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Terry McMillian's Ex Jonathan Plummer Talks New Web Show, Gay Outings and Terry

Terry McMillian’s ex husband Jonathan Plummer is no stranger to controversy, but these days he’s quietly reinvented himself post scandal of being the outed gay husband of the Waitng to Exhale scribe. Plummer is now the co-host of his own new entertainment show, No More Down Low TV and has already begun building the next chapter of his life.

VIBE caught up with the man forever immortalized in the novel and film How Stella Got Her Groove Back to get his take on the outed teens in the news, the recent rash of gay suicides plus Morehouse's Mean Girls.  Plummer also revisits his own outing process and after rounds of public fighting and mutual lawsuits between them describes what his relationship with Terry is really like today.—Ronke Idowu Reeves

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VIBE: Tell us about the new entertainment web series you are hosting, No More Down Low TV

It’s for people who are curious about their sexuality, sexual orientation, their sexual honesty and if you’re in deep denial you can click on and check things out and nobody has to know. And it will entail shedding some light on some positive, progressive things in the community. And which people are making a stand and who are willing to share their stories of their whole transition. With No More Down Low TV I want to do something good and change the whole negative connotation that the Down Low label has and help make a change.

 

Your episodes feature a lot of celebrities gay and straight talking about homosexuality. What has been the overall celeb reaction to the show?

They’re pretty much very supportive. It’s nice that they are willing to do interviews and share their ideas and concepts on how they view the gay  issue itself. I’ve been glad that they’ve been pretty much open to speaking openly about homosexuality, especially about people in their personal lives who’ve had to navigate through the process or who are struggling or coping with coming out.

 

What’s it been like hosting a show? Are you nervous or is it all coming easy for you?

It’s been nervewracking because I’ve never done this before. When I was dating and married to my ex-wife Terry I was always in the background. Now I’m in forefront and its been good in a sense. I’m trying to enjoy it and it’s just hard to be comfortable in front the camera when we’re filming. But the more I do it the more comfortable I’m getting. I’m enjoying it so far.

 

 

What’s your take on the homosexual teens and young adults catching hell for coming out and their varied degrees of self expression. Like the mean girls on the Morehouse campus.

I think it’s so sad in this day and age people are being passed out of society in that aspect of trying to find themselves, in whatever way they want to express themselves and the fact that Morehouse is against it, it saddens me.

 

And there have also been a rash of young adult suicides on college campuses from people being outed as gay before they were ready. As someone who had a very public outing what do you think about this current unfortunate trend in our society?

I wish that people felt more comfortable. In today’s society thank God we have shows like Glee, Modern Family and Brothers and Sisters where we see same sex relationships and they are being portrayed in a positive light—which is great. It’s sad that some of us are still thinking that being gay is wrong and others still have to struggle with their sexuality and identity. And the fact that homosexual are still cast out of society, scrutinized and ridiculed constantly, hence the suicides—it just saddens me. I didn’t have the best coming out process myself, but everyone has their own way of expressing themselves and their own journey to find their sexual odyessy and sexual identity. I just wish there could be more people supportive of that, who were not against it and who didn't make a mockery of it.

 

Being the husband and now ex husband of Terry McMillian instantly made you a public figure. So do you feel like one?

Now I do. After the Oprah interviews and having people recognize me I’m embracing it now. I used to deny I was myself when folks would recognize me on the street. I used to say, ‘Oh it’s not me I just look like him.’  But I’ve accepted myself and I’m more comfortable in my own skin. And my family has accepted me for me and even Terry has accepted me for me and my sex life and sexuality. I call it self-preservation— it’s all personal growth.

 

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Pharrell's New Netflix Kids' Series Focuses On Importance Of STEAM Learning

Pharrell Williams is the executive producer of a new children’s show on Netflix that focuses on educating little ones on the importance of science, technology and current events.

“I got involved with ‘Brainchild’ because there is a desperate need to raise awareness about the importance of science with our youth, we must edu-tain,” Williams told Variety about his new series. The show is hosted by Indian-American actress and comedian Sahana Srinivasan.

Brainchild will use “interactive games, experiments and skits” to teach and highlight the “core concepts and principles of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math).” It was co-created by Atomic Entertainment, and is billed as a spinoff of the Emmy-nominated show “Brain Games,” which aired on National Geographic Channel for seven seasons.

Williams and his i am OTHER production partner Mimi Valdes also discussed the idea of the show’s accessibility for teachers and students. Per Variety, “The curriculum is available without having to sign up or register for any account, and can be used at home or in the classroom to supplement existing tools.”

“It’s especially important to me to get STEAM-focused programming in front of minority communities,” Pharrell says of attempting to reach viewers. “That’s because at the core of the plight of children of color in this country is a lack of access to actionable education.”

 

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Prepare to have your minds blown 🧠⚡🌊💖💡🔬 I worked with the masterminds of Brain Games on a show that will empower kids by approaching STEM topics in a cool, new way and to provide anOTHER way into science. Thank you to our host @Sahana.j.shree, @AlieWard, Atomic Entertainment, @i_am_other and the @Netflix team. Brainchild OUT NOW on Netflix. #brainchild

A post shared by Pharrell Williams (@pharrell) on Nov 2, 2018 at 2:01pm PDT

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'Black Monday' Becomes A Dramedy As Its World Flips Upside Down: Episode 9 Recap

Blair was Mo’s mirror in episode “295.” In this week’s episode, he internalizes Mo’s qualities, and now the reflection wants to take over the original’s life, like a scene from Jordan Peele’s Us. Some of the most analytically rich parts of this episode revolve around all the allusions to Blair assuming Mo's role after agreeing to go along with the Georgina Play, two months after Mo informed him of the rouse.

Blair flirts with Dawn – the woman Mo still loves – while sitting in Mo's desk chair as Mo walks in and sees them. He gifts all of the Jammer Group inner circle with replicas of Mo's custom-made Rolex and calls them “Molexes” with "f**k em all" engraved on them. It’s the latter mantra that, in a surprising twist, leads to Blair potentially ending Mo as we know him.

An early criticism of Black Monday was Andrew Rannells’ inconsequential portrayal of Blair in the first few episodes. After carrying a large number of scenes in last week’s episode, this week’s showcases his shining moment. One of the funniest scenes s when Blair stops himself from saying "it's all good in the hood," after glancing at Mo, before replacing "hood" with "municipalities." That’s a very artful way to say if he wants to be Mo, he’ll have to do more than speak like him. Consequently, Blair does just that in order to get Tiffany Georgina to go along with the Georgina Play.

The Agency Of Tiffany Georgina

Casey Wilson, who plays Tiffany, needs to star in a spin-off show if for nothing else than to see her do another interpretive dance routine to a remixed version of the national anthem like she did at Tiffany’s wedding reception. We predicted in our review of episode “243” that Tiffany would have a bigger hand in the Black Monday collapse than we originally assumed, and this episode brings our prophecy to life.

Tiffany admits to Blair in the final scene of the episode that she’s a lot to handle but poignantly justifies it by stating everyone isn’t as sure of themselves as she is. It’s in that moment we realized out of all of the characters with considerable screen time, Tiffany may be the only one who never lied about herself. The comments about smart “orientals” are vacuous and her obsession with social status is asinine, but they’re also genuinely Tiffany; Everyone else adjusts their morals and personality to fit whatever gets them money.

Tiffany also reveals that when she was in sixth grade, her parents prevented her from legally emancipating herself from them by giving her a cartilage piercing and a new credit card. In episode “243,” when Blair innocuously says he’s staying late at work to do “compliance,” Tiffany instinctively knew that meant illegally shredding documents because her family is wealthy. Tiffany’s parents had their own daughter kidnapped in last week’s episode to boost the company’s value and now their daughter plans to steal that very company from them. The Black Monday writers used the Georgina family this season as a commentary on how money can make anything transactional, even love and loyalty.

Just like with Mo, the Georgina family may be undone by a monster they created.

The Dramedy

In today’s age of television, shows rarely fit perfectly in one genre. Orange Is The New Black’s second season was nominated in the drama category at the 2015 Primetime Emmy Awards, a year after its first season was nominated in the comedy category. This blurring of the artistic lines has created a new type of show that is equal parts drama and comedy: a dramedy. After the last two episodes, Black Monday has become more dramedy than comedy.

In the first half of the season, Black Monday was roughly 90% hilarious debauchery with the 10% of deep introspection reserved for the final minutes of the episode. Over time, that ratio began to even out until last week’s episode, which delivered the highest concentration of drama acting of the season. In this week’s episode, the double and triple crossings in Blair and Mo’s heated rivalry are more central to the episode than Keith’s hysterical attempts at tricking the SEC and Tiffany’s ridiculous wedding. Aside from Dawn and Mo forming a secret alliance, the episode concludes with Blair’s most intimidating piece of dialogue as he breaks down the illusionary world Mo has constructed for himself.

While episode “7042” is the most compelling episode of the entire season, so far, the move into dramedy has its drawbacks. There are still gems like Mo’s double entendre of “I’ve unearthed secrets, got winded and fired,” a play on the name of legendary funk band Earth, Wind & Fire, who released their 1987 Billboard hit “System of Survival” a month before the events in this week’s episode. But, the hijinks and absurdist humor that Black Monday is predicated on are more separated than in any other episode.

As a result of this shift into dramedy, certain jokes not only fall flat but feel out of place and tonally different than the rest of the episode. Keith referring to the ability to know who is gay as “Navi-gay-tion” would be amusing in almost any other Black Monday episode. Him delivering it at the end of this week’s episode, after a dramatic exchange between Dawn and Mo, felt cringeworthy.

Hopefully, there’ll be plenty to laugh about when everything comes crashing down in the season finale next week.

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Jordan Peele attends the 'US' premiere at Museum of Modern Art on March 19, 2019 in New York City.
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'Us' Nabs Title Of Biggest Opening Weekend For An Original Horror Film

Jordan Peele’s second major film Us dropped over the weekend (Mar. 22), and much like its predecessor Get Out, it’s a monster of a hit.

According to reports, Us’ debut was the best opening for an original horror film in history, bringing in $70.25 million during its opening weekend. Its massively successful weekend also secures its spot as the third-best horror movie debut in history, behind the remakes of It and Halloween.

“Internationally, “Us” earned $16.7 million, bringing its total worldwide tally to $86.9 million,” reports CNBC.

Us tells the story of Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o), a woman who is traumatized by an experience she had as a child. When unexpected visitors who look exactly like her and her family pay a visit to their beach house several years later, she, her husband (Winston Duke) and children have to help her combat her fears and demons.

CNBC reveals that early projections for her film were close to $50 million. However, strong ticket sales prompted analysts to change their estimates.

"The film took in $29 million between Thursday previews and Friday night showings, a strong start for a horror film that doesn’t have the benefit of a major franchise fueling ticket sales," the report continues.

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