69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Press Room 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards - Press Room
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'Master Of None''s Lena Waithe Reflects On Her Historic Emmy Win

"I knew I wanted to share that moment with the queer community, with women of color, women writers, anyone who’d ever been othered."

Lena Waithe made history Sunday (Sept. 17) as the first black woman to win a primetime Emmy award for comedy writing. She and her Master of None co-star Aziz Ansari took home the Outstanding Writing trophy for their episode "Thanksgiving."

According to the 33-year-old, her inspiring acceptance speech wasn't something that was planned, as she detailed in a recent interview with Vulture.

"Aziz was like, 'You should write something down,' I don’t believe in that," she explained. "...I mean, I knew who I had to thank. I knew my main people like Aziz, Alan [Yang], Netflix, my lady, cast and crew. But I knew I had to speak from the heart. I knew I wanted to share that moment with the queer community, with women of color, women writers, anyone who’d ever been othered."

Waithe, who is also working on a new show titled The Chi, said that she was being genuine when she described herself as the "queer black girl from the South Side of Chicago" and Ansari as "the little Indian boy from South Carolina," and that she was thrilled that people were so accepting of the episode.

"Because exactly what I said, it means the world to us that they gave this little episode of television a lot of light and a lot of love," she continued. "It wasn’t written down and it wasn’t rehearsed, but I hope they could really tell I was speaking from the heart — that’s why I said 'God bless y’all.' That was the realest thing I ever said, because I really felt that way."

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(L-R) Cast of Upn's 'Moesha'—William Allen Young, Yvette Wilson, Shar Jackson, Ray J, Brandy, Marcus T. Paulk, Lamont Bentley, And Sheryl Lee Ralph—celebrate the 100th episode of the comedy series.
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A 'Moesha' Reboot Is On The Way

Moesha is returning to television as a reboot.

Former castmates Brandy Norwood and William Adam Young joined Sheryl Lee Ralph at her 29th Annual DIVA Foundation event over the weekend (Dec. 1) to confirm the rumor of the '90s sitcom's return to the small screen.

“We would like to know, would you like to do a ‘Moesha’ reboot?” asked Lee alongside Young. Brandy responded with a smile, “Yeah, absolutely. I’m here for it. I'm here to solidify that we’re gonna bring Moesha back.”

Moesha aired on UPN—once known as the home network for other popular black sitcoms like Girlfriends, Everybody Hates Chris, All of Us and One on One—from 1996 until 2001. During its 6-season run, the series followed a middle-class black family through the lens of an ambitious and ever-learning Moesha Mitchell, a teenager going through what many teenagers go through while living in South Central Los Angeles. The comedy-drama series was also known for its musical guests which included Big Pun, Dru Hill, Mary J. Blige, Silk, Soul 4 Real, and Xscape.

No word on what the reboot will be called, whether production has begun or if other former castmates Countess Vaughn, Marcus T. Paulk, Shar Jackson or Fredro Starr will be involved.

Unforgettable Fact: Moesha worked at VIBE Magazine as a gofer at the beginning of Season 5.

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Questlove To Direct 'Black Woodstock' Documentary On Legendary Harlem Music Festival

Questlove will make his directorial debut with an upcoming documentary about a legendary black music festival, Variety reports. Black Woodstock, chronicles the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which featured performances from Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Gladys Knight and The Pips, B.B. King, The Staples Singers, Sly and the Family Stone, Mahalia Jackson, Moms Mabley, and more.

The weekly summer music festival, aimed at promoting black unity and pride, was attended by over 300,000 people and went down every Sunday for two months in the summer of 1969. Members of the Black Panther Party provided security for the festival after the NYPD refused the job.

A concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of Black Woodstock was held at Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park earlier this year. The documentary will include dozens of hours of never-before-seen footage shot 50 years ago by director Hal Tulchin, who died in 2017.

“I am truly excited to help bring the passion, the story and the music of the Harlem Cultural Festival to audiences around the world,” Questlove said in a statement. “The performances are extraordinary. I was stunned when I saw the lost footage for the first time. It’s incredible to look at 50 years of history that’s never been told, and I’m eager and humbled to tell that story.”

David Dinerstein and Robert Fyvolent will produce the film along with RadicalMedia, the company behind the Netflix documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? Joshua L. Pearson, who edited the Simone documentary, has also signed on for Black Woodstock, as well as music supervisor Randall Poster. Executive producers include Beth Hubbard, Vulcan Productions, Concordia Studio, Play/Action Pictures.

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Mary J. Blige attends the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 4, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California.
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Mary J. Blige Documentary To Be Produced By Amazon Studios and eOne

A Mary J. Blige documentary is in the works and heading to Amazon Prime Video very soon. Produced by Amazon Studio and eOne, the untitled film is set to detail the life of the "Queen of Hip Hop Soul" who stepped onto the bubbling hip-hop scene with her second studio album My Life.

With Bad Boy Records founder Sean "Diddy" Combs serving as executive producer,  Blige will revisit her music and reflect on "the woman she was then… and the woman she has become." According to a press release: "The film provides a personal and never before seen look into the emotional journey of Mary J. Blige’s past struggles with poverty, abuse, addiction, and heartbreak."

It continues: "This raw and honest film follows the music legend as she heads out on a special concert tour to perform her sophomore album, My Life, for the first time ever as it approaches its 25-year anniversary. This album and its songs directly correspond to the love, motivation, passion, and healing that Mary J. Blige was experiencing then and has continued to experience through her life as an artist and human being."

Blige will also serve as an executive producer under her Blue Butterfly company (Ashaunna Ayars, Nicole Jackson) alongside eOne (Tara Long), and Creature Films (Mark Ford and Kevin Lopez).

No word on when the film will be released on the streaming service Amazon Prime Video.

 

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