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Spike Lee Talks New Film 'Red Hook Summer,' The 'New' New York and Linsanity

Spike Lee has never been one to shy away from an in-depth conversation. In his latest sitdown with Vulture's Will Leitch, the NYU professor weighed in on the state of New York, the Knicks' asian sensation and his upcoming film 'Red Hook Summer.' Check the highlights below.

Returning To His Roots in 'Red Hook Summer':
"I am going to try to shake the narrative as much as I can. This is not Spike going back to his roots. Red Hook Summer is another chapter in my chronicles of Brooklyn. I am a professor at NYU—I’ve been one the last fifteen years—and one of the courses they are teaching in cinema studies this summer is “Scorsese’s New York.” The postcard has a map of Manhattan and a dot where each Scorsese film took place. For me, it’s Brooklyn. She’s Gotta Have It, Do the Right Thing, He Got Game, Clockers, Crooklyn, and Red Hook Summer

His Empire State of Mind:
"Look, there are pros and cons. Is [New York] safer than it was back when Scorsese made Taxi Driver? Yes. But a lot of people liked 42nd Street better the way it was. New York City, I feel, is the greatest city in the world, but it will not be that anymore if it is only rich people here. And people want to stay here, but they cannot afford it. People have to be able to feel that they can afford to live here and their children get a good public-school education. How safe you are in New York depends what neighborhood you live in. Now I would tell you, sir, the Upper East Side is more safe than Brownsville, Brooklyn. The Upper East Side is more safe than East New York."

On Linsanity and the NY Knicks:
"That was as loud as I have ever seen the Garden. [Mike] D’Antoni as an act of desperation said, “You go in.” The Lakers game, that was bananas. What I love was that Sports Illustrated cover where Jeremy Lin is going down the lane and he is surrounded by five Lakers and he is the only Knick on the cover. There are five Lakers converging on him, and he made the layup, too. When you are seven-seven, I do not care who you are, you are a basketball player. But Lin, he went to Harvard and got cut twice. He got cut from the ­Houston Rockets on Christmas Eve. Yeah, it was sad [to see D'Antoni go]. Most of the time I am not happy when someone gets fired. I will probably find out, now that the season is over, what actually happened."

The Price of His Season Tickets:
"It is public knowledge. I try not to remember the price, but it is a fortune."

On Gay Marriage:
"All I can say is, I support gay marriage. They want to marry each other, I support it. That is their choice."

The 'Tyler Perry Syndrome':
"I would not call it a syndrome. Thing is, those box-office numbers prove there is an audience for those films. Yet, at the same time, I think there is an audience that would like to see something else. At this moment, those other films have to be made outside the Hollywood studio system. This comes down to the gatekeepers, and I do not think there is going to be any substantial movement until people of color get into those gatekeeper positions of people who have a green-light vote. That is what it comes down to. We do not have a vote, and we are not at that table when it is decided what gets made and what does not get made. Whether it is Hollywood films, network or cable television, we are not there. When I first started making films and I would have Hollywood meetings—and I know this for a fact—they would bring black people out of the mailroom to be in the meeting."

On Retweeting Wrong George Zimmerman Address:
"They are great. The McClains. But that was not a good time. A big mistake on my part. Not a good time. I think I am smarter—I feel I am confrontational when I have to be, but it is not something that I live, breathe, sleep, and eat. There are just some things since I have been a filmmaker that I have made a comment on, and when you stick your neck out there, you got to let the chips fall where they may, and every time is not going to be perceived the right way. You are going to be misquoted, misjudged, or whatever, but this started early. Joe Klein said Do the Right Thing was going to incite riots."

Read the full interview here.

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Schoolboy Q Drops New Album 'CrasH Talk'

Schoolboy Q's new album, CrasH Talk is here. The rapper's fifth studio album arrived on Friday (April 26).

The album is comprised of 14 tracks and features special appearances from Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, 21 Savage, YG, Kid Cudi, Lil Baby, and 6lack. It includes the pre-released track, "CrasH."

According to Q, this wasn't the first version of his album. He actually canned two albums because "they were trash." At the time, he said he was going through a lot of lows in his life. "I'd be in the house smoking weed, just waiting to go to the studio every day," Q told GQ. "That's not a good life. That brings on depression."

It was his fellow TDE members Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock that inspired him to keep working on the album. And the rest is history. CrasH Talk follows 2016's Blank Face. Stream the new project below.

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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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