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Introducing: VH1's 'Scream Queens' Season One Winner Tanedra Howard

All reality shows are not about eating worms, getting hooked up or behaving badly. Some provide a shortcut for people interested in realizing their career dreams. American Idol does it for singers, and VH1’s Scream Queens does it for budding actresses trying to make a name for themselves in the acting world.

VIBE recently caught up with Scream Queens season one winner Tanedra Howard. The Inglewood, California native discussed what it was like to compete on the show, win a role in Saw VI (the prize for the first season) and be the only black girl in her cast. Be sure to look out for Howard on the big screen again this fall when she reprises her role as Simone in Saw 3D. It hits theaters in October.

And to see what the latest fright-filled contestants are shrieking about in season two tune into  Scream Queens. It airs Monday nights at 10pm ET/ 7pm PT on VH1.—Ronke Idowu Reeves

VIBE: So tell us what it was like to compete on Scream Queens.

We weren’t competing for a man or money so there wasn’t that type of drama going on but it was an acting competition. We were fighting for a movie role, which was all of our dreams. So we were doing scenes everyday, trying to get our lines down, rehearse and we were always nervous about being sent home. And sometimes you get cranky because you’re in a house with all these girls there’s no TV, no cell phones, no magazines and you can’t talk to your family. But for the most part, I wasn’t the angry black chick.

 

But I heard you got flack for not being one.

Yes! I would go to random blogs and people would say, ‘Yeah, we like Tanedra but she’s so boring. You would think for an African American she would have some sass!’ So it was like, ‘Wow, people expected that from me?’ And because I didn’t do it, they went off. Isn’t that terrible?  But some people came to my defense [on the blogs] and explained how I couldn’t win for losing.  If I was sassy and loud they’d call me the 'black ghetto girl' and since I’m not, now I’m boring and not fun to watch. So where’s the medium?

 

And I'm sure the fact that you were the only black girl on the show, added to the pressure as well. 

When all the other girls came into the room [at the beginning of the competition] I said please tell me there’s another person of color here because right now I’m the only one [laughs.] And when I saw there wasn't,  I was like ‘Oh Lord there’s gonna be some drama right here.’ But there wasn't. I was chilled and laid back and it was cool. I was just myself because I'm not changing for anybody. Also, I was the second to oldest member in my cast,  I’m 27—most of the other girls were in their early twenties, so we all saw life in a different way. 

 

Scream Queens must have been a dream come true for you because you always wanted to be an actress, but you didn't pursue it right away. Why was that?

I had some self esteem issues stemming from childhood, which kind of held me back. I didn’t have a good self-image of myself and I put [my acting career] on hold. I didn’t have the confidence to pursue it. I didn’t  even like taking pictures. When I was two, I accidentally burned myself with a pot of water which left me with burns on my face, neck and chest. And children are so cruel. Going thru elementary school the kids teased me and called me 'black skillet, burnt this, they said my Momma was a crack head and tried to fry me in a skillet' and a bunch of other stuff. It continued from third grade  thru high school and there I heard it all. I was called 'skinny poor, black this, baldylocks this, black crispy.' I got that for 14 years of my life and I was like how do I get out of this funk? But eventually I did.

 

And you got the last laugh because you won Scream Queens and starred in Saw VI and Saw 3D. What did it feel like to win the competition? And what was it like to be on a Hollywood movie set for the first time?

I was nervous when I won the show, I haven’t been the same ever since. I was happy and joyous that I won and I thanked God. But I was also terrified, because I knew I had to show and prove that they picked the right person. When I got onto the set of Saw VI I was nervous. My palms were sweaty. I couldn’t sleep the night before I filmed my scenes, and would just spend the night pacing the room.  I just couldn’t believe it. So many emotions went thru me when I actually saw the set. I was like ‘Oh my God, I’m here’ this was thing that I was praying for every night and I’m here. It is an amazing life changing experience for me to say I am a working actress now. There are people who don’t get this opportunity for years and after appearing on a reality show I got it only after two years of being in the business. Watching Saws one thru five I never thought I’d be in the sixth installment. I will never ever forget that experience.

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Stream: Hulu's 'FYRE Fraud' Doc Examines The Festival That Scammed Thousands

In 2017, rumors of an exclusive festival taking place in the Bahamas took over social media. Organized by Billy McFarland and promoted by Ja Rule, the FYRE Festival was the new, cool kid on the festival block and quickly put other more seasoned festivals to shame.

But all that glitters isn't gold.

FYRE FRAUD, the new documentary streaming on Hulu, takes an intimate look at the scam that left thousands stranded on the island. Directed by Jenner Furst and Julia Willoughby, the dark-comedy interviews whistleblowers, victims, and the convicted con-man himself, McFarland.

In a press release, Fraust and Wiloughby said the goal isn't to make light of those who were scammed.

"Our aim was to set the stage for a strange journey into the moral abyss of our digital age, going beyond the meme to show an ecosystem of enablers, driven by profit and willing to look the other way, for their own gain.

"We draw on countless cultural references, on true crime tension, and on humor - but we did not intend to create a toothless comedy about the Fyre Festival. We hope this film can pierce our collective apathy and disrupt our own millennial peers, if only for an instant - to look at these stories for what they truly are, and to halt this algorithm before it devours us whole."

FYRE FRAUD is now streaming on Hulu.

 

 

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Dave Chappelle Isn't Sure His R. Kelly 'Chappelle Show' Skits Were Insensitive

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The beloved comic famously made a music video entitled "Piss On You" mocking the real-life video of R. Kelly urinating on an underage girl. During the Chappelle Show heyday, he used R.Kelly's legal woes as material for years.

TMZ caught with Chappelle in West Hollywood and asked him if he regretted not being featured in hampton's series and instead he dodged the question.

"Jesus Christ, I just had dinner," Chappelle said in between taking a drag of his cigarette. "I just ate. Strop bringing that motherf**ker up."

When pressed about whether or not he thinks his old skits were insensitive, the 45-year-old said "I don't know. I'd have to watch it again."

D.L. Hughley joined Chappelle for dinner and commented on R.Kelly and the forthcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland, which outlines sexual assault allegations against the late singer.

"If you can be mad at R. Kelly, you should be mad at Michael Jackson," Hughley said.

 

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Andre 3000 Stars In New Space Thriller 'High Life'

A new space thriller is coming to theaters this year. Andre 3000 will star in the new film alongside Twilight's Robert Pattinson in High Life, and the first trailer looks pretty intense.

The feature focuses on a group of criminals who are coerced into a mission to travel towards a black hole to find an alternate energy source. They are also forced to undergo sexual experiments while in outer space. The 2-minute preview features Pattinson and Andre 3000 as they struggle to survive on the spaceship.

High Life originally premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in Sept. 2018. It received positive reviews from numerous film critics.

"High Life is as visually arresting as it is challenging, confounding, and ultimately rewarding - which is to say it's everything film fans expect from director Claire Denis," Rotten Tomatoes said of the film.

The film is written and directed by Claire Denis. High Life will hit theaters on Apr. 12. Watch the new trailer in the video above.

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