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Mo'Nique Elaborates Her Stance On Netflix, Gender Pay Gap, And More On 'Sway's Universe'

Mo’Nique explains that the first insult was that Netflix sent two representatives to one of her shows like some kind of audition as if she hadn’t proven herself this far into her career.

Before diving into the latest Netflix controversy, Mo’Nique is her typical self: bright-eyed, excited, light-hearted, and animated, despite a claim and a feeling that she’s being undervalued in the eyes of the media. In the eyes of Netflix, in particular.

Sway Calloway welcomes the Oscar-winning actress onto an episode of his morning show, setting the tone for a smooth interview by paying his respects and making a few jokes. “It’s beyond business for us. It’s family now,” he says. “I’m a big fan of hers. I’m a fan of her work. Award-winning actress, comedian, actor—Imma put that in there. You know I gotta respect because she spit more bars on this show than a lot of these A-list rappers that be scared to rhyme on this show.”

Mo’Nique laughs and refutes where she sees fit. Tone X and Heather B sit alongside the comedian-actress extraordinaire and they all speak freely and coolly but there’s an elephant in the room.

Last week (Jan. 19), Monique took to her Instagram account to talk about her recent offer from Netflix. In the video, she mentions that she was offered $500k which she can’t be mad at but comparatively, the offer is disrespectful. She then urges fans to boycott Netflix. The comedy veteran called attention to deals carried out by peers with the streaming giant. “Amy Schumer was offered $11 million, Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle $20 million… when we asked Netflix to explain the difference, they said, ‘Well that’s what we think Mo’Nique would bring.”

While they understand that there may be some color and gender bias lurking in these Netflix deals, many fans have been hesitant to stand with Mo’Nique. She used this interview with Sway to state her rationale and clear any murkiness on her stance.

The segue into the conversation occurred only three minutes in. Joking about Beyoncé and J-Lo stealing her dance moves, she said, “I love all of ‘em but you got to give me mine. But goddammit. Nobody wants to give me my credit.”

In breaking it down, Mo’Nique explains that the first insult was that Netflix sent two of their representatives to one of her shows like an audition as if she hadn’t proven herself this far into her career. They liked the show but only offered $500k so Mo’Nique’s husband/manager asked for further explanation. Robbie Praw, Director of Original Standup Comedy Programming at Netflix, reportedly refused to meet with the duo about the matter until they noted that it felt like discrimination in multiple areas.

“We understand what Mo’Nique’s done and, by the way, Mo’Nique’s a legend,” were Robbie Praw’s words, according to the comedienne. But her argument was that Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock are “legends,” too so the deal makes no sense to her. Praw told Mo’Nique that he would negotiate with his team but when he returned, he decided that they were “too far off in numbers” so the offer was retracted entirely.

“The reason why I’m asking that we boycott Netflix is because when Netflix says I am a legend, Amy Schumer says Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock are legends, and I shouldn’t get what they’re getting and if you put out resume’s side-by-side and the tenure…”

She called attention to the general upset when the underpayment of Michelle Williams in comparison to Mark Wahlberg for the All the Money in the World film was discovered. “My question is, ‘Who’s gonna be up in arms about this?’” she said.

“I am the most decorated comedian alive,” she went on. “If I accepted $500k, what does Tiffany Haddish have coming. If I accept that, what does the black female comedian have coming? Because what they will say is, ‘Mo’Nique accepted this and she’s got that.' So what do they have coming?”

Ultimately, Mo’Nique believes that the number negotiated is related to racial bias, gender bias, and the 2017 incident with Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey, Tyler Perry, and Lionsgate when the actress claimed that she was blackballed.

“The buzz is she’s difficult, she’s demanding, and she’s black—we definitely don’t have to respect her,” Mo’Nique says of Netflix’s collective decision.

The actress continues to stand by her claims regarding the boycott of Netflix and having been blackballed by Lee Daniels, Oprah Winfrey, and Tyler Perry. It seems like she’s only after justice here.

See the entire interview below.

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Bennett Raglin

B. Smith, Lifestyle Guru, Restaurateur And Former Model, Dies From Alzheimer’s Disease

B. Smith, the groundbreaking lifestyle guru, restaurateur, author and former model, died on Saturday (Feb. 22) from early on-set Alzheimer’s disease. She was 70.

Smith’s husband, Dan Gasby, announced her death via Facebook on Sunday (Feb. 23). “It is with great sadness that my daughter, Dana, and I announce the passing of my wife, Barbara Elaine Smith,” the statement reads. “B died peacefully Saturday, February 22, 2020, at 10:50 p.m., of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in our home in Long Island, New York.”

Barbara Elaine Smith was born in Everson, Penn., on Aug. 24, 1949. Smith began her modeling career in the 1960s working for Ebony Fashion Fair and later signing with Wilhelmina Models. Smith covered 15 magazines during her modeling days, including becoming the first Black model to cover Mademoiselle magazine in 1976. Additionally, Smith appeared in TV commercials for Mercedes-Benz, and worked as a spokesperson for Verizon, Colgate, Palmolive, and more.

Smith opened her first of multiple restaurants in New York City’s theater district in 1986. She also opened restaurants in Long Island, N.Y. and Washington D.C.

For nearly a decade, Smith hosted the nationally syndicated show, B. Smith with Style, captivating audiences with her bright personality and unforgettable smile. Smith also produced multiple specials for TV One and was bestselling author. Her signature tagline, “Whatever you do, do it with style,” was featured at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

In 2001, Bed Bath & Beyond debuted the B. Smith Style Home Collection. The collection, which including bedding, doormats and more, made Smith the first Black woman to have a home decor line sold by a national retailer.

Smith publicly revealed her Alzheimer’s diagnosis to CBS News in 2014. During the interview, Smith didn’t shy away from expressing her fears of battling the disease, and admitted that she initially tried to hide it, but she was determined to persevering in spite of Alzheimer’s.

“I think the future’s going to be fine,” Smith said at the time. “I’m going to do my best to make it work out for me, and for as many people that I can possibly help.”

Read dedications to Smith below.

The elegance. The grace. The style. May God rest and bless her soul. #BSmith was one-of-a-kind.

Thanks to @mmeans40 for this fantastic video. pic.twitter.com/ByZRURLiHY

— Ava DuVernay (@ava) February 23, 2020

She broke down barriers. She shined. She fought the good fight. Rest In Peace, B. Smith.#BSmith pic.twitter.com/ocEL3IkDoC

— Audrey Washington (@AudreyWSBTV) February 23, 2020

.⁦@ThankyouDan⁩ #Memories #BSmith was an icon and a mentor. Rest in power Queen B. pic.twitter.com/zCf2LrXUhz

— Maya R. Cummings, Ph.D. (@MayaRockeymoore) February 23, 2020

RIP to the legendary B.Smith

I remember growing up and watching her show. I wanted to be her. Style and grace. Rest well beautiful. pic.twitter.com/diBjGf1Jyb

— Melanin Monroe (@whatdedesays) February 23, 2020

Sad to share the passing of restauranteur, model and advocate B. Smith after a several year battle with Alzheimer’s. We are thankful she spoke at our Celebrating Hope Gala in 2016. Rest B. And thank you 💜 #ENDALZ @alzassociation pic.twitter.com/G9IDVAB0DL

— Alzheimer's Association Connecticut Chapter (@alzct) February 23, 2020

We lost legendary fashion model, chef, restaurateur, lifestyle icon and magazine publisher, B Smith today. 70 years old, she and her husband, Dan Gasby were at the forefront of #alzheimers #research for people of color. Love to them and daughter, Dana. #bsmithwithstyle pic.twitter.com/pqFOpa9oxs

— Al Roker (@alroker) February 23, 2020

I only met B. Smith once or twice at her restaurant in New York City.

She was beautiful, graceful and welcoming each time. As a model, a TV personality, a business owner and an entrepreneur, she was always a trailblazer.

May she rest in peace. https://t.co/YqyxUZKMrB

— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) February 23, 2020

All of these things so true. Thank you B. Smith. https://t.co/Fmi0QJNviu

— Tamron Hall (@tamronhall) February 23, 2020

RIP B. Smith. You epitomized class, true beauty and dignity. Rest well Queen❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/uJlWb9aapG

— Viola Davis (@violadavis) February 23, 2020

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Malcolm X’s Daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, Speaks On His Legacy And Netflix Docuseries

In commemoration of the 55th anniversary of his assassination, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, spoke out on her father’s legacy and the popular Netflix documentary, Who Killed Malcolm X? 

Speaking with Democracy Now on Friday (Feb. 21), Ilyasah praised the filmmakers behind the six-part docuseries for their work in attempting to uncover, “Who killed our father? Who took the life of a very young man who challenged the moral compass of world nations.”

Ilyasah was just two years old when her father was assassinated in front of her, three of her sisters and her mother, Betty Shabazz, who was pregnant with twins at the time. A week before Malcolm’s murder, the family’s home was firebombed.

Ilyasah has no memory of her father’s assassination which took place on Feb. 21, 1965, inside Harlem's Audubon Ballroom. Malcolm was preparing to give a speech in the venue and invited his family to sit in the front row.

“I’m really grateful that I don’t have memory as my older sisters I’m sure can recollect, being 6 years old and 4 years old, the trauma and chaos and understanding that our father never came home,” she said. “And especially to my mother who was a young woman that actually saw bullets just tear my father’s body apart.”

The interview details the days leading up to Malcolm's death, including France banning him from entry into the country three weeks before his assassination. Malcolm who was only 39 years old when he died, traveled to Europe during the first week of February in 1965. He was turned away at the airport in France without explanation and subsequently forced to fly back to London where he delivered what would become one of his final speeches at the London School of Economics.

“He realized this was bigger than the Nation of Islam,” Ilyasah explained of Malcolm being banned from France. “The Nation of Islam itself did not have the power to keep him [out of France] and France did not want history to include that Malcolm was assassinated on their land. And so that speaks volumes, and my father understood that his life was not just challenged by the Nation of Islam. It was much bigger than that.

“It’s important to look at the work that he was doing,” she added. “Challenging world powers, challenging world nations for taking control of an [unequal] distribution of the world’s wealth.”

Ilyasah also dismantles the notion that her father “miraculously became Malcolm X” after he went to prison by detailing how his upbringing shaped his interest in political activism.

“He was always a leader,” she said. “He was always compassionate, he was always a learned young man. His parents instilled specific values in him and his siblings. The importance of self love, compassion, [and] care.”

Watch the full interview in the video above (Ilyasah’s portion begins at 12:17).

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Gregg DeGuire

Jhene Aiko Reveals Release Date For ‘Chilombo’ Album

Jhene Aiko announced the release date for her third studio album and what appears to be the album artwork on Friday (Feb. 21). The album titled, Chilombo, after Aiko’s sur name, is slated to drop on March 6 and promises to be some of her “realest” work to date.

“Just typed out all the lyrics to the free flows that are #CHILOMBO #phew realest s**t I ever wrote,” the Grammy-nominated tweeted on Monday (Feb. 17). Aiko described the album as an compilation of her previous work. “If sailing soul(s), sail out, souled out and trip had a baby #CHILOMBO.”

just typed out all the lyrics to the free flows that are #CHILOMBO 👏🏼 #phew realest shit i ever wrote....

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) February 17, 2020

if sailing soul(s), sail out, souled out and trip had a baby #CHILOMBO 🌋

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) February 17, 2020

Last month, Aiko dropped the track “P*$$Y Fairy (OTW),” which is expected to be on the album. Aiko’s last album, Trip, was released in 2017.

See the Aiko's latest album artwork below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

"Chilombo" March 6th 🌋

A post shared by Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo 🌋 (@jheneaiko) on Feb 21, 2020 at 6:00pm PST

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