2016 American Music Awards - Arrivals 2016 American Music Awards - Arrivals
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Jay Pharaoh Gets Candid About His Release From 'SNL'

"I'm not a 'yes ni**a.'"

The departure of fan favorite Jay Pharaoh from the legendary sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live last year shocked many. Now, the funny man is getting candid about his thoughts behind the reasons he may have been let go.

Pharaoh stopped by Hot 97's Ebro In The Morning on Thursday (Apr. 13), and talked with the hosts about how SNL tried to keep him in a box, stunting his growth as a performer.

"Look man, I'mma say this, you go where you're appreciated," Pharaoh told Peter Rosenberg. "If you have multiple people on the cast saying things like 'you're so talented...it's unfair, they don't use you'...they put people into boxes and whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do."

He also said that his unwillingness to participate in certain sketches, as well as his outspoken personality, also played a factor.

"I’m fiery, I’m not a ‘yes’ ni**a. That’s not me," he continued. "‘We got this great idea where you put on a dress,' I’m like, ‘No, I’m not doing that.' I'm not putting on a dress, I'm not gettin' no tweets from David Banner."

The stand-up comic explained that his bluntness may have also swayed execs to hire more black performers and writers for the show, but it nearly cost him his job. He made comments about the lack of black actresses on the show back in 2013 that gained traction.

"I have a lot of kick back, but when the hiring of the black women, Sasheer [Zamata], [writer] LaKendra Tookes and Leslie [Jones]...me speaking up, they were ready to get rid of me in 2013 when I spoke up,” he explained. “When I said what I said...I almost freakin’ lost my job.”

However, Pharaoh does not harbor any negative feelings towards executive producer Lorne Michaels, and explained that their dynamic is different since Pharaoh is more "affirmative" than the other cast members.

"A lot of people are afraid of Lorne...Lorne, I respect the hell out of," he said. "I like Lorne, ain't no problem with Lorne Michaels. There ain't no beef with Lorne, but there have been some shaky times."

Pharaoh will be starring in a Showtime comedy sitcom called White Famous, which is based on Jamie Foxx's experiences in Hollywood.

Check out the entire interview below. His comments are at the beginning.

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The Game Reboot Lands At Paramount+ Streaming Service

A revival of the BET’s The Game is officially in development under the ViacomCBS digital subscription streaming service Paramount+, which was originally branded as CBS All Access.

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

Malcolm & Marie was written, directed and produced by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who penned the script in less than a week. Aside from starring in the romantic drama, Zendaya and Washington serve as executive producers on the project.

“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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