Viola Davis Viola Davis
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Viola Davis Shares History With Sexual Assault At Rape Foundation Fundraiser

The actress explained her own experiences with sexual assault made her want to step up for other victims, including her sister. 

Viola Davis is taking a stand against sexual assault. Over the weekend, the Emmy award-winning actress explained the importance of helping sexual assault victims at The Rape Foundation's annual fundraiser in Beverly Hills, Calif., AP reports.

A victim of sexual assault herself, the How To Get Away With Murder star urged attendees to support the foundation's mission to help improve and heal the lives of sexual violence and abuse victims. "You must,” Davis said. “And then let your heart do the rest. Myself, my mother, my sisters, my friend Rebecca, my friend from childhood, we all have one thing in common: We are all survivors of sexual assault in some way, shape or form." Proceeds from the benefit help fund the foundation's Rape Treatment Center and Stuart House for up to a year.

One of Davis' sisters has been her motivation for rape advocacy. Since being raped at the age of 8, Davis said her sister turned to substance abuse and prostitution as an adult. The actress opened up about the incident during the foundation's benefit last year. "I have a sister, who, when she was eight years old, put on some roller skates with her friend, went down to the corner store at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, went into the store, and was sexually assaulted in the store," Davis said, reports The Daily Mail. "She came home, and she told my mom. My mom ran down to the store, started screaming at the store owners, and they said, ''Leave that man alone. He does that to all the little girls.'' And then my mom proceeded to flag down a police officer. They found the man. They put him in the car. I saw my little sister crying. My mom was crying, too. And that was it."

"From there, a precocious, very intelligent, very creative child grew up to be frail, angry, a drug addict by the time she was 20. Six children, all of which have been taken by social services. A prostitute. An IV drug user. You know, memories demand attention, because memories have teeth. And in my vision, and in my dreams, when I pray for my sister... you pray in general terms."

Since starring in the 2010 film Trust about the foundation, Davis has spoken about the program's educational classes for first responders, forensic services and counseling for sexual assault victims and sexually abused children.

Other attendees of the benefit included Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman and The People Vs. OJ Simpson's  David Schwimmer. Like Davis, the actor is a longtime member of the foundation dating back over a decade.

Learn more about The Rape Foundation here.

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Michael B. Jordan To Star In 'gen:LOCK' Anime Series

Michael B. Jordan will be lending his lady-loved voice to a new anime series,"gen:LOCK," for Rooster Teeth.

In the new series, Jordan will be playing Julian Chase. The show is described as "50 years in the future, where an oppressive authoritarian force threatens to conquer the world. So a daring team is recruited to pilot a new form of weaponized neuroscience that powers devastating mecha. However, this team must be willing to sacrifice everything to save the world," according to Shadow and Act.

“He is willing to lay his life on the line for the greater good. He had a lot of heroic qualities to him that made it easy for me to be like ‘cool, I want to voice this guy,’” Jordan told SyfyWire about his reason for picking the role.

Way too excited to show you guys the final trailer for #genLock all my real followers/fans know how much I’m an Anime fan and this show fulfilled one of my life-long dreams of voicing a character on an animated show. Jan 26th it’s going to get crazy on @roosterteeth

A post shared by Michael B. Jordan (@michaelbjordan) on Jan 17, 2019 at 9:38am PST

The first two episodes of gen:LOCK will premiere on Jan. 26 on Rooster Teeth, which is available on iOS, Andriod, Xbox One, and Apple TV. (RoosterTeeth.com's memberships start at $4.99 a month.) Watch the trailer for the series up top.

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Kerry Washington To Star In And Produce 'American Son' Netflix Adaptation

Kerry Washington's Broadway banger, American Son, will be making its on-screen debut with Netflix.

Steven Pasquale (The Good Wife), Jeremy Jordan (Supergirl), Eugene Lee (A Soldier’s Play) and Washington will be reprising their groundbreaking roles from the thought-provoking Broadway production. Kenny Leon, who served as the play's original director, will be directing the picture and producing the film alongside the former Scandal actress.

The 41-year-old made the announcement on Monday night (Jan. 21) while appearing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, where she gushed over her role as Kendra and the play's exploration into an interracial families search for their missing son in a Florida police station.

I love you @jimmyfallon 😍 thanks for letting me come on @FallonTonight and share this thrilling news about #AmericanSonPlay 😍😍😍😍 https://t.co/5sk97I4Co6

— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) January 22, 2019

Netflix’s Vice President of Original Content Cindy Holland said in a statement, “We are honored to work with Kerry Washington, [director] Kenny Leon, [writer] Christopher Demos-Brown and the entire cast to bring this story from the Broadway stage to our members around the world.”

The American Son production will come to a close this Sunday (Jan. 27) after a two month running at the Booth Theatre beginning in Nov. 2018. Watch Kerry Washington gush over American Son below.

 

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Meek Mill, Jay-Z Push Criminal Justice Initiative REFORM

Since Meek Mill's release from prison in April 2018, the Philadelphia native embarked on a new journey to help those unjustly trapped by the criminal justice system while fighting his own personal case.

On Wednesday (Jan. 23), the MMG rapper, Jay-Z, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, social activist Van Jones, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin and more announced the launch of REFORM, an organization that aims to tackle the criminal justice system's perils by implementing effective strategies to revamp its current state. Jones will also serve as CEO.

Part of the organization will highlight the establishment of a fair parole/probation system, a mandate that has followed Meek Mill since his late teens. Recently, the "Trauma" artist expressed his desire to end his parole, which he's been under state supervision for over a decade.

I just wanna get off probation I been on this shit my whole adult life ... 11 years of asking for permission 🤯

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 22, 2019

https://t.co/2JcOpnV9JN getting beat up by the cops like this was normal where I come from .... a cop beat me worse than this and I got charged for hurting his hand ... I guess I hit his hand wit my face too hard and that was assault 🤷🏾‍♂️ pic.twitter.com/nK4UFgwruc

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 22, 2019

On the subject of Mill's case, Jay-Z penned an op-ed for the New York Times where he highlights the country's crippling parole system. "The specifics of Meek's case inspired me to write this. But it's time we highlight the random ways people trapped in the criminal justice system are punished every day," he wrote in late 2017. "The system treats them as a danger to society, consistently monitors and follows them for any minor infraction — with the goal of putting them back in prison."

Pulling together a team to be the voice for the voiceless #REFORM @REFORM #FightDifferent pic.twitter.com/PN9dnJFOp4

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 23, 2019

Congratulations and thank you to @REFORM CEO, @VanJones68 #FightDifferent #REFORM pic.twitter.com/9qt7mj13Ka

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 23, 2019

HAPPENING NOW: @MeekMill and Jay-Z join forces with leaders in the music, sports and business world to announce the launch of, REFORM Alliance, a new criminal justice reform organization. https://t.co/Y12cjQCZJ7

Watch on Facebook live: https://t.co/vqmxQRhOne pic.twitter.com/m3n4Ncr0dY

— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 23, 2019

Watch this video #REFORM pic.twitter.com/ECoNPg4pRU

— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) January 23, 2019

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