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Lavern Cox, Lena Waithe, Elle Lorraine Discuss Their New Hulu Film ‘Bad Hair / EUR Exclusive WATCH

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Bad Hair

*“Bad Hair” is a horror-comedy written and directed by Justin Simien (“Dear White People”) making its Hulu debut on October 23.

The film is set in 1989 Los Angeles where Anna (Elle Lorraine “Insecure”) – an overlooked assistant at a music video channel- is looking to get her big break in front of the camera. Her dreams come to a screeching halt when her boss leaves the company, and new management takes over. A new executive, ex-model Zora (Vanessa Williams) steals Anna’s ideas for revamping the network, but not before telling her to change up her look if she wants to get ahead.

A trip to an exclusive salon run by mysterious stylist Virgie (Laverne Cox) leaves Anna with a “killer weave” that has a thirst for blood. Inspired by the Korean hair horror genre, the film also stars Lena Waithe, Blair Underwood, Usher, Kelly Rowland, James Van Der Beek and Jay Pharaoh.

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Jill Munroe spoke with the cast about the new film and explored some of their personal thoughts about themes in the film.

Jill: Is it ok to alter yourself in order to get the opportunity to get into the room, like Anna did in the film?

Elle Lorraine:  To be honest I’ve done it at times. So, I’m not going to sit here on a high horse and pretend that I’ve never conformed or assimilated to be comfortable in a room. I understand that journey and that need. But, there is not a time that we should feel like we have to. We should be able to present ourselves as we are, in our natural state. And be appreciated for what we bring to the table… no there isn’t a time, but it’s a process and we’re still transforming.

Lena Waithe: For me, I spent so much of my life conforming. When you are a queer person and you know it, but you can’t tell anyone, you’re constantly wearing a mask. And once I moved to Los Angeles in my early twenties, I took the mask off fairly early… and sort of shunned that. But I think that’s because of my experience, and knowing that I was a little different from everyone else, and trying to be like everyone else… I had to learn that lesson quickly and very early, that when you try to hide who you are, you suffer.

Jill: In the film, Anna’s new weave seems to get her the life she has been searching for, was there a moment in your life where hair has been transformative?

Laverne Cox: So many moments, it’s always transformative. I was thinking about the first time I went blonde. I have this really intense relationship with blonde hair. Particularly because I’ve read my bell hooks – she’s an author, black feminist writer – and she’s very critical of black folks and blonde hair, and them sort of embracing white supremacy beauty standards – so I have this very intense relationship with blonde hair. The first time I went blonde, I felt like the whole world sort of looked at me differently. I was excited by that, but also troubled me deeply. It’s just really complicated.

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Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip

Jada Pinkett Smith Announces Animated Short ‘Cops and Robbers’ About Police Brutality [VIDEO]

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*Jada Pinkett-Smith has announced her timely new animated short “Cops and Robbers,” is set to premiere Dec. 28 on Netflix.

Directed by Arnon Manor, the project was written and performed by Timothy Ware-Hill in response to the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Manor used one of Ware-Hill’s poems for their collaboration, Variety reports. 

The duo said they made this film “for all the Black men, women and children who have been victims of racial profiling, police violence, loss of life and other injustices just for being themselves.”

Pinkett-Smith apparently serves as a producer on the animated short, and she spoke with Variety about getting the title to Netflix, and why the message resonates with her. 

Hear/watch the actress tell it via the clip above, and check out a few excerpts from her interview below. 

READ MORE: Months After Announcing Split Lena Waithe’s Wife, Alana Mayo, Files For Divorce

Over 30 individual artists, students and VFX companies from around the world collaborated to each create a short segment of the poem with their own visual interpretation of the subject matter and individual animation technique. Half the animators on the “Cops and Robbers” are Black animation artists,” per Variety.

“I’m so proud of this project and I can’t wait for you to see it,” Pinkett Smith wrote on Twitter. Here’s what she told the publication about the upcoming film:

Why was it important for you to be a part of “Cops and Robbers?”
As an African American woman, it was one of those pieces that I could feel powerful messaging with such compassion from the perspective of the African American community. It was this explanation with this bleeding heart of what we are experiencing during this particular time.

For me, it was this emotional connection that pierced my heart and soul.

It was also written by a very talented African American male, and then, I realized how many minorities had contributed their talent as animators to the project. It’s important that I flow resources in any way that I can to voices and the talent I feel as though doesn’t always have equal opportunity.

My friend Ramsey Naito is president of Nickelodeon animation and she said, ‘I wish there was something we could do with it at Nickelodeon.’ I told her I wanted to be involved and I was down with it. I had a conversation with Lawrence Bender who is a producer and I wanted to help.

The story is such a powerful one with its messaging.
It had so much vulnerability. A lot of times, you could get this messaging and sometimes it can be militant and have power to it. The way this particular expression that we don’t often see while talking about topics of this kind had so much vulnerability, especially through the lens of a Black man. You do not see that a lot and that for me was important because it humanizes Black men. It also humanizes Black people and marginalized communities.

We can talk about the issues, but if you don’t feel, if you don’t really see and understand that and see that there’s nothing to fear — we are human and we bleed just like you. I found that be a very powerful component.

“Cops and Robbers” didn’t find a home at Nickelodeon. It found a home at Netflix, which is global and will raise this global awareness to Black Lives Matter and police brutality, how did that happen?

We got together and had a conversation with quite a few people at Netflix who had seen the project and absolutely loved it. As a team, we just came together. We said, ‘Look, you know as well as we do that this is a powerful piece. It’s not only powerful, but it’s important. We feel that your platform is the place that this piece needs to be.’ And thank goodness they were in agreement and they took it on. We really felt that Netflix was the best place for the short.

Read her full interview here.

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Tyler The Giver: TP Studios Holds Food Drive Giveaway for Thousands in Atlanta / WATCH

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tyler perry

*This past weekend Tyler Perry was focused on giving to the people and it appears that the people were in a receiving mood so the stage was set for a hook up of mass proportions this past weekend.

Oh what a glorious time it was for all involved. Starting Saturday evening and well into Sunday, the people came to the Tyler Perry Studios outside of Atlanta by the thousands ahead of an extremely challenging Thanksgiving.

We’re talking incredibly long lines of cars as folks came to get in on the food drive giveaway the studio dubbed TPSGiving  which aimed to feed 5,000 families.

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Tyler Perry food giveaway1 (Tyler Perry Studios)

Photo: Tyler Perry Studios

Here’s more via TMZ:

TP and co. promised to offer up nonperishables as well as gift cards to the first 5,000 families to pull up to their grounds … and the people heard them loud and clear, because the cars started arriving as early as Saturday afternoon, and only grew bigger going into Sunday — with the drive going from 8 AM ET to noon.

Check out this drone footage TMZ obtained that shows a bird’s-eye view of the scene — you can see traffic backed up all along the surrounding freeway there … and word on the ground is that it was even more packed than what this shows.

Tyler Perry food giveaway (Tyler Perry Studios)

Photo: Tyler Perry Studios

Now, you might be wondering just how this went down safely in midst of a vicious pandemic.  Tyler’s staff made sure the hand-off of goods was all curbside pickup, and everyone receiving a care package was asked to wear masks. The TPS employees were covered in PPE from head to toe as well, so by all accounts … it was as safe as can be for this type of thing.

As TMZ also noted, “the charitable deed is nothing new on Tyler’s part, especially as the pandemic has ravaged much of the country. Tyler’s done everything from tipping the hell out of a local restaurant staff — with upwards of $20k-plus — and also picked up the tabs of grocery shoppers in NOLA and Atlanta earlier this year too.”

 

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Months After Announcing Split Lena Waithe’s Wife, Alana Mayo, Files For Divorce

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Lena Waithe - Alana Mayo

Lena Waithe and Alana Mayo. (WireImage/Getty)

*It was a year ago that Alana Mayo and Lena Waithe secretly tied the knot. Now Mayo is divorcing Waithe.

Mayo filed a petition for divorce in Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this week, per court records via The Blast.

Apparently something went wrong very quickly  because  after only two months of marriage the pair revealed they had separated.

“After careful thought and consideration, we have decided to part ways,” read a joint statement from Waithe, 36, and Mayo’s reps to E! News. “We have nothing but support for one another and ask that you respect our privacy during this time.”

MORE NEWS: Megan Thee Stallion Serves Up New Song ‘Body’ at American Music Awards [WATCH]

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Alana Mayo – Lena Waithe – Getty

Last November, Waithe said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that she and Mayo got married at the courthouse in San Francisco, where they wed in front of a bust of the late Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the US.

“We snuck and did it, you know,” she said. “We didn’t really make any announcements or a big … you know.”

 

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