Aaliyah

Aaliyah Family Not Onboard For Lifetime Biopic?

Aaliyah's family might not let Lifetime be great. After news that singer/actress Zendaya had snagged the lead for the Lifetime biopic about Aaliyah, the late singer's uncle and former manager, Barry Hankerson reportedly told TMZ he's furious that no one from the network had contacted him or his family about the biopic. The Haughton family is reportedly taking legal action by hiring a lawyer to keep Lifetime from using any of the singer's music in the film. The backlash comes as no shock since the Haughtons have blocked various Aaliyah projects from coming to fruition in the past, like the posthumous LP Drake and his righthand producer Noah "40" Shebib were said to be executive producing. The Internet has also reacted negatively to the biopic with fans starting a petition to cease production. TV/radio personality Monie Love also went off on Twitter:

Hankerson reportedly told TMZ that Aaliyah's family doesn't mind a theatrical movie but a made-for-TV film wouldn't do baby girl's legacy justice. Aaliyah passed away in a tragic plane crash at the peak of her career in 2001.

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George Zimmerman, the acquitted shooter in the death of Trayvon Martin, faces a Seminole circuit judge during a first-appearance hearing on charges including aggravated assault stemming from a fight with his girlfriend November 19, 2013 in Sanford, Florida. Zimmerman, 30, was arrested after police responded to a domestic disturbance call at a house. He was acquitted in July of all charges in the shooting death of unarmed, black teenager, Trayvon Martin.
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George Zimmerman Sues Trayvon Martin's Family For $100M

George Zimmerman has launched a $100M lawsuit against the family of Trayvon Martin, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, a publishing firm and a law enforcement agency for defamation.

Zimmerman, who shot and killed the unarmed 17-year-old in 2012, filed the lawsuit on Wednesday (Dec. 3), The Washington Post reports. The former security guard was acquitted of homicide charges for what transpired on Feb. 26, 2012, when he deemed the teenager who was wearing a hoodie as suspicious. Zimmerman claimed he shot the teen in self-defense as prosecutors claimed the fatal shooting was unjustified. The trial and Trayvon went on to become one of the key pillars in the Black Lives Matter movement which brought to light various and racist police practices used around the country.

Zimmerman now claims Trayvon's mother Sybrina Fulton worked alongside police and prosecutors to create a negative narrative around him. He also claims fake evidence was used in the case leading to “malicious prosecution.” Zimmerman cited Joel Gilbert's film and the documentary The Trayvon Martin Hoax, where Gilbert claimed Trayvon's girlfriend was an imposter. Following the lawsuit announcement, Gilbert will hold a  screening of the film on Thursday.

Also named in the suit is Ben Crump and publishers Harper Collins who released his book, Open Season: Legalized Genocide of Colored People. Members of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were also named in the suit.

Zimmerman has continued to make headlines since the murder of Trayvon. In 2018, he was arrested on charges of stalking when he sent text messages and voicemails to a private investigator Dennis Warren and Michael Gasparro, the co-executive producer of Jay-Z's Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story. In one of his text messages to Warren, Zimmerman reportedly insulted Jay Z and threatened Beyonce Knowles- Carter.

In 2015, he was arrested for domestic aggravated assault for allegedly throwing a bottle of wine at his girlfriend. After his acquittal in 2013, he was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault for allegedly pointing a shotgun at his girlfriend. Both charges were ultimately dropped.

He's also found ways to make his narrative worse. In 2016, he trended in Twitter after he decided to auction off the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin. He stated, the sale of the “American Firearm Icon” will be used to “fight [Black Lives Matter] violence against Law Enforcement officers.” In 2015, he reportedly tweeted an image of the teen's slain body with the caption, “Z-man is a one-man army.” He went on to deny the tweet but didn't stay away from the platform. That same year, he called former President Barack Obama a "baboon" and bragged about killing the teen by telling a critic, "We all know how it ended for the last moron who hit me. Give it a whirl, cupcake.”

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Actor Billy Dee Williams appears at the "Star Wars: Episode IX" panel presentation at the 2019 Star Wars Celebration on April 12, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
Bill Watters/WireImage

Billy Dee Williams Doesn't Know What "Gender-Fluid" Means, Says He's Not Gay

Actor Billy Dee Williams caught wind of reports about him being "gender-fluid" and made it clear that his words were misunderstood. In fact, he doesn't even know what the term means.

In an interview with The Undefeated, the 82-year-old addressed the assumption after his interview with Esquire where he revealed his usage of the pronouns "himself" and "herself" when identifying his self.

“Well, first of all, I asked last night. I said, ‘What the hell is gender-fluid?’ That’s a whole new term,” Williams told The Undefeated. "But what I was talking about was about men getting in touch with their softer side of themselves. There’s a phrase that was coined by Carl G. Jung, who was a psychiatrist...But he coined a phrase that’s, ‘Anima animus.’ And anima means that is the female counterpart of the male self, and the animus is the male counterpart of the female."

The Star Wars actor went on to explain that he embraces the feminine and masculine sides of himself and was not describing his gender identity and sexual orientation. "I wasn’t talking about sex, I wasn’t talking about being gay or straight. People should read [Jung]. I mean, it would be an interesting education for a lot of people.”

When asked if he's gay, the actor candidly responded, “No, no, no, I’m not gay — by any stretch of the imagination. Not that I have anything against gay people. But personally? Not gay.”

Aside from identifying as "a very cute man," Williams shared how he landed the Star Wars role as Lando Calrissian and what franchise fans can expect from the upcoming installment, The Rise of Skywalker. "I just hope people will like it. I don’t even hope. I know that people are really going to enjoy it.”

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Meek Mill speaks on stage at the "Justice for All: Reforming a Broken System" at the Fast Company Innovation Festival - Day 2 on November 06, 2019 in New York City.
Brad Barket/Getty Images for Fast Company

Meek Mill Issues PSA On Antwan Rose II And Law Enforcement

In 2018, 17-year-old honor roll student Antwon Rose II was fatally shot in the back by police officer Michael Rosfeld. The incident occurred in East Pittsburgh, Penn., and drew ire from various communities concerning the officer's use of the firearm. Now, the teen's mother Michelle Kenney has teamed with Meek Mill's DreamChasers label to promote a public service announcement (PSA) that calls for an end to police brutality.

"To make our communities better, we must show each other more love, care, generosity and empathy," Kenney said via statement. "I'm proud that Meek is using his platform to send that positive message and honor my son." Kenney also narrates the PSA where she elaborates on plans to achieve this goal.

For Mill, fostering methods of non-violent resolution between law enforcement and the communities that are heavily policed can help change views on both ends. "My hope is this PSA will inspire people to come together and create change in our communities," Mill said in a statement. "Our country needs more communication and understanding—not hate and division—so it's important that we collectively start the conversation and work to leave a lasting impact for future generations."

https://t.co/YZS78LKO9U

We are in this together.#EveryonesChild pic.twitter.com/AhXTdbnLPo

— DREAM CHASERS RECORDS (@DreamChasers) December 4, 2019

Since falling into the criminal justice system, Mill stepped into a new role to help others on both sides of the wall. In June 2019, the Philadelphia native was awarded New York University's Social Justice Award.

"When I was released from prison last year, I knew I had a responsibility to use my voice to speak up for the voiceless and fight for criminal justice reform," the 32-year-old said. "Change will take time, but me and my team at the REFORM Alliance are committed to making a real difference and fixing a broken justice system."

During a traffic stop, an unarmed Rose fled the vehicle, leading Rosfeld to open fire as the teen's back was facing him. Rose's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit after a jury found the officer not guilty. Both legal sides settled for $2 million which went to Rose's estate.

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