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Gabrielle Union to Host ‘Friends’ Table Read with All Black Actors

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*Gabrielle Union is giving “Friends” a reimagining with an all-Black cast.

On Tuesday evening, the actress will host a live table read of an episode of the hit NBC sitcom, that will feature Uzo Aduba, Ryan Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Sterling K. Brown, Kendrick Sampson and Jeremy Pope.

For the reading, Aduba will play Phoebe, Bathe will play Rachel, Hinds will portray Monica, Brown will appear as Ross, Sampson will take on Joey, and Pope will be Chandler.

According to PEOPLE, the actors will re-enact “The One Where No One’s Ready” epsiode from season 3.

“Friends” originally starred Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer.

READ MORE:  Gabrielle Union Has A Powerful Message For Young Girls – STEVE on Watch / LOOK

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‘Friends’ cast

Schwimmer previously addressed the lack of diversity on the beloved sitcom. He told the Guardian in January that he pushed for more inclusive casting, even suggesting that his character Ross date women of color. 

“I was well aware of the lack of diversity and I campaigned for years to have Ross date women of color,” Schwimmer said. “One of the first girlfriends I had on the show was an Asian-American woman, and later I dated African American women. That was a very conscious push on my part.” 

Ross dated Aisha Tyler’s character, Charlie Wheeler. Tyler is the only person of color to appear in more than three episodes in the series’ 10-season run. The comedian/actress appeared in nine episodes, while Phill Lewis, who played Chandler’s boss, appeared in three. 

Schwimmer caught heat on Twitter after he proposed an all-black version of “Friends.”

Folks were quick to remind him that “Friends” is basically the all-white reboot of the Fox sitcom “Living Single.”

In June, “Friends” co-creator Marta Kauffman acknowledged the sitcom’s lack of diversity diversity during the 2020 ATX TV From the Couch virtual panel this week. 

“I wish I knew then what I knew today, I would have made very different decisions,” Kauffman said. “I mean we’ve always encouraged people of diversity in our company, but I didn’t do enough and now all I can think about is, what can I do? What can I do differently? How can I run my show in a new way? And that’s something I not only wish I knew when I started showrunning, but I wish I knew all the way up through last year.”

Meanwhile, Lisa Kudrow, who played Phoebe on the show, said that if the series were given the reboot treatment it “would not be an all-white cast, for sure.”

To watch Gabrielle Union’s hour-long “Friends” table read, sign up here ahead of the 6 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. ET start time on Tuesday, Sept. 22. 

The virtual event is taking place on National Voter Registration Day.

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Toni Braxton Drops Emotional Music Video for ‘Gotta Move On ft. H.E.R.’ [WATCH]

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*Toni Braxton has released new visuals for her latest single “Gotta Move On,” which features guitar and a guest appearance from H.E.R.

Directed by Mike Ho (Jennifer Lopez, Mary J. Blige, Nicki Minaj), the cinematic video follows star crossed lovers, featuring actor/fitness personality Corey Calliet, as their relationship unravels grounded by Toni’s ever soulful vocals. Known for training celebrity clients such as Michael B. Jordan, John Boyega, JuJu Smith-Schuster, the “Gotta Move On” video serves as Calliet’s first leading role.

“Gotta Move On” impacted Adult R&B radio lastweek, securing the #1 most added song at the format. Braxton is the only artist to have a #1 song at Adult R&B format in the last four decades.

She released her tenth studio album Spell My Name back in August.

Check out the music video for “Gotta Move On” via the YouTube player above. 

READ MORE: Prince, Lauryn, Gladys, Jay Z & Nas: Too Many Moments Happened on This Day in Music History [EUR Video Throwback]

In related news, the superteaser for the upcoming new season of “Braxton Family Values” shows cameras captured Toni’s reaction when the family learns about Tamar’s suicide attempt. 

Evelyn Braxton explains, “Toni called. She told me that Tamar was rushed to the hospital because she tried to commit suicide.” Toni added, “It seemed like a dream, a bad dream.”

Soon after the clip dropped, Tamar took to Instagram to slam WEtv for using her pain for a ratings ploy, E! News reports. 

“After waking up to that disgusting trailer…F–K @wetv and whomever else participating for using my pain for their pleasure and ratings‼” she wrote on social media. “At some point this abuse HAS to STOP‼ and P.S. IM NOT FILMING FOR THIS SEASON! THEY ARE DOING THIS WHILE IM NOT ON THE SHOW‼ #SCUMBAGS–T.” 

Over the summer, Tamar was found unconscious by her then-boyfriend David Adefeso at their Los Angeles hotel. She received treatment at a local hospital and later transferred to a mental health facility. 

The new season of “Braxton Family Values” returns Nov. 5 at 9 p.m. on WE tv. Scroll up and watch the new teaser above.

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Peacock Drops Official Trailer for ‘Saved by the Bell’ Reboot [WATCH]

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*NBCUniversal’s streaming service Peacock has released a new trailer for the “Saved by the Bell” reboot.

The comedy is an updated version of the 90’s TV show starring a new cast and featuring some returning characters. 

We previously reported, original series stars Mario Lopez and Elizabeth Berkley are reprising their respective characters of A.C. Slater and Jessie Spano. 

Fans can also expect occasional appearances from Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Zack Morris (now Governor of California) and Tiffani Thiessen as Kelly Kapowski. 

A previosu teaser introduced Mac Morris, the privileged son of Governor Morris  and Jamie Spano,  Jessie’s son and captain of the Bayside football team. 

READ MORE: 30 Years Later… ‘Saved by the Bell’ TV Series Returns, Watch Teaser [VIDEO]

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Original ‘Saved by the Bell’ cast

Dustin Diamond—who played Screech in the original series — was reportedly not invited back for the reboot, neither was co-star Lark Voorhies.

“I’m one of the rare people who was in every episode. … And that’s not the case anymore, if I’m not in the new one,” Diamond shared with TMZ in February, . “And how do you have Saved by the Bell without Screech? Right? It seems like there’s a missed opportunity there. What’s the old saying about cutting off the hand? Cutting off the finger to spite the hand? Or, cutting off the nose to save or spite the face? Something like that.”

Lark also previously confessed that she was hurt by not being asked to return for the reboot. She was also not invited to the cast reunion. 

When she appeared on “The Dr. Oz Show” to dish about her mental health issues, Voorhies read from a journal entry she had written that detailed her feelings about the show diss. 

“It reads, this is a question to the reunion,” she read. “I have to admit I did feel a bit slighted and hurt when I was not invited to be part of the Saved by the Bell reunion, as well as other cast members’ events. Yet of course, I also realized that having this puzzling disorder may have played a major part in that factual decision.”

She added, “With that in mind, I am truly thankful for having had the chance to work on a show that has been so successful.”

“Saved by the Bell” aired on NBC from August 20, 1989 to May 22, 1993. The show follows a group of high school friends and their principal.

Scroll up and check out the trailer for the reboot via the YouTube player above. 

“Saved by the Bell” will debut on Peacock on Nov. 25.

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Javicia Leslie: First Look at Actress in Redesigned ‘Batwoman’ Suit

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*The CW has served up the first full look at Javicia Leslie as the new Batwoman in the brand new, redesigned bat suit. 

During DC FanDome in September, Leslie toucned on the new features for the character Ryan Wilder, saying that she wanted to celebrate her natural hair and curves.

“Ryan’s journey starts from a place of ‘What can this Batsuit do for me?’ But it’s not long before she realizes the power of its symbol and what it can do for everyone else in Gotham City,” said executive producer Caroline Dries of Batwoman’s new look. “As Ryan embraces everything that makes her special, she adjusts the suit to fit her physically and figuratively. This meant creating a new body design and new cowl that was undeniably a statement that screamed ‘powerful,’” she explaind.

“Maya Mani sent me her drawings and I loved it. The wig was something we never perfected in season one, and Janice Workman crushed it with this new take. Javicia and I saw various prototypes of styles and red ombres, and at one point we were trading our own iPad-doodled versions. Janice translated that into what we are looking at now. When I see it, I smile. It makes me feel inspired.”

READ MORE: Javicia Leslie on Being First Black, Bisexual Batwoman: ‘I Feel Honored’

Leslie added, “I love the fact that Ryan is becoming her own Batwoman — it’s her style, her swag, and her moment! It was an honor to be able to collaborate with Caroline and Maya. I felt it was important that viewers could tell by the silhouette that Batwoman was a Black girl. With the form-fitting suit and beautiful Afro, we definitely nailed it!”

“I was asked by Caroline Dries to design a Batsuit that was unique to the character of Ryan Wilder; as she is a highly skilled fighter, encapsulating her raw, athletic, and passionate nature was imperative,” said Mani. “As Batwoman, Javicia Leslie not only brings a fresh perspective, but physical strength to the role. It was important for the new suit to define Javicia’s commanding presence while showcasing her athleticism and allowing her the freedom to express the physical nature of Batwoman, all while looking ultra-cool in the process!”

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Leslise is picking up where actress Ruby Rose left off when she exited the show after season one. 

“When I read the character description, it was definitely me. I love the idea that it’s goofy meets bada** meets a person who doesn’t like to be told what to do. A person who does not like to follow the rules. I loved the fact that Ryan was just who I am, just a hot mess!” Leslie joked during DC FanDome last month.

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