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We Need A Resolution: 15 Thoughts On Last Night's 'Scandal'

An emotional recap of episode 14 on ABC's 'Scandal'

Shonda Rhimes' ability to tap into people's consciousness at exactly the right moment is uncanny.

On Wednesday (March 4), the Department of Justice announced Darren Wilson would not face criminal charges in the shooting death of Mike Brown, leaving more salt in the wounds of Lesley McSpadden, Michael Brown Sr. and all the black men and women dead at the hands of police brutality.

As powerful as it was, episode 14, titled "The Lawn Chair," hit too, too, close to home. Here, VIBE's staff reflects on the emotional roller coaster that was last night's Scandal.—Compiled by Shenequa Golding, Iyana Robertson, Datwon Thomas, Christine Imarenezor, Cook T.P. and Adelle Platon

1. Last night’s episode had everyone in their feelings. In between Kleenex breaks and fits of rage, the award-winning show brought the painful nostalgia from Ferguson to the small screen with the case of Brandon Parker, a black teenage boy fatally shot by police officer, Jeffrey Newton.

2. The first 20 minutes were almost too much. It felt like Shonda & Co. should have kept this episode in the stash for next season. The images and emotional portrayal inspired by #BlackLivesMatter mirrored an event still in motion. With racial tensions still heightened and the horror of Mike Brown’s death still etched into our hearts and minds, the disparities between the real story and Rhimes’ fictional version stirred up some initial pushback.

3. The questioning of Olivia Pope’s blackness was on point. Every week, viewers tune in to a black, female lead pushing the agenda of a white Republican president. Though “one of us,” the Head-Gladiator-in-Charge never really felt like one of us. Until last night–when it counted. But don’t expect her to go all “sista gurl” anytime soon.

4. Did y'all peep the grandmom in the protest group set off the drama with the "Good for you!" line when Clarence Parker sat in the chair the first time?

5. Jake's presence was not needed in this episode.

6. While we're here... The sideline plot involving First Lady Mellie's plan for vice presidency was a cool story, bro. But it's nice to see Fitz and 'em Bonnie and Clyde'ing the White House.

7. The on-screen activists' war cry of "Stand up! Fight back! No more black men under attack!" seemed like it was pulled from the Ferguson protestors' playbook. But as pop culture guru/ master livetweeter Luvvie wrote, "My edit to the chant on #Scandal would have been: “STAND UP. FIGHT BACK. NO MORE BLACK LIVES UNDER ATTACK.” B/c Black girls get killed too."

8. Courtney B. Vance nailed his character of Clarence Parker, an angry, protective, grief-ridden father, demanding justice. Hopefully, his role helped show that wherever one may stand on the race debate, all parents experience heart-pounding loss when they have to bury a child.

9. Let's talk about the lawn chair. The police allowing a dead body to be laid out on the street for two to three days is unrealistic, but the grand gesture is valid. As Clarence parked his lawn chair over his dead child's body, clutching a shot gun, he tells Liv that regardless of the circumstances, he would wind up either killed or jailed.

10. Last night's episode came to a head during the officer's monologue. Bearing a striking resemblance to Darren Wilson, officer Jeffrey Newton referred to Olivia Pope as "you people" (WTF?) and went on a rant peppered with entitlement, speaking about how black people aren't taught to respect themselves, or others, and that black people kill each other. The cop's tirade hurt because there are white men in law enforcement who believe this, despite the fact that white-on-white crime hovers at about 80 percent in the United States.

11. Twitter felt a way about including the officer's perspective altogether. Did Shonda need to portray the Ferguson-esque case fairly?

12. It’s a sad day when Fitzgerald Grant is braver than your actual president. In the most heartbreaking moment of the episode, Clarence is in awe as he walks through the White House, before sobbing in Fitz’s arms. Perhaps President Obama should have personally witnessed the agony of Mike Brown Sr. ...

13. The waterworks flowed when the final scene showed Brandon Parker being zipped up in a body bag. There was not enough time to unpack the on-screen tragedy before even attempting the series premiere of ABC's new thriller American Crime.

14. There has never been a more important episode of Scandal. Last night's episode showed how divided we are as a country, yet served justice for Brandon Parker when Gladiator associates Huck and Quinn learned a knife was planted under his body.

15. Thank you Shonda for showing us what justice should look like, but unfortunately, reality isn't so sweet.

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50 Cent offers his condolences to a deceased member of the 'Power' crew.
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Rest In 'Power': Crew Member For 50 Cent's Show Killed On Set

50 Cent offered his condolences to the loved ones of Pedro Jimenez, a crew member who was killed on the set of his hit STARZ show, Power, earlier this morning. (Monday, Dec. 10).

"I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning," wrote the media mogul in an Instagram post, which accompanied a black screen. "My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family."

According to TMZ, "Pedro Jimenez was setting up parking cones for a location shoot in Brooklyn around 4:20 AM when he was struck by a 2006 Ford Explorer. Police responded and Pedro was transported to a Brooklyn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

Jimenez was just 63 years old, and had reportedly worked on the series since its debut in 2014. Reports state that investigators have spoken with the 64-year-old driver of the vehicle that struck Mr. Jimenez, who is also a crew member on the show. No arrests have been made.

 

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I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning. My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family.

A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Dec 10, 2018 at 9:29am PST

READ MORE: 50 Cent Reportedly Has A ‘Power’ Prequel In The Works

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'Queen Sono' Will Be The First African Original Series To Stream On Netflix

Netflix caught some flack over the weekend after it was reported the streaming behemoth shelled out a smooth $100 million to keep the 90s sitcom Friends. However, staying committed to original content IOL Entertainment reports Netflix will take on it first African series.

Titled Queen Sono, actress Pearl Thusi (pictured above at the 2019 Global Citizens festival) will star in the dramedy which finds Thusi portraying a spy motivated to help the lives of her South Africans, while dealing with highs and lows of a personal relationship.

Netflix's Vice President of International Originals Kelly Luegenbiehl who's in charge of content in Europe and Africa expressed excitement over Queen Sono.

"We love the team behind the show, [and] we're passionate about coming in and doing something that feels fresh and different. It's really exciting for us," she said. "Their point of view and creating a strong female character was really something that also really drew us to it.

Erik Barmack, also with Netflix, said Queen Sono is just the first of many to depict life in Africa.

"Over time our roots will get deeper in Africa and South Africa, and we're moving pretty quickly to that now, and plan to invest more in local content," he said.

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Cardi B Talks Stripping, Nicki Minaj, And Fame On 'CBS Sunday Morning'

Nothing was off limits during Cardi B's recent interview on CBS Sunday Morning. During the special, which aired on Sunday, Dec. 9, Cardi got candid with interviewer Maurice DuBois about her humble beginnings in the strip club, her beef with Nicki Minaj, and how she's been handling mega-stardom.

In case you missed it, check out a list we compiled of the Grammy-nominee's statements below, and watch the interview in the video above.

She called her beef with Nicki Minaj "unnecessary"

Cardi and Nicki Minaj have been at war for most of the year. The beef may have started following their collaboration on Migos' "Motorsport." Over the course of the year, it escalated to a physical altercation during a New York Fashion Week event, as well as many public jabs over social media. While both rappers previously agreed to turn their attention elsewhere, Cardi reflected on how the entire situation was "bad for business."

"A lot of people like to say all publicity is good publicity. To me it's not. That takes away [from] people paying attention to your craft," she said of her feud with Minaj.

Working at the strip club gave her power and a passion for performing

As you may know, Cardi B was previously a stripper before she gained mega-stardom. While she has shared mixed reviews about her past in various interviews, she told CBS that she thought stripping had a positive impact on her life.

"A lot of women here, they taught me to be more powerful," she said. "I did gain, like, a passion and love [for] performing. It made me feel pretty... I'm glad for this chapter in my life. A lot of people always want to make fun of me -- 'Oh, you used to be a stripper!' -- I don't ever regret it, because I learned a lot. I feel like it matured me. My biggest ambition was money. That's what these women put in my head: nothing is important but the money."

Her ability to connect with her fans stems from her accessibility 

Cardi undoubtedly understands how to connect with her fans and followers better than many of her counterparts. After all, the rapper built up her network in such a short amount of time. She attributes her likability to being "reachable."

"When I talk, I make a lot of mistakes," she continued. "Like, I might say words, and the words are not even in the dictionary. But people still like it because you can tell that I'm saying it from the heart."

She never imagined that she could make it this far

Before she made it big, Cardi admitted that she didn't expect her music to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. When reflecting on her first hit single "Bodak Yellow," she stated that she had low expectations at first.

"It hit at 85, and I just felt like, alright, I already did enough," she said. "Then when people was telling me, like, there's a possibility of going No. 1, I was like, 'Oh my gosh -- if I go No. 1, this is going to be crazy... and then it did. I just felt like I was on top of the world."

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