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'Get Out's Daniel Kaluuya Discusses Samuel L. Jackson's Recent Comments And Discrimination

Kaluuya spoke openly with 'GQ' on Jackson's observation of 'Get Out,' and said his battle with proving his blackness is not something new. 

The success of Jordan Peele's directorial debut, Get Out, was met with a few muddled critiques, one hailing from veteran actor, Samuel L. Jackson. The Kong: Skull Island star recently shared his controversial views on British black actors gaining roles in box office hits stateside more than African-American actors.

During an interview with HOT 97, Jackson name-dropped the film's lead performer, Daniel Kaluuya, before diving into his opinion on those who hail from overseas being casted in roles that might suit a black American actor instead. "I tend to wonder what would that movie have been with an American brother who really understands that in a way," Jackson said, presumably highlighting the film's view on race through the bodies of black men in America.

Jackson went on to point out a divide between black actors from Britain and in America that stems from different upbringings in the acting world. "They think they're better trained, for some reason, than we are because they're classically trained," he said. "I don't know what the love affair is with all that."

In a recent Q&A with GQ, Kaluuya spoke openly on Jackson's observation, and said his battle with proving his blackness is not something new. "I'm dark-skinned, bro. When I'm around black people I'm made to feel 'other' because I'm dark-skinned," he said. "I've had to wrestle with that, with people going, 'You're too black.' Then I come to America and they say, 'You're not black enough.'"

Nearing the end of his response to Jackson's statement, Kaluuya said, "I resent that I have to prove that I'm black. I don't know what that is. I'm still processing it."

On the subject of the 27-year-old's next sure-to-be box office giant, Black Panther, which also features black actors from America, Africa and Europe, he described the stacked reel as "an African blockbuster," and compared it to HBO's cornerstone, Game of Thrones. As for its director Ryan Coogler, Kaluuya said he's just a down to Earth guy with a master plan to take over the film industry. "He's a normal dude, in a Golden State hat and a Tupac t-shirt directing the whole set," he said. "It's the most beautiful thing to see."

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Kodak Black Hopes To Combine Rehab With Prison Sentence: Report

Kodak Black is making an attempt to get clean while serving out a four-year prison sentence. Bradford Cohen, the rapper’s attorney, requested to have his client moved to a facility that offers a Residential Drug Abuse Program (RDAP), XXL reported Tuesday (Nov. 19).

Completing the 500-hour program could shorten the rapper’s prison sentence by up to a year, but there’s an obstacle standing in his way. The request may get denied if Kodak is charged for a drug-induced fight with a fellow inmate last month. A prison guard tried to break up the melee and Kodak allegedly grabbed his testicles so tightly that he required medical attention. Kodak’s lawyer claims that his client was drugged leading up to the altercation.

Kodak is currently locked up at the Federal Detention Center, Miami. During his court hearing last week, the 22-year-old rapper acknowledged that he made some decisions that he’s not “proud of,” and took “full responsibility” for his actions. Assistant Attorney Bruce Brown said that Kodak wasn’t “taking things seriously” and that it was “time for to give some tough love in the case.” It’s now up to the courts to decide if rehab will be included in his prison time.

Kodak was sentenced to 46 months after pleading guilty to federal weapons charges stemming from his arrest in May. The Florida native also faces a rape charge in South Carolina and additional weapons charges.

 

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‘Harriet’ Screenwriter Says Studio Head Wanted Julia Roberts To Play Harriet Tubman

More than two decades before Harriet made it to the big screen, a Hollywood studio executive suggested that Julia Roberts play the leading role of the black freedom fighter and slave abolitionist.

Harriet screenwriter, Gregory Allen Howard, shared the insane story in an interview detailing the 26-year journey to get the film made. “When I got in the business, I wanted to tell these historical stories by turning them into entertainment. I didn't want to give history lessons,” Howard explained.

“I wanted to turn Harriet Tubman's life, which I’d studied in college, into an action-adventure movie. The climate in Hollywood, however, was very different back then. I was told how one studio head said in a meeting, ‘This script is fantastic. Let's get Julia Roberts to play Harriet Tubman.’”

He added that when someone pointed out that Tubman was a black woman the executive replied, “It was so long ago. No one is going to know the difference.”

Howard credits the box office success of 12 Years A Slave and Black Panther with helping to get Harriet on the silver screen. “I told my agent, 'You can't say this kind of story won’t make money now.' Then Black Panther really blew the doors open.”

Harriet stars Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo as Tubman, a role that Howard says she unknowingly nabbed after seeing her in The Color Purple on Broadway. “As soon as she opened her mouth, I thought, 'Yes, that's Harriet.' Afterwards I emailed the other producers, 'That's Harriet. She's a little stick of dynamite.'”

The cast also includes, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monae, Jennifer Nettles and Joe Alwyn. “Nearly all” of the characters in the film are based on real people, noted Howard, who has long been intrigued by Tubman's story.

“Even before I knew I was going to be a screenwriter, when I was a history major in college, I thought this was a corker of a story. Don't forget she was the only female conductor on the Underground Railroad. And she never lost a passenger. Other conductors took larger groups but would invariably lose people along the way. Her goal was never to lose anyone. But there was so much more—she was a spy; she was one of the first women to lead soldiers in battle.

“But more than anything, this small woman single-handedly threatened the billion-dollar industry of slavery,” Howard continued. “Harriet was bigger than life. Harriet freeing slaves had a multiplying effect. Plantation owners were scared that enslaved people would start getting ‘ideas.’ There were always more slaves [than] white people on the plantations, but those enslaved didn’t know their own power. Harriet showed them how powerful they could become.”

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T.I. To Address Controversial Comments About Daughter On ‘Red Table Talk’

T.I. will be joining Jada Pinkett Smith on Red Table Talk to address the controversial comments that he made about his daughter’s virginity nearly two weeks ago. Pinkett Smith revealed that the Atlanta rapper recently filmed an RTT episode with his wife, Tameka “Tiny”  Harris.

“T.I. coming to the table yes, indeed, the actress and producer told Entertainment Tonight at the AFI Film Fest screening of her new show, Hala. “Of course he’s going to address the controversy that’s been swirling, then he and Tiny sit down and talk about how they survived in regards to their marriage.”

The father of seven has been radio silent on social media in the days since his viral interview on the Ladies Like Us podcast. During the podcast, which is co-hosted by Miguel’s wife Nazanin Mandi, Tip casually explained how he takes his 18-year-old daughter, Deyjah Harris, to the gynecologist to check her hymen.

The aftermath of the graphic and disturbing admission led to Mani and her co-host, Nadia Moham, issuing an apology. “The comments that were made and the reaction that followed are not in any way a reflection of our personal views on the topic,” the duo stated. “We support and love women and feel that their bodies are theirs to do as they wish. There was absolutely no ill intent toward any party involved & feel deeply awful about the entire incident.”

Deyjah has since deactivated her Instagram and Twitter accounts.

T.I.’s Red Table Talk episode airs next Monday (Nov. 25).

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