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Lupita Nyong'o Details Harvey Weinstein Assault: 'I Felt Unsafe'

Lupita Nyong'o has come forward with a troubling account of unwanted advances she received from Harvey Weinstein and how fellow industry heads can lead the fight against sexual assault.

In an op-ed for The New York Times Thursday (Oct. 18) the Academy-award winning actress explained how she was unaware that other actresses were subjected to Weinstein's behavior and just how bad it was. After meeting in 2011 during her time at Yale School of Drama, Nyong'o recalled the time she was invited to his home for a screening of a film. The two had dinner before the screening, where he pressured her to drink alcohol. He wasn't thrilled that she refused, calling her "stubborn."

“Harvey told me that I needed to drink the vodka and diet soda. I informed him that I would not,” she wrote. “‘Why not?’ I remember him asking. ‘Because I don’t like vodka, and I don’t like diet soda, and I don’t like them together,’ I said. ‘You are going to drink that,’ he insisted. I smiled again and said that I wouldn’t. He gave up and called me stubborn. I said, ‘I know.'”

After meeting his domestic staff and children, Weinstein led her into his bedroom, offering a massage. To remain in control of the situation, Nyong'o requested to give the massage instead.

"Part of our drama school curriculum at Yale included body work, using massage techniques on one another to understand the connection between body, mind and emotion, and so I felt I could rationalize giving him one and keep a semblance of professionalism in spite of the bizarre circumstance," she recalled.

The actress says she decided to leave after he tried to remove his clothes during the massage. "I didn’t quite know how to process the massage incident. I reasoned that it had been inappropriate and uncalled-for, but not overtly sexual," she wrote. "I was entering into a business where the intimate is often professional and so the lines are blurred. I was in an educational program where I was giving massages to my classmates and colleagues every day. Though the incident with Harvey had made me uncomfortable, I was able to explain and justify it to myself, and shelve it as an awkward moment."

Her worries left her confused after she was repeatedly told by actresses and peers that Weinstein was someone she should know." The final straw came after she was invited to a screening of a film and later taken to a restaurant by one of his assistants.

“Let’s cut to the chase. I have a private room upstairs where we can have the rest of our meal,” he told her, admitting that actresses had to "be willing to do this sort of thing" to be famous.

“With all due respect, I would not be able to sleep at night if I did what you are asking, so I must pass,” she told him. Weinstein ended the dinner and later told her, “I don’t know about your career, but you’ll be fine,”after she inquired about his reaction. "It felt like both a threat and a reassurance at the same time; of what, I couldn’t be sure," he wrote.

She never met with Weinstein privately after the encounter, but he came back around after the success of 12 Years A Slave to apologize for his actions. She was offered film roles from Weinstein Company’s movies and continued to refuse them.

Looking back, the actress shared the need for having allies in the industry and why it's never too late to speak out. "Our business is complicated because intimacy is part and parcel of our profession; as actors we are paid to do very intimate things in public. That’s why someone can have the audacity to invite you to their home or hotel and you show up."

"Though we may have endured powerlessness at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, by speaking up, speaking out and speaking together, we regain that power," she added "And we hopefully ensure that this kind of rampant predatory behavior as an accepted feature of our industry dies here and now."

So far, over 40 actresses and media professionals have shared their stories of sexual assault against Weinstein. Several have taken legal action; one being Rose McGowan who was reportedly raped by the label head in 1997.

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Schoolboy Q Drops New Album 'CrasH Talk'

Schoolboy Q's new album, CrasH Talk is here. The rapper's fifth studio album arrived on Friday (April 26).

The album is comprised of 14 tracks and features special appearances from Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, 21 Savage, YG, Kid Cudi, Lil Baby, and 6lack. It includes the pre-released track, "CrasH."

According to Q, this wasn't the first version of his album. He actually canned two albums because "they were trash." At the time, he said he was going through a lot of lows in his life. "I'd be in the house smoking weed, just waiting to go to the studio every day," Q told GQ. "That's not a good life. That brings on depression."

It was his fellow TDE members Kendrick Lamar and Jay Rock that inspired him to keep working on the album. And the rest is history. CrasH Talk follows 2016's Blank Face. Stream the new project below.

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Wendy Williams Reportedly Hires New Manager After Firing Estranged Husband

Wendy Williams hired a new team members after splitting from her estranged husband, Kevin Hunter, earlier in the month and firing him as her manager.

Veteran producer Bernie Young has signed on as Williams’ manager and executive producer of The Wendy Williams Show, Page Six reports. Young replaces Williams’ estranged husband who was reportedly booted as executive producer of the show after she served him with divorce papers.

Young worked as co-executive producer of the Rosie O’Donnell Show from 1996 until 2002, and Martha Stewarts’s talk show, Martha, from 2005 until 2012.

Williams split from Hunter amid rumors that he had been cheating on her for several years with a woman named, Sharina Hudson. Hunter and Hudson allegedly welcomed a child together late last month. Williams supposedly gave Hunter only 48 hours to move out, and cut off his funds.

Following news of the split, Hunter released a statement apologizing to Williams. “I am not proud of my recent actions and take full accountability and apologize to my wife, my family and her amazing fans,” he said. “I am going through a time of self-reflection and am trying to right some wrongs.”

Aside from a few jokes and flirty comments, Williams hasn’t said much about the split from Hunter. The 54-year-old daytime talk show host, who has battled drug addiction, announced that she was moving out of the sober house that she had been living in following a reported relapse.

 

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California Approves Bill Banning Racial Discrimination Based On Hairstyles

California is set to become the latest state to ban racial discrimination based on hairstyles. Senate Bill 188, also known as The Crown Act, was introduced by state Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) in January and unanimously approved in a 37-0 vote Monday (April 22).

The bill outlines the proximity between race and hair and how the history of the U.S. has been “riddled with laws and societal norms” that equate  “blackness’” which includes physical traits such as “dark skin, kinky and curly hair” with inferiority, and therefore subjecting black people to “separate and unequal treatment.”

“This idea also permeated societal understanding of professionalism,” Morgan states in the bill. “Professionalism was, and still is, closely linked to European features and mannerisms, which entails that those who do not naturally fall into Eurocentric norms must alter their appearances, sometimes drastically and permanently, in order to be deemed professional.

“Despite the great strides American society and laws have made to reverse the racist ideology that Black traits are inferior, hair remains a rampant source of racial discrimination with serious economic and health consequences, especially for Black individuals,” Morgan continues.

Furthermore, dress codes and grooming policies prohibiting “natural hair” have a “disparate impact on Black individuals as these policies are more likely to deter Black applicants and burden or punish Black employees than any other group.”

The 1964 Civil Rights Act banning racial discrimination extends to afros as well, but doesn’t include other hairstyles. As pointed out in SB 188, “courts do not understand that afros are not the only natural presentation of Black hair. Black hair can also be naturally presented in braids, twists, and locks.”

Although the bill has yet to be signed into law, the state isn't alone in making moves to end the racist bias against natural hair. In February, New York City passed a similar bill in February imposing a $250,000 penalty for hair discrimination.

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