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Harry Belafonte Questions Timing Of Nate Parker Rape Trial: "What Are We Doing Here?"

The humanitarian and legendary actor praised Parker's upcoming film, Birth of a Nation and the motive behind the resurface of the 1999 trial. 

Legendary actor Harry Belafonte has questioned the timing of Nate Parker's 1999 rape case, resurfacing just a few months before the release of his highly anticipated film, Birth of a Nation. 

According to The Hollywood ReporterBelafonte admitted he didn't know all the details of the case which left Parker not guilty of raping a fellow Penn State classmate. The story was public knowledge since the start of the 36-year-old's career but gained extra traction just before the film's upcoming press tour. The anonymous victim committed suicide in 2012, with her family claiming she was traumatized behind the incident. Belafonte, 89, says the case was reviewed in a court of law and wondered why critics would investigate the incident just before the release of the Nate Turner rebellion drama.

"It's interesting because it's coming out the same time the film's coming out. Of all the stories you can tell, why are you telling this story? And if he was somebody who had committed a crime and got away with it, but he faced the justice system," said Belafonte."The fact that [the system] may have screwed up, the fact that it didn't really take care of justice, the fact that he should have been punished or whatever, is history," the singer added. "The fact is that he was confronted and then he did go through the process. Why are you bringing this up now? What has he done that requires this kind of animus?"

At the time of the case, Parker was a wrestler at Penn State. His roommate and co-writer of The Birth of a Nation Jean Celestin were both charged with the raping the student. They both claimed the sex was consensual and Parker was acquitted of the charge. Celestin's charge was later exonerated over alleged mishandles by his trial attorney, The Daily Beast reports.

Calling the film a winner, Belafonte says Birth of a Nation will touch the souls of the audience. He also wondered of other actors and directors will face the same fate of their pasts returning during career highs.

"How do I put it in a perspective that helps me with greater clarity understand why this is the consequence of something he's done by getting this high-profile, 'cause this film is touching a lot of consciousness. Why isn't that the story?" Belafonte asked."And is this going to be the price that young black women and men pay for making films of substance?" he continued. "Are they going to dig in and get dirt instead of fruit? What are we doing here? And where is the voice that defends him if he in fact is worthy of defending?"

Parker has spoken about case and says he was unaware of the victim's passing. Several of the victim's family members have also questioned the timing of the news. “We appreciate that after all this time, these men are being held accountable for their actions. However, we are dubious of the underlying motivations that bring this to present light after 17 years, and we will not take part in stoking its coals," the statement to The New York Times reads. "While we cannot protect the victim from this media storm, we can do our best to protect her son. For that reason, we ask for privacy for our family and do not wish to comment further.”

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Nessa Confronts Janelle Evans Over Kaepernick Slander During 'Teen Mom 2' Reunion

If one thing is for sure, don't talk about Nessa Diab's family. The media personality and activist used her platform for good when she schooled Teen Mom 2 star Janelle Evans about hateful comments she made towards Diab's partner, Colin Kaepernick. 

The incident, which was intended to be a healthy conversation between the two, aired Monday (May 20) during the Teen Mom 2 reunion. Throughout the season, Evans was reportedly upset about Teen Mom OG star Amber Portwood speaking about her husband David Eason on social media. Surprisingly, Evans orchestrated the same behavior when she made a Facebook post about Kaepernick and his partnership with Nike. Evans reportedly slammed Nike for working with Kaepernick and allegedly burned Nike gear in protest of their decision.

While Nessa didn't break down everything Evans said, she shared the post on the screen behind them.“When I saw those comments, I did not attack you online, nor did I disrespect you over the years,” Nessa said. “My man uses his platform to peacefully protest police brutality against black people...that is the issue...I would’ve appreciated it if you contacted me.”

Nessa brought up the incident in an effort to show Evans how hypocritical she was being towards Portwood.

Evans denied doing the post and later accused MTV of using her. “I honestly have no idea who your boyfriend is...I would like to see [the comments] because what if it was an ad...was it an ad?” Jenelle asked. “I’m highly confused right now. I don’t know anything about your husband, and I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about. I swear to god, I’m done with this bulls**t. This is exactly why I didn’t want to f***ing come here,” she said. “This is about my storyline, and you want to bring up your issues? Okay. You got your show.”

As Evans stormed off stage, Nessa remained calm and detailed her working relationship with the mother of three.

“I’ve known Jenelle over the years, and I’ve always been fair and just to her," she said. "It wouldn’t have been authentic to who I am to be on this stage with someone who disrespected my family on social media.”

Shortly after the reunion aired, Evans continued to deny the allegations while her husband went on to attack Nessa and mock the death of slain rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle.

If the reunion wasn’t about David Jenelle then why is he already going off and attacking Nessa? The amount this chick lies is seriously beyond incredible 🤣. pic.twitter.com/uIouVOw98O

— Greenwalls4life (@Codybfan87) April 8, 2019

Fans of both women have defended their actions but Nessa has remained mum on what happened. Part 2 of the Teen Mom 2 finale will air next Monday on MTV. Watch the exchange up top.

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Oprah Winfrey Sends $500K Donation To Newark High School

One of the many reasons people love Oprah Winfrey is for her good heart and caring nature. The media mogul recently donated $500,000 to a Newark, N.J. high school, after she heard about the institution's after-school program.

Winfrey threw the students at West Side High School a pizza party and gifted each student with a $50 gift card to ShopRite. West Side is home to the "Lights On" program, which –according to northjersey.com– "provides recreational activities at the school after hours every Friday."

"I thought what could I do?" Oprah reportedly told the students during her visit on Friday (May 17). "So I'm going to leave here tonight and leave you with a half a million dollars." According to a video Winfrey posted on her Facebook page, the school's principal Akbar Cook and his family cook each week for "Lights On."

Cook has been gaining notoriety for his efforts to provide a better learning environment for his students. In his first year as the high school's principal, Cook had five washers and driers added to the school after Officials found that several students absences were linked to a lack of clean clothes and access to washers and dryers in their homes and communities.

"We are really laying the foundation for what a community school looks like," Cook said during his appearance on Ellen in September 2018, "and what better way to change the world than a school?" Through the help of Cheerios, DeGeneres donated $50,000 to the school.

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Jason Mitchell Fired From 'The Chi' Over Misconduct Allegations

On Monday (May 20), several networks responsible for hosting shows featuring Jason Mitchell decided to cease working with the New Orleans native due to misconduct claims, Deadline states. The actor was accused of sexual harassment by an actress on The Chi and other notes of issues with Mitchell from other actresses on the series.

On Showtime's The Chi, Tiffany Boone, who plays Mitchell's girlfriend, reportedly filed complaints to Fox 21's producers of sexual misconduct. The Hollywood Reporter notes that a source revealed Boone's fiance, Marque Richardson (Dear White People), also appeared on set on different occasions when Boone was scheduled to film scenes with Mitchell.

For Netflix's Desperados, Mitchell was replaced by New Girl's Lamorne Morris before he began filming. The Hollywood Reporter also notes producers obtained "specific information which was investigated immediately and thoroughly and dealt with as quickly as possible." Mitchell was also released from his agreement with talent agencies UTA and Authentic Talent & Literary Management.

The 32-year-old actor first reached a new plateau of recognition for his role as Eazy-E in 2015's Straight Outta Compton. Since then, he's acted in Superfly, Mudbound, and Detroit.

Details are still scarce on how Mitchell's The Chi character will exit the show's storyline.

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