The New Yorker Festival 2014 - The Golden State: Michael Chabon, Ryan Coogler, Miranda July, and Robert Towne Moderated by Deborah Teisman
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Director Ryan Coogler attends The Golden State: Michael Chabon, Ryan Coogler, Miranda July, and Robert Towne Moderated by Deborah Teisman during The New Yorker Festival 2014 on October 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images for The New Yorker Festival)
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BET Partners With American Black Film Festival For First Annual 2016 ABFF Awards

The show's theme is promptly titled, "A Celebration of Hollywood."

BET Networks has given us unforgettable pop culture moments with the BET Awards and BET Hip-Hop Awards respectively. The network has now taken another leap by teaming up with the American Black Film Festival to produce the 2016 ABFF Awards: A Celebration of Hollywood, the network announced Monday.

Variety reports the show, hosted by comedian Mike Epps, will be televised on BET and Centric Feb. 23 at p.m. EST.

The awards will celebrate Hollywood's brightest stars and films in Black culture with special awards such as the "Hollywood Legacy Award" presented to legendary actress Actress Diahann Carroll, the "Distinguished ABFF Alumni Award" to Ride Along producer Will Packer, the "Excellence in the Arts Awards" to actors Don Cheadle and Regina King, and the "Rising Star" award to Creed director Ryan Coogler.

Jeff Friday, ABFF founder and CEO, released a statement on Monday about the festival's segway into an awards show. After coming into fruition in 1997, the four-day festival often highlights actors and filmmakers of African descent who's work are often overshadowed in mainstream Hollywood.

“Twenty years ago, I created the American Black Film Festival to spotlight the rich diversity of talent and achievement. It was born out of my love for film and desire to ensure that Black people gained opportunity and equity in every arena of Hollywood," Friday said. "I am truly honored to partner with BET to showcase the work of our most talented artists,” said Jeff Friday, ABFF Founder and CEO, in a statement.

Stephen Hill, President of Programming at BET, also shared his thoughts on the show. The announcement of the event comes weeks into debates and planned boycotts of the 88th Academy Awards. The Academy is undergoing changes into it's racial and gender makeup after no actors of color were nominated for performances for the second time in a row.

“It’s clear that there’s a need for this show," Hill said. "BET is very excited to partner with Jeff and ABFF to present ‘A Celebration of Hollywood.’ We will unabashedly acknowledge performances and achievements of African-Americans on screen from this past year and give special honor and recognition to artists that have thrilled us during their highly acclaimed careers. 2015 was ripe with tremendous and inspiring performances by African-Americans and we are beyond thrilled to be the ones to recognize them with class and admiration."

Will you be tuning into the ABFF Awards?

 

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John Singleton In Coma After Suffering From A Stroke

John Singleton is reportedly in a coma after suffering from a major stroke, TMZ reports.

The Boyz N the Hood filmmaker has reportedly been in the ICU since last weekend. According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Singleton's mother, Sheila Ward, is asking a judge to appoint her temporary conservator of his work because he is "unable to properly provide for his personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter." Singleton was reportedly working on several projects and preparing to sign a lucrative settlement agreement at the time of his stroke, according to Ward.

As previously reported, Singleton suffered a stroke on April 17, after returning from Costa Rica. After experiencing problems with his legs, he reportedly checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he suffered a stroke in his hospital room.

This story is developing.

 

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Goodbye Costa Rica... one of my new favorite places in the world.... so much to see so little time...

A post shared by JOHN SINGLETON (@johnsingleton) on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:07pm PST

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'Empire' Makes History By Airing First Black Gay Wedding On Network TV

Wedding bells have just made their way into the history books. Last night (April 25), FOX's Empire became the first network television show to air a black gay wedding. Jamal and his fiancé Kai (Jussie Smollett and Toby Onwumere, respectively) jump the broom and swap vows in the episode titled "Never Doubt I Love."

As an added treat, Empire even tapped the legendary Chaka Khan to perform at the fictional star-studded wedding (Mario and Wood Harris even showed up) which, as evidenced by the episode BTS video, was a moment for everyone right to the stars of the show themselves. “Today’s wedding is special and controversial,” Khan said of using her voice for this particular cameo. “But my answer to all that is just love is love.”

Cast members Taraji P. Henson and Gabourey Sidibe agree that Jamal and Kai's wedding might have just become the best Empire wedding.

While this doesn't necessarily take away from the controversy still surrounding Smollett's case in Chicago, it was a cause for celebration regarding diversity and representation on television nonetheless. As Ms. Khan said, right here and right now, the most important thing to note is that love is love.

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Lizzo Will Appear In 'Hustlers' Alongside Cardi B And Jennifer Lopez

Lizzo continues to make waves as a musician, instrumentalist, body-positivity icon and booty-shaker extraordinaire. The artist– whose major-label debut Cuz I Love You is receiving praise from listeners and critics alike– will have a chance to put her twerking skills to the test.

According to reports, the Minnesota transplant is set to join the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Cardi B and Keke Palmer in the already-stacked lineup for the upcoming film, Hustlers. Deadline reports that this is Lizzo’s first live-action film, and her second film overall. She’ll be voicing a character in the upcoming animated musical film, Uglydolls.

Hustlers, which is set to be released by September 2019, is inspired by an article published in New York Magazine in 2016, which “follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.”

Additional actresses set to appear in the film include Fresh Off The Boat’s Constance Wu, Riverdale’s Lili Reinhart, Julia Stiles, Transparent’s Trace Lysette, Mercedes Ruehl, dancer Mette Towley and Orange Is The New Black’s Madeline Brewer.

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