Daniele Watts pens an op-ed piece for the 'L.A. Times.'

Actress Daniele Watts Explains LAPD Encounter

Headlines swirled when Django Unchained actress Danielle Watts was recently stopped by the Los Angeles police while with her white boyfriend in early September.

In a new op-ed piece for The Los Angeles Times, Watts offered her side of the tape, explaining why she refused to hand over her I.D. to the cop on-site and debunking reports that she and her beau were having sex in public. “He said he had received a call about a couple engaged in lewd conduct and asked for our IDs,” she wrote. “A few minutes before, Brian and I had been making out in his car; I was sitting on his lap. We were not having sex, and both of us had our clothes on.”

While she didn't want her behavior to paint her as a "lawbreaker," a racial profiling incident she experienced as a teen stayed with her. "When I was 16, my father was driving me home from a school play when we saw flashing lights," she recalled. "We hadn't been speeding. I remember my father asking the police officer what was wrong. The officer ignored his question and demanded identification."

Today, Watts admits she could have been calmer but knows her actions speak volumes. "I objected—and I continue to object—because if we are unclear about our rights, and we continue to believe that in every case when a police officer tells you to do something, you have to do it, as I was told. We allow the police to abuse their power."

Read the full piece here.

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Jussie Smollett's Potentially Final 'Empire' Episode Draws Low Viewership

It hasn't been revealed whether Empire will return for a sixth season. However, if the show returns, there's no word on if Jussie Smollett will reprise his role as Jamal Lyon.

Regardless of the unknown, it looks like fans weren't all the way tuned-in to what may have very well have been Smollett's last episode on the show. Per Variety, Jamal's groundbreaking wedding episode garnered low ratings for the Fox series.

"The episode, in which Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon tied the knot in TV’s first-ever black, gay wedding, returned a 1.1 rating in the key 18-49 demo and 3.8 million total viewers," reports the site. "Those numbers are a tick up on the 1.07 rating of the previous two weeks, but are still down on the season 5 average, which currently sits at around 1.4."

Smollett's character was written out of the last two episodes of the fifth season, due to his highly-publicized arrest in February for allegedly filing a false police report claiming that he was attacked physically and verbally in Chicago. All 16 charges against him were dropped in March.

Recently, his Empire family penned a letter of support for their cast member, urging the show's producers to allow him to come back for the unannounced sixth season.

"[Smollett] is kind. He is compassionate," the letter says. "He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity. He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped."

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SWV Reacts To Female R&B Artists H.E.R, Teyana Taylor, And More

SWV recently sat down for BuzzFeed's "Cocoa Butter" video series to react to the new generation of female, R&B vocalists, and the veteran trio's facial expressions said it all.

The first singer the ladies reacted to was H.E.R. "I'm partial because I just love H.E.R. So she could sing dookie on a stick, and I'll still be like, oh she sounds nice," Tamara Johnson-George said.

"I wanna hear her do something different though," Coko chimed in, adding that she should experiment with more upbeat tempos.

Another notable reaction was given to Chloe x Halle. While the women agreed that the duo sounded a lot like their mentor, Beyonce, they felt that they hadn't heard any songs that "pop."

SWV didn't jump up and down for everyone, but they collectively loved Teyana Taylor. "She's going to be around for a minute," Leanne "Lelee" Lyons says.

The trio started to really dive in and dissect the artists when they moved on to Queen Naija. Although two-thirds of the group said they like Queen, Coko's facial expressions said something else. "You heard her sing live?" She askd. "I just like to hear them sing live because nowadays these girls sound like a computer."

SWV also reacted to Jhene Aiko, Kehlani, and Syd. See their reactions below.

SWV Reacts To Teyana Taylor, Queen Naija, H.E.R. & more! pic.twitter.com/vF4CQNZlTq

— Cocoa Butter (@cocoabutterbf) April 25, 2019

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Cardi B Wants People To Be Educated About 2020 Presidential Candidates

It was announced on Thursday (April 25) that Joe Biden would officially be throwing his hat into the ring for the 2020 Democratic Presidential nomination. He joins the likes of politicians such as Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren and several others who are hoping to win the nomination next year.

Cardi B, who has been open in the past about her affinity for history and politics, is urging her fans to make sure they are educating themselves about the potential candidates and their policies.

"Post I love to see!" she wrote on Instagram in a caption accompanying a screenshot of all of the Democrats who have announced 2020 presidential bids. "These are the democratic nominees.I can’t front I only hurd and read on about six of them .Im going to research these names on my flight ! LETS START LEARNING AND ENCOURAGING VOTING NOW ! Not when is popular to do so and it’s only like four nominees left."

Earlier this year, Cardi spoke on the lengthy government shutdown and her thoughts on the underlying reason it was enacted.

"This sh*t is really f**kin' serious, bro," she stated in a viral Instagram video. "This sh*t is crazy. Like, our country is in a hellhole right now. All for a f**kin' wall."

 

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Post I love to see !These are the democratic nominees.I can’t front I only hurd and read on about six of them .Im going to research these names on my flight ! LETS START LEARNING AND ENCOURAGING VOTING NOW ! Not when is popular to do so and it’s only like four nominees left.

A post shared by MOSTHATEDCARDI (@iamcardib) on Apr 25, 2019 at 12:45pm PDT

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