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Leslie Jones Admits ‘I Wasn’t Very Free’ at SNL, Does Not Regret Leaving Show

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*Leslie Jones has opened up about her departure from “Saturday Night Live,” and she had made clear that she does not miss the sketch comedy show “at all.”

“I don’t miss it. At all,” she said in a new interview with Entertainment Tonight.

“That job was hard, man,” Jones added “That job was like two jobs and very restrictive too. I wasn’t very free there.”

Jones first joined the NBC series in 2014 as a writer before being bumped up to a prominent cast member position. She earned three Emmy nominations during her five seasons. The comedian tells ET that she only misses her fromer SNL co-star, Kenan Thompson.

Last fall Jones announced she wouldn’t be returning for SNL’s 45th season. 

READ MORE: Leslie Jones: Comedian Not Returning to ‘SNL’ for Season 45


Jones dished with PEOPLE about leaving SNL for a new venture, hosting the reboot of “Supermarket Sweep,” which airs Sundays on ABC.

“This one was really special because I wanted to give money to regular people,” she said. “If you give somebody $100,00, that’s the biggest ‘God bless you’ you could ever give to somebody. I want people to see that it’s possible to still win.”

“The game play in sweep has always been the strongest part of the show,” Jones continued. “Now I am bringing a little bit of me and joy and fun and joking and messing with the contestants. It’s just wonderful. You get to see their real personality when they pull up to the sweep, you’re like, ‘Oh, this is what you’re about. Oh, okay. I like this.’”

Jones says everybody’s a winner on the game show. “If they don’t win the big money, they get to take home the total of the cart. So there’s no losing.”

As a longtime fan of the competiton series, Jones once auditioned to be a contestant, telling ET: “I trained my roommate. I made her watch the show. I took her to the grocery stores. I made her run up and down the aisle. Like, we trained,” she says.

So when their big gameplay day arrived, Jones says “We were the last four teams and they were bringing people in to compete against each other, but you had to stay for that part,” she recalls, but as it turns out, they couldn’t complete the competition because Jones’ roomate had to bail to go to work

“She was like, ‘I gotta go.’ And I lost my ever-living mind,” Jones says. “I don’t think they were ever gonna let me on that lot again ‘cause I called her every type of name I could come up with. I was like, ‘I’ll never talk to you.’ Then I was like, ‘I’m not riding home with you.’”

“Supermarket Sweep” airs Sundays ET/PT on ABC.

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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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Barack Obama Makes TikTok Debut to Promote New ‘Promised Land’ Memoir

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*Former President Barack Obama made his TikTok debut Friday, amid the release of his new memoir titled “A Promised Land.”

On TikTok, Obama launched the “pass the book” challenge, telling fans that his new book “expresses the incredible hope I have in you. Take this and pass it on,” he says in the clip, holding his book before “passing it on” to the next person.

To celebrate the memoir’s release, Obama shared a list of “memorable songs from his administration, check it out below via the Twitter embed.

“A Promised Land” sold nearly 890,000 copies in the U.S. and Canada in its first 24 hours after release on Tuesday, in all formats including pre-orders, e-books and audio.

The first-day sales was a record for publisher Penguin Random House.

READ MORE: Barack Obama’s ‘Promised Land’ Memoir Sells Over 887,000 Copies in 1 Day

“Music has always played an important role in my life—and that was especially true during my presidency,” he wrote in a tweet along with the playlist. “In honor of my book hitting shelves tomorrow, I put together this playlist featuring some memorable songs from my administration. Hope you enjoy it.”

The playlist includes Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Beyoncé, Bob Dylan, Brooks & Dunn, Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, Frank Sinatra, Gloria Estefan, Fleetwood Mac, JAY-Z, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Phillip Phillips, The Beatles, Sade, Stevie Wonder and U2.

 

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A post shared by Barack Obama (@barackobama)

We previously reported, Obama made time to surprise popular YouTube twins Tim and Fred Williams on their channel, “TwinsthenewTrend,” after they reacted to a song on his latest playlist.

The song that sparked the virtual chat is “The Times They Are a-Changin’” by Bob Dylan. 

The twins posted a video Thursday of them listening to the song, and later shared footage of their video conference with Obama.

“Hey people, what’s going on? I hear you guys were asking questions. I decided I’m just going to go ahead and come here live,” said Obama.

The New York Times bestselling author then explained how he curates his popular playlists.

“I do playlists all the time just for fun, and I did that when I was president. But one of the things I did was do a playlist because I released my book about the first part of my presidency called ‘A Promised Land’ and music’s kind of a theme in the book.”

Watch the moment via the YouTube player below.

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Black Celebrity Gossip - Gossip

Moniece Slaughter Talks Skin Bleaching and Growing Up in Affluent White Neighborhood

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*Reality TV star Moniece Slaughter has pushed back at claims that she bleaches her skin. 

In an exclusive interview with theJasmineBRAND.com, the 33-year-old addressed the rumors as well as her privileged life growing up in a white neighborhood, where the only children of color were the children of celebrities. 

“It wasn’t until I got to high school that one of my friends from first grade, her name is Aaron Levy. I’ll never forget it we were walking through the building and we made sure we got lockers next to each other. This girl named Janisha Green, she would wear the sock bun and the airbrushed shirts and she had the lollipop in there with the tube socks and she was very animated and boisterous. She came down the hallway one day right before our honors English Composition II class and Aaron looked at me and said ‘I’m so glad you’re not like them’ and that was my first time really stopping and thinking like what does that even mean? You know I’m black…”

Slaughter said she wasn’t considered a typical black kid because “I had a designer and it was like I was a white-washed black girl.”

READ MORE: Moniece Slaughter Speaks on Poor Treatment of Black Reality TV Stars

When it comes to the skin-bleaching rumors, the former “Love and hip Hop” star explained: “I’ve been reconnected with my family and you know my biological father’s mother always swept things under the rug. She’s Asian and apparently in Asian culture that’s what they do, they don’t really address things. So I never got a history lesson about who I was or where I came from. I just know that I wasn’t white… I’m okay with the white people as long as I’m on TV acting a fool and making them millions of dollars. To be accused of bleaching my skin, when I’m desperately trying to find out at this phase in my life, who I am. It’s like I’m not really accepted either way.”

The bleaching speculation began after she shared photos on social media of her light complexion. In one post she wrote, “Just woke up. Haven’t even washed my face ZERO filter of ANY sort. 1st pic: my chest that gets ZERO sunlight. Compared to my arms & hands. My chest is MY WINTER COLOR PERIOD GET OVER IT!!

Slaughter addressed the criticism over the pics, telling theJasminebrand.com:

“So I’m going to bleach my face but not my lips. I’m going to bleach my face but not my chest, arms, hands, legs, & feet?I don’t now and never have used kojic on my face. I go to @drsusan90210dermatology A BLACK dermatologist and use HER products geared towards ALL people of color. I also go to @glowskinenhancement also a BLACK dermatologist and use her products that are for people of COLOR I also go to @honeybunnyskincare who is also a WOMAN OF COLOR for my facials,” she explained. 

Adding “I don’t use white dermatologist. I don’t let white people do my laser hair removal either. I have ZERO desire to be white. NONE. if I could hold on to my summer tans I would. Y’all see me on tv under lighting that is altered in post edit and tons of makeup down to my neck chest shoulders and arms. Literally. And swore that was my natural color. It’s flat out insulting. Not you. But those who INSIST THAT I BLEACH”

And there you have it. 

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