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Erica Mena Talks Women Of Color On Reality TV, Being A Working Mom

How do you feel about the portrayal of women of color on reality TV and what’s your response to the critics that will certainly judge you?

When I went into the whole thing, I was just like my whole game plan was to show a different dynamic and to actually put time into telling a story about what our lives are really about from different perspectives and scenarios. For me going into it, I definitely did not expect any fighting and to get physical but at the same time, it’s like when you’re in the situation, whether the cameras are rolling or not, it’s the real deal. [Kimbella] throwing that glass at me—like I said, whether cameras are there or not, how I reacted is just how I would react for any situation, whether I was on the show or not. Obviously my words hurt her so she decided to become a Basketball Wife and throw a glass at me so I had to be a Bronx b*tch and snuff her. It plays out how it plays out. I can’t really get into that point right now but that moment did backfire on me. There is the bad, there is the ugly, it is what it is.

As for the critics, I think it’s unfortunate but it is the stereotype. I think everyone is so caught up with the whole wife fighting and stuff like that but you know what? Even Kimbella has a story of her own to tell. She has the rags-to-riches story and basically she got lucky and sucked the right d*ck but she has her own story to tell. I have my story to tell. So at the end of the day, it’s unfortunate having what happened to us. She threw the glass at me and like any one of us would do, I’ma wax that ass, regardless whether I’m on camera or not. You can’t really feed into the critics because at the end of the day, if we didn’t have talking, if we didn’t have half the stuff that we have going on, there wouldn’t be much of a buzz. I had to throw down. I had to protect myself and whether I was on TV or not, I would’ve done it. So you know as it stands for me, I’m just kinda like, it’s time to really get to the main focus of what we are here for and that’s just to tell the story about our lives and what’s going on with us.

Did you get to bond with any of those women, Chrissy, Emily or anybody like that?

You guys will get to see how it all merges. I think that’s the most exciting. It’s not all fighting. As far as my point of me being in the show, my whole role is to show I’m a young mom, I just left a seven-year relationship and I busted my ass doing all this, you know, all the work I have on my resume, I busted my ass doing the right way – going to castings and actually talking to somebody and going to the set for free. All that stuff has definitely been done where I can build my business and my brand, so there are stories to tell it’s just a matter of us getting the opportunity to do it.

How old is your son?

He’s four. And that’s another thing, most of us on the show, we’re all mothers besides the younger ones and it’s a lot harder in the world we live in and let’s be honest, you know the game we come from and the guys we have to deal with—we’re used to seeing them throw down and stuff like that so, not that it’s in our nature but seeing them get involved in that, we’re definitely the type of females where if we have to throw down, we throw down, but it’s not who we are. It’s a side of us that pushes us to that point, so I think that’s the difference in what the critics probably don’t really realize. Anybody that’s pushed to it would absolutely react the way we reacted.

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Wendy Williams Reportedly Hires New Manager After Firing Estranged Husband

Wendy Williams hired a new team members after splitting from her estranged husband, Kevin Hunter, earlier in the month and firing him as her manager.

Veteran producer Bernie Young has signed on as Williams’ manager and executive producer of The Wendy Williams Show, Page Six reports. Young replaces Williams’ estranged husband who was reportedly booted as executive producer of the show after she served him with divorce papers.

Young worked as co-executive producer of the Rosie O’Donnell Show from 1996 until 2002, and Martha Stewarts’s talk show, Martha, from 2005 until 2012.

Williams split from Hunter amid rumors that he had been cheating on her for several years with a woman named, Sharina Hudson. Hunter and Hudson allegedly welcomed a child together late last month. Williams supposedly gave Hunter only 48 hours to move out, and cut off his funds.

Following news of the split, Hunter released a statement apologizing to Williams. “I am not proud of my recent actions and take full accountability and apologize to my wife, my family and her amazing fans,” he said. “I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs.”

Aside from a few jokes and flirty comments, Williams hasn’t said much about the split from Hunter. The 54-year-old daytime talk show host, who has battled drug addiction, announced that she was moving out of the sober house that she had been living in following a reported relapse.

 

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California Approves Bill Banning Racial Discrimination Based On Hairstyles

California is set to become the latest state to ban racial discrimination based on hairstyles. Senate Bill 188, also known as The Crown Act, was introduced by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) in January and unanimously approved in a 37-0 vote Monday (April 22).

The bill outlines the proximity between race and hair and how the history of the U.S. has been “riddled with laws and societal norms” that equate  “blackness’” which includes physical traits such as “dark skin, kinky and curly hair” with inferiority, and therefore subjecting black people to “separate and unequal treatment.”

“This idea also permeated societal understanding of professionalism,” Morgan states in the bill. “Professionalism was, and still is, closely linked to European features and mannerisms, which entails that those who do not naturally fall into Eurocentric norms must alter their appearances, sometimes drastically and permanently, in order to be deemed professional.

“Despite the great strides American society and laws have made to reverse the racist ideology that Black traits are inferior, hair remains a rampant source of racial discrimination with serious economic and health consequences, especially for Black individuals,” Morgan continues.

Furthermore, dress codes and grooming policies prohibiting “natural hair” have a “disparate impact on Black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter Black applicants and burden or punish Black employees than any other group.”

The 1964 Civil Rights Act banning racial discrimination extends to afros as well, but doesn’t include other hairstyles. As pointed out in SB 188, “courts do not understand that afros are not the only natural presentation of Black hair. Black hair can also be naturally presented in braids, twists, and locks.”

Although the bill has yet to be signed into law, the state isn't alone in making moves to end the racist bias against natural hair. In February, New York City passed a similar bill in February imposing a $250,000 penalty for hair discrimination.

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Report: Kanye West Wants To Start His Own Church

It appears Kanye West's Coachella Sunday Service show really inspired him. The rapper is reportedly looking to expand on his gospel segment by starting his own church.

According to a new report from People, Kanye is seriously considering starting his own church where he can perform new music and promote spirituality on his terms. "He has talked about starting his own church, and what exactly that would be," a source told People. "It wouldn’t be the traditional, 3-hymns-and-a-sermon thing. Instead, it would be a way to point people to Jesus through the arts and through a community of people who love and care for each other. He also wants his kids to be raised in faith, and the best way for him to do that is to live out his faith."

It doesn't stop there. Kanye is also looking to help those in need. "Say what you want about Kanye, but he really does want to help people who need support," the insider continued. "He understands brokenness and the need for healing, probably more than most people. He believes in the healing powers of music, but also believes that God can step in and heal people’s brokenness and their issues."

Kanye West kicked off his Sunday Service performance on Easter Sunday (April 21) with a number of his celebrity friends, including Chance the Rapper, Ty Dolla $ign, and Teyana Taylor. DMX also delivered a moving prayer. "He is extremely passionate about his faith and wants to share it more regularly with people,” the source added. "He spends a lot of time studying and praying, and wants to share his journey."

Of course, Kanye's plans are not official at this time, but it would be interesting to see what a church headed by Ye would look like.

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