement.
“I was extremely reluctant, resistant and afraid to sign the agreement and felt backed into a corner. Given the extraordinary pressure and intimidation by Andre, I was left with no option but to hire a lawyer (of course, with the help of Andre’s team of professionals) and unwillingly signed the agreement very shortly before our marriage,” Young alleges in legal documents filed to the court, per TMZ.
She claims they mutually decided to void the agreement two years later.
“Andre acknowledged to me that he felt ashamed he had pressured me into signing a premarital agreement and he tore up multiple copies of the agreement in front of me,” Young claims in the filing. “Since the day he tore up the agreements, we both understood that there was no premarital agreement, and that it was null and void.”
In her new filing, Young challenge Dre’s claim that he tore it up 22 years ago. Meanwhile, Dre denies ever tearing up the agreement.
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