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‘The Sit-In’: The Untold Story of Harry Belafonte Hosting ‘The Tonight Show’ Circa 1968

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*EURweb sat down with executive producer, Joy Reid and director of “The Sit-In,” Yoruba Richen, to discuss the untold Hollywood story of Harry Belafonte making history… a widely unknown and unprecedented story of a very popular black entertainer, sitting in for Johnny Carson, as host of “The Tonight Show” circa 1968, within the heights of the Civil Rights movement.

The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts the Tonight Show” – premieres Thursday, Sept. 10

From executive producer and MSNBC host Joy Reid and director Yoruba Richen, this is a documentary film that chronicles the seminal event and almost-forgotten moment in American history during which legendary entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte hosted the iconic “Tonight Show” in place of Johnny Carson for an entire week.

Belafonte appears in the film, along with Questlove and Whoopi Goldberg who recount the historic moment.

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Yoruba Richen is a talent to watch.  The accolades are vast and long. She has also won the Creative Promise Award at Tribeca All Access and was a Sundance Producers Fellow. She is a featured TED Speaker, a Fulbright fellow, a Guggenheim fellow and a 2016 recipient of the Chicken & Egg Breakthrough Filmmaker Award. Yoruba was chosen for the Root 100s list of African Americans 45 years old and younger who are responsible for the year’s most significant moments and themes. She is also the Founding Director of the Documentary Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Her next project is the Breonna Taylor story.  She is speaking and documenting black voices and we definitely need more of that.

“When I started this film, I thought that I was telling the story of Harry Belafonte’s historic achievement as the first African American to host a full week of late night television,” director Yoruba Richen said in a statement. “I soon discovered the film was not only about this week during a politically volatile time in U.S history but also a journey through Harry’s incredible career, political activism and enduring influence. I discovered how relevant it is to today when we are in a time of political crisis, much like 1968, the year Harry hosted the show.”

Joy Reid, talked exclusively to EURweb about the importance of this documentary and why she wanted to be a part of it.

We are living in a time where there are still little to no people of color anchoring late night shows.”  Why is that? If we had a glimpse of Harry Belafonte in the 1960’s, Arsenio Hall in the 1980’s and now Trevor Noah…why is that it?  Joy Reid is herself, also a pioneer.

Now anchoring her own MSNBC evening show, “The ReidOut,”  she features one-on-one conversations with politicians and newsmakers and covers the political issues of the day, drawing from her extensive experience covering the intersection of race, justice and culture. Reid is one of NBCUniversal’s  most prominent Black on-air personalities and she is a force to be reckoned with.  She is reporting from a diverse perspective and leading the dialogue on important issues to her community and the country as a whole.

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“The Sit-In” is a story that will make you wonder why you did not know the richness of the history of talk shows, it will make you wonder why there are not more people of color and women in that space and it will remind you of the beauty, strength and power of the people.

Look out for special appearances/rare footage of Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne, Bobby Kennedy, The Smothers Brothers and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This documentary is a must see and you can stream it September 10, 2020 on NBCUniversal’s new streaming platform Peacock TV

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Beastie Boys, for First Time Ever, Licenses Song for Commercial Use…for Joe Biden (Watch Ad )

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“The Blind Pig” campaign ad for Joe Biden

*The Beastie Boys had never before licensed any of their songs for an ad until this presidential election.

During Sunday’s Steelers/Browns game, their 1994 classic “Sabotage” was featured in a spot for the campaign of Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The ad focuses on how the COVID-19 shutdowns have decimated the live music industry. It highlights a club in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Blind Pig, that remains shuttered after a 50-year run as a pillar of the community. The owner blames its closing on what he considers Donald Trump’s shortsighted response to the coronavirus crisis.

According to Variety, a Biden campaign spokesperson said the Beastie Boys, who had “never licensed music for an ad until now,” agreed to the use of “Sabotage” in the spot “because of the importance of the election.

The song begins about 40 seconds into the 60-second spot, allowing the climactic appearance of Biden and running mate Kamala Harris in masks to appear as if they were part of the classic Spike Jonez video.

According to Variety,

The late Adam Yauch stipulated in his will that the music he was involved in creating could not be used for product advertising purposes. The group has sued Monster Energy and GoldieBox for using their songs in the past. They have allowed “Sabotage” to be used in trailers for “Star Trek” and the “Destiny 2” videogame.

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Regina Hall: Actress Signs First-Look Deal with Showtime

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*Regina Hall has inked a first-look TV deal with Showtime. 

The actress will develop and produce TV projects under her production company RH Negative, TheWraps reports. She is currently developing a one-hour special that she will star in and executive produce.

“I am excited to call Showtime home,” Hall said. “Working with Amy has been such a delightful and organic experience. I am thrilled to expand our partnership to create smart, meaningful and impactful stories.”

“Regina is an undeniable and brilliant force in Hollywood, both in front of and behind the camera,” said Amy Israel, executive vice president, scripted programming, Showtime Networks Inc.. “She is one of the most dynamic and fearless actors of our generation and in her work on ‘Black Monday,’ she hilariously destroys every scene she’s in. We are thrilled at Showtime to continue and expand our relationship with Regina as a producer and eager to get to work on what promises to be an ambitious slate.”

READ MORE: ‘One Night in Miami’: Regina King’s Feature Directorial Debut Set for Christmas Day … in Theaters / WATCH

 

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Truly overwhelmed by all of the love that I have received today! It all means so much! Thank you all❤️ #Fortyfine

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In related news, Showtime has renewed Hall’s dark comedy “Black Monday” for a third season. The show is an 80s comedy that follows the employees of second-tier Wall Street trading firm the Jammer Group in the year leading up to “Black Monday,” the day when international stock markets crashed in 1987.

Hall plays the ruthless and ambitious Dawn, who is “brash like the boys” and totally ride or die. SPOILER: season two ends with a twist – Dawn locked up after “having taken full credit for the titular Black Monday scam in order to help her on-and-off again beau Mo (Cheadle) avoid life in prison,” per Vulture.

“Dawn just never gets it right,” Hall joked as she discussed the finale with the outlet.

Meanwhile,Hall is also starring in and executiving producing the film “Masters” and Hulu’s “Nine Perfect Strangers” adaptation. You can also catch her in “Breaking News in Yuba County,” set for release January 29.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Says Small Asteroid May Hit Earth Before Election Day

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*Famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has warned that a space rock, known as Asteroid 2018VP1, is set to reach Earth a day before the presidential election on Nov. 3rd. 

Tyson made the announcement on Twitter, noting that the rock is approaching Earth at more than 25,000 mph.

The asteroid is reportedly the size of a refrigerator but Tyson makes clear that even if it enters Earth’s atmosphere, there is no cause for worry. 

“It may buzz-cut Earth on Nov 2, the day before the Presidential Election,” Tyson wrote on Twitter. “It’s not big enough to cause harm. So if the World ends in 2020, it won’t be the fault of the Universe.”

READ MORE: Neil deGrasse Tyson Responds to Sexual Assault Allegations in Facebook Post

NASA also confirmed news of the asteroid reaching Earth on Nov. 2. 

“Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, approx. 6.5 feet, and poses no threat to Earth,” NASA wrote on Twitter. “It currently has a 0.41% chance of entering our planet’s atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size.

“Close approaches by small objects of this size are not rare, and even if something of this size were to impact, the object would not likely survive the Earth’s atmosphere,” Donald Yeomans, a senior researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told The New York Times in August. 

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