Lee Daniels Jussie Smollett Death Threats
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Lee Daniels And Jussie Smollett Receive Death Threats For 'Empire's' Gay Storyline

Two key players of 'Empire' received death threats for the show's “gay storyline."

Cue the haters, ladies and gentlemen.

Members of the famed and critically-acclaimed Empire television franchise show are being targeted once again for a plot element of the hit series, but this time with a little more aggression.

SEE ALSO: Rejoice: ‘Empire’ Announces Air Date For Second Season

Empire’s creator, Lee Daniels revealed that he and Jussie Smollett, who plays Jamal Lyon in the hit series, have received death threats as a result of the ongoing storyline regarding homophobia. At the 2015 Produced By Conference in LA on Sunday, Daniels’ referred specifically to a scene from an episode in which Jamal is thrown into the trash can by the contentious and intolerant Luscious Lyon, his father.

“I have to relate to these people,” Daniels said at the conference. “That trash can scene? It happened.”

SEE ALSO: Lee Daniels Gets The Cover Treatment For ‘The Hollywood Reporter’

Daniels’ and Smollett are both renowned figures in the LGBT community and have been praised for infusing the issue of homophobia within the black community into the storyline. As for the idea of a little boy dressed in his mother’s clothing being heaved into a trashcan? Daniels’ fetched back to his own experiences growing up with a father who tossed him into a trashcan after seeing him walk down the steps in his mother’s red heels, while plaguing him with hateful slurs and the idea that he would “never amount to anything.”

The two-time Academy Award-winning director also cited other reasons for the plot surrounding homophobia, such as the black community’s bigoted attitudes towards homosexuals, and closeted men who fear harassment and ridicule.

Daniels’ father was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty in the 1970s. He said that if his father were still alive, his views might have changed.

Despite the death threats, Daniels said that he would continue to address the issue of homophobia in his work until it is resolved. – Diamond Hillyer

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The series reboot was announced on Tuesday (Sept. 15), along with a list of original and rebooted shows headed for the streaming outlet which includes a limited series chronicling the making of The Godfather, a new edition of VH1’s Behind the Music, and the true crime docuseries, The Real Criminal Minds. The programming will join CBS All Access’ list of more than 20,000 episodes and movies across BET, MTV, CBS, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, and more.

Although no details have been released about The Game revival, the series will fall under BET’s Paramount+ programming from CBS Television Studios and Garment Productions. It’s unclear if any of the show's original cast members like, Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall, and Wendy Raquel Robinson, will be involved in the new installment.

The hit sports series was created by Mara Brock Akil, as a spinoff of her other hit sitcom, Girlfriends. Akil recently inked an overall deal with Netflix to develop new projects for the streamer. The company also acquired the rights to Girlfriends, Sister, Sister, Moesha, and The Parkers.

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50 Cent Developing Starz Series About Beef With The Game

Add a couple more credits to 50 Cent’s long list of TV projects. The rapper-turned-TV-producer inked a deal to develop two new series for Starz, one of which will explore his feud with The Game, the cable network announced on Monday (Sept. 14).

The seasonal anthology series tentatively titled, Moment in Time: The Massacre, chronicles “true stories in which iconic hip hop moments collided with the sensational and sometimes criminal events behind the scenes.” Season one focuses on the beef between Fif and Game that “led to an all-street war, pitting G-Unit against music impresario Jimmy Henchman.”

Henchman, The Game’s former manager, is currently serving life for the murder-for-hire of a G-Unit affiliate. Moment in Time will be written and executive produced by Abdul William, who penned The Bobby Brown Story, The New Edition Story, Lottery Ticket, and Lifetime’s forthcoming Salt-N-Pepa mini series.

Inspired by the life of sports agent and attorney Nicole Lynn, who serves as executive producer, the second series follows a Black female sports agent’s rise up the ranks in the male dominated industry of sports agents. Tash Grey will produce the series and pen the script. Grey’s notable credits include the Power spinoff Raising Kanan, Snowfall, P-Valley, and the true-crime drama, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Both series will be executive produced by 50 Cent and his G-Unit Film & Television imprint.

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Netflix Acquires ‘Malcolm & Marie’ Starring Zendaya, John David Washington

Netflix has acquired the rights to the film Malcolm & Marie staring Zendaya and John David Washington in a $30 million deal during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The streaming giant beat out HBO, Amazon, Searchlight, Apple and MGM among others in a bidding war over the film, Deadline reports.

Shot on 35mm black and white film, Malcolm & Marie, tells the story of a filmmaker (portrayed by Washington) who returns home with his girlfriend after a celebrating the premiere of his latest movie. Things take a turn as revelations about the couple’s relationship rise to the surface, changing the mood of the evening.

Malcolm & Marie pic.twitter.com/99RWzgLFbD

— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 8, 2020

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“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my ‘Euphoria’ family, for coming together during such uncertain times,” Levinson said in a statement. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”

The film was shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic at a quarantine location in California in mid-June. Over the course of the two week shoot, heavy precautions were taken to ensure the health and safety of the cast and crew including social distancing, increased sanitary measures, and daily temperature checks.

Netflix’s acquisition of Malcolm & Marie follows an onslaught of TIFF films scooped up by  the company, with Halle Berry’s Bruised among the lot. The film marks Berry’s directorial debut and was sold to Netflix for a reported $20 million.

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