Ed Gordon Talks His BET Return, The Bishop Long Scandal and The Problem With Reality TV

Sometimes the weekly talk show circuit chatter can leave black Amercians and other people of color feeling cold, underrepresented and misrepresented. But thankfully relief has arrived and it has come in the form of a familiar face. Award-winning journalist Ed Gordon has recently returned to the TV airwaves with not one, but two new compelling shows on BET; Weekly With Ed Gordon and Conversations With Ed Gordon (check your local listings). VIBE chatted with Gordon recently about what we can expect from his two new talkers, his take on the Bishop Long scandal and what worries him most about some fans of reality television.—Ronke Idowu Reeves


VIBE: So you’re back on BET with two shows. Tell us about them.

The weekly show is called Weekly With Ed Gordon and to a great degree it is the show that allows us to cover to follow the headlines of any given week. When I returned to BET, I said to everyone we couldn’t outdo CNN. We don’t have all of the money to do a newscast where we can cover news in that way. So we tried developing a show that will allow us to get into detail of what would be of interest to our community week to week. And this was the best way to do— it allows us to talk to a headliner every week where I can sit down and talk to that person one to one. Or I can tackle an issue.


So is Weekly With Ed Gordon all politics, or a mix of politics and other topics?

I didn’t want to do anything that was solely based on politics alone. I just did not believe that we’d be able to garner the type of audience size that I wanted. I think CNN has seen that it’s difficult to only do politics when you’re not in heavy presidential cycles. So I decided why not do a show that really speaks to everything. The tagline I like to use is, 'If you’re talking about it we’re talking about it.' Whether it’s something that Kanye West did, tying in the hip-hop world we’ve got to talk it about it. If it’s the scandal on Eddie Long, we’re gonna talk about it. If it’s something crazy on reality television that the community is talking about, we’re gonna talk about it. This will be roundtable; we wanted to do something that got people coming back week-to-week who were not political junkies. We decided to mix up the roundtable and have people from diverse fields come on and participate and talk about everything from politics to pop culture and everything in between.

What about your second show?

The second show Conversations With Ed Gordon is really a resurrection of a series of specials I had done before when I was with BET that were very popular high profile primetime interviews. And because of the popularity that that series had I wanted to bring it back. We were always able to get A-list guests and really get them to talk to me about things they haven’t discussed before. I’m really excited about the possibilities.

So at this juncture in your career why did you return to BET?

What brings me back was an offer [laughs]. I’ve been gone for BET for a decade, but even when I did programming for other networks, people still thought I was on the air at BET. It’s always been my television home to a great degree, so when I had the opportunity to do this kind of show on a weekly basis and be able to do the special I was happy to come back. The fight is always trying to do the kind of programming that speaks to what our community needs and deserves. When I felt comfortable enough that we’d be able to do that, I was happy to come back. 

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Cardi B Lands Leading Role In Comedy ‘Assisted Living’

Cardi B is making her way back to the big screen. The Bronx native officially landed her first leading role in the upcoming Paramount comedy, Assisted Living.

According to Variety, Cardi will play a small time crook struggling to find a hiding place after her latest heist fails. Her character, “Amber,” disguises herself as an elderly woman and hides out at her grandmother's nursing home. The film is described as a “raucous comedy” similar to Mrs. Doubtfire and Sister Act.

Paramount acquired the rights to Assisted Living in 2019. The film’s script was penned by This Is Us writer, Kay Oyegun.

Cardi, 28, made her film debut in the 2019 celeb-heavy stripper flick, Hustlers. The “WAP” rapper appears to have hinted at her Assisted Living role in a recent interview with Billboard where she dished on filming scenes for Fast & Furious 9.

“After ‘Hustlers’ I filmed a little bit for 'Fast & Furious' so I felt like ‘I’m ready for this,’ I knew what to expect,” she explained. “But the characters were a little different so I was like ‘Oh wow, I’m going to need more acting classes.’ I’m planning on doing a movie this year and I’m going to be the lead role so I’m like ‘I need to execute this flawlessly.’”

Besides film, Cardi was a judge on the Netflix completion show, Rhythm & Flow, and landed her own Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries.

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Netflix Gives Sneak Peek Of Jay-Z Produced Western ‘The Harder They Fall’

Netflix gave a preview of the streaming giant's upcoming films on Tuesday (Jan. 12). Among them, the highly anticipated western, The Harder They Fall.

Produced by Jay Z and written and directed by musician Jeymes Samuel, the film stars Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Lakeith Stanfield, Zazie Beetz and Woody McClain.

The Harder They Fall follows the fictional character, Nat Love (Majors), as he seeks revenge on the man who murdered his parents. Besides signing on as a producer, Hov also created original music for the film.

The Covid-19 pandemic delayed filming, which began in March of last year in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Filming resumed in September but was paused again after one of the actors tested positive for coronavirus.

“What I love about movies is that they can make you feel every emotion,” King says in the Netflix teaser.

“And show you something you’ve never seen before,” adds Majors while clips from their film plays on the screen.

The Harder They Fall is one of 27 films headed to Netflix. See more in the video below.

2021 = a new movie EVERY WEEK on Netflix. Here's a sneak peek at 27 of the biggest, brightest, fastest, funniest, feel-good, feel-everything films and stars coming to Netflix this year pic.twitter.com/iCr1ZPrc7W

— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) January 12, 2021

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Issa Rae Announces ‘Insecure’ Will End After Season 5

Insecure will return this year for a fifth and final season, Issa Rae revealed on Wednesday (Jan. 13). In a statement to Deadline, Rae and executive producer Prentice Penny showed gratitude to HBO and fans of the show.

“Prentice and I are so grateful that HBO believed in our show from the beginning and kept the faith in us to see our vision through the end,” said Rae.“We always planned to tell this story through five seasons, but we couldn’t have made it this far without the tremendous support of our audience. I feel blessed beyond measure to bring our characters’ stories to an end, on-screen at least.”

HBO’s Programming EVP Amy Gravitt, noted that Rae has “turned insecurity into an iconic form of comedy.”

Based off the 36-year-old’s popular Awkward Black Girl YouTube series, lnsecure was created by Rae and Larry Wilmore. The series premiered on HBO in 2016.

Season five will reportedly begin filming later this month with Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Natasha Rothwell and Amanda Seales all expected to return. The previous season ended with Rae’s character at yet another crossroads with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Lawrence (played by Ellis).

Season five of Insecure debuts later this year.

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