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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Vetoes Landmark TV Diversity Bill

Cuomo called the legislation "fatally defective."

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a landmark bill aimed at bringing more diversity to television in the state. The legislation, which was sponsored by State Senator Marisol Alcantara and Assembly Member Marcos Crespo proposed a $5 million tax incentive to encourage entertainment companies to hire women and people of color.

The bill sailed through the state legislator in June, and garnered the support of  the New York State AFL-CIO and various unions including the Writers Guild of America East and the Directors Guild of America East, who in a statement published by Variety, expressed disappointment over Cuomo’s decision.

“We are deeply disappointed by Governor Cuomo’s decision to veto this landmark bill which would have encouraged televisions employers to move beyond the status quo to consider the full spectrum of New York’s talented directors and writers,” DGA Eastern Executive Director Niel Dudish said.

Cuomo ultimately shot the bill down for a bunch of reasons, but noted that while he “fully” supports “programs that seek to improve economic opportunities for underrepresented groups throughout the state,” there’s simply not enough money in the budget.

“The tax incentive program for this industry is oversubscribed and there is no additional funding for it," Cuomo explained according to Deadline. "Despite the fact that the current film production tax credit program includes a $420 million allocation for a five-year period, the program is extremely oversubscribed. Any expansion to include an additional tax credit in this industry must be considered in the context of the budget.”

He also added that additional determining factors made the bill, “fatally defective.”

“The bill, among other things, fails to identify how the tax credit should be computed or what amount could be claimed; identify when a taxpayer could claim the credit; and provide a clear definition of ‘writer’ and ‘director,’” Cuomo said. “Further, assuming those technical concerns were addressed, the bill lacks statistical evidence necessary to ensure that the program would withstand constitutional scrutiny. In order to constitutionally classify individuals on the basis of race or ethnicity, the state must demonstrate statistically significant evidence of race-based discrimination against screenwriters and directors.”

Nonetheless, Cuomo will be commissioning the Empire State Development Corporation to work with the legislative sponsors and “interested stakeholders” to help develop a study that will determine “whether there is a statistically significant disparity between minority group members and women ready, willing, and able to work as writers in the television industry in New York state and the statistical share of writing work actually performed by such group.”

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50 Cent offers his condolences to a deceased member of the 'Power' crew.
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Rest In 'Power': Crew Member For 50 Cent's Show Killed On Set

50 Cent offered his condolences to the loved ones of Pedro Jimenez, a crew member who was killed on the set of his hit STARZ show, Power, earlier this morning. (Monday, Dec. 10).

"I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning," wrote the media mogul in an Instagram post, which accompanied a black screen. "My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family."

According to TMZ, "Pedro Jimenez was setting up parking cones for a location shoot in Brooklyn around 4:20 AM when he was struck by a 2006 Ford Explorer. Police responded and Pedro was transported to a Brooklyn Hospital, where he was pronounced dead."

Jimenez was just 63 years old, and had reportedly worked on the series since its debut in 2014. Reports state that investigators have spoken with the 64-year-old driver of the vehicle that struck Mr. Jimenez, who is also a crew member on the show. No arrests have been made.

 

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I just learned we lost Pedro Jimenez, a member of the Power production team early this morning. My prayers and condolences are with the entire Jimenez family.

A post shared by 50 Cent (@50cent) on Dec 10, 2018 at 9:29am PST

READ MORE: 50 Cent Reportedly Has A ‘Power’ Prequel In The Works

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'Queen Sono' Will Be The First African Original Series To Stream On Netflix

Netflix caught some flack over the weekend after it was reported the streaming behemoth shelled out a smooth $100 million to keep the 90s sitcom Friends. However, staying committed to original content IOL Entertainment reports Netflix will take on it first African series.

Titled Queen Sono, actress Pearl Thusi (pictured above at the 2019 Global Citizens festival) will star in the dramedy which finds Thusi portraying a spy motivated to help the lives of her South Africans, while dealing with highs and lows of a personal relationship.

Netflix's Vice President of International Originals Kelly Luegenbiehl who's in charge of content in Europe and Africa expressed excitement over Queen Sono.

"We love the team behind the show, [and] we're passionate about coming in and doing something that feels fresh and different. It's really exciting for us," she said. "Their point of view and creating a strong female character was really something that also really drew us to it.

Erik Barmack, also with Netflix, said Queen Sono is just the first of many to depict life in Africa.

"Over time our roots will get deeper in Africa and South Africa, and we're moving pretty quickly to that now, and plan to invest more in local content," he said.

READ MORE: Africa's Rising Youth Population Might Face A Job Crisis

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Cardi B Talks Stripping, Nicki Minaj, And Fame On 'CBS Sunday Morning'

Nothing was off limits during Cardi B's recent interview on CBS Sunday Morning. During the special, which aired on Sunday, Dec. 9, Cardi got candid with interviewer Maurice DuBois about her humble beginnings in the strip club, her beef with Nicki Minaj, and how she's been handling mega-stardom.

In case you missed it, check out a list we compiled of the Grammy-nominee's statements below, and watch the interview in the video above.

She called her beef with Nicki Minaj "unnecessary"

Cardi and Nicki Minaj have been at war for most of the year. The beef may have started following their collaboration on Migos' "Motorsport." Over the course of the year, it escalated to a physical altercation during a New York Fashion Week event, as well as many public jabs over social media. While both rappers previously agreed to turn their attention elsewhere, Cardi reflected on how the entire situation was "bad for business."

"A lot of people like to say all publicity is good publicity. To me it's not. That takes away [from] people paying attention to your craft," she said of her feud with Minaj.

Working at the strip club gave her power and a passion for performing

As you may know, Cardi B was previously a stripper before she gained mega-stardom. While she has shared mixed reviews about her past in various interviews, she told CBS that she thought stripping had a positive impact on her life.

"A lot of women here, they taught me to be more powerful," she said. "I did gain, like, a passion and love [for] performing. It made me feel pretty... I'm glad for this chapter in my life. A lot of people always want to make fun of me -- 'Oh, you used to be a stripper!' -- I don't ever regret it, because I learned a lot. I feel like it matured me. My biggest ambition was money. That's what these women put in my head: nothing is important but the money."

Her ability to connect with her fans stems from her accessibility 

Cardi undoubtedly understands how to connect with her fans and followers better than many of her counterparts. After all, the rapper built up her network in such a short amount of time. She attributes her likability to being "reachable."

"When I talk, I make a lot of mistakes," she continued. "Like, I might say words, and the words are not even in the dictionary. But people still like it because you can tell that I'm saying it from the heart."

She never imagined that she could make it this far

Before she made it big, Cardi admitted that she didn't expect her music to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. When reflecting on her first hit single "Bodak Yellow," she stated that she had low expectations at first.

"It hit at 85, and I just felt like, alright, I already did enough," she said. "Then when people was telling me, like, there's a possibility of going No. 1, I was like, 'Oh my gosh -- if I go No. 1, this is going to be crazy... and then it did. I just felt like I was on top of the world."

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