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Ava Duvernay Used A New Zealand Trip To Suggest Oprah Star In 'A Wrinkle In Time'

That's what friends are for.

Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey have a charming, warm friendship. Since they first met at Oprah's Mother's Day soirée, the two have appeared either behind the scenes or in front of the camera in each other's projects. Oprah is staring in DuVernay's A Wrinkle In Time, and the award-winning director said it didn't take much convincing.

DuVernay told E! News she used a trip to New Zealand to work up the courage to ask Winfrey to be a part of the film.

"I was going to New Zealand to shoot the movie. I was trying to get up the guts to ask her to be in the movie, which is a big thing. She's Oprah Winfrey," she told E! News. "It's not an easy question to ask."

She mentioned to Oprah she was going to New Zealand to shoot scenes for her Sci-Fi film, and wanted to meet her there for support and to "hang out."

"I was like 'oh, right, or maybe you could work?' Why don't you come be Mrs. Which?' "

The novel-turned-film follows a young girl, played by Storm Reid, who travels through other dimensions to save her father. Resse Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling star alongside Winfrey in the film that's received warm reviews and is being applauded for its diverse cast.  A Wrinkle In Time is also the first movie directed by an African-American woman with a $100 million budget, and is already gaining community support.

Questlove spurred #WRINKLEChallenge, urging people to donate $10 to help underserved children an opportunity to see the movie opening night. A Wrinkle In Time hits theaters March 9.

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VICE CEO Doesn't Believe Desus And Mero's Brand Is Strong Enough For Showtime

Comedy duo Desus & Mero have kept their brand strong since joining forces in 2012 but the newly-appointed CEO of Vice believes their move to Showtime wasn't the best decision.

In an interview with Elle, Nancy Dubuc shared her plans to rebuild the outlet since reports of sexual harassment allegations, unlawful HR practices and the stepping down of Shane Smith came to light this year. Changing the bro culture has removed content and replacing it with more substantial content and finding gems that will also replace the gap left by Desus & Mero.

The guys brought high ratings to the network during their reign from August 2016 to June 2018, but Dubuc doesn't see this happening for their upcoming series at Showtime. “They’re going to a platform that their audience doesn’t pay for,” she said.  “I told them, ‘You can always come back.’”

In an interview with Bossip over the summer, the guys revealed their contracts were cut two months early after news about their deal with Showtime went public. They show consisted of the two commentating on the latest in politics and pop culture while interviewing big names like Gabrielle Union, Rachel Maddow, Diddy, Vic Mensa and Tracee Ellis Ross. They also opened up about their organic approach in comedy was nearly butchered when the network demanded them to work 24/7.

“We were carrying that network on our back, and we felt the weight,” Desus said. “They were talking about, ‘Do not take the weeks off because we don’t get ratings,’ and it’s like, 'Yo, we’re just two people.'”

“We were literally the LeBron of that network,” Mero added. “As a dad, you wanna be around for milestones for like graduations, birthdays…and it’s obnoxious to have to be like, ‘I can’t go to my kid’s graduation because we leave the studio at 3 o’clock and the graduation is at 4.’”

Mero believed the duo were undervalued and not appreciated by the network until it was too late. Their brand transcended platforms as the guys are still active on Twitter and their podcast roots, taking the brand to new heights.

“The channel wanted us to die for this f**king network,” Desus said at the time.  “We’re also the highest rated show on the network, put some respect on our name, have someone come massage my feet.”

We doubt the duo will go back to Vice as excitement for their series on Showtime continues to grow. The guys are already making strides by adding black women to their writing team and recently dropped a teaser for the show.

The brand is strong. #DESUSandMERO are bringing the culture to #Showtime beginning Thurs, Feb 21, at 11p/10c! #BodegaHive pic.twitter.com/3DwcWXgrEO

— Desus & Mero on SHOWTIME (@SHODesusAndMero) November 29, 2018

Desus and Mero will premiere on Showtime Feb. 21 at 11 pm ET.

READ MORE: 25 Hip-Hop Albums By Bomb Womxn Of 2018

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Cardi B Gets Driving Lesson, Performs For Senior Citizens During 'Carpool Karaoke' Segment

Cardi B was the latest guest on James Corden's Late Late Show segment, "Carpool Karaoke," and as expected, it was a helluva time.

The Grammy nominee ran through some of her hits with Corden, such as "Bodak Yellow," "Money," "Be Careful" and more. She discussed her transition from stripper to MC, which Corden attributed to "grinding and hustling for a long time.”

“A lot of these deejays was sleepin’ on me… they was frontin’ on the kid!” Cardi exclaimed. Cardi also discussed her childhood growing up in the Bronx, which included keeping a razor blade in her cheek just in case some crazy sh*t goes down, as well as her affinity for ASMR videos. She also performed at a senior citizens' home at the end of the clip to a rousing response.

Perhaps the best part of the segment was her attempt to drive. Facilitated by a conversation in which the two discussed her five luxury cars, Cardi hit a few cones and flags while trying to maneuver in and out during a lesson. She said that the car (a Range Rover) was a bit big for her, but her lack of driving skills period resulted in her hitting a camera during her attempt at parallel parking.

“I couldn’t rap about these cars because I didn’t own them,” she laughed before adding, "[Driving] is scary.”

Watch the entire segment above.

READ MORE: Cardi B's Upcoming 'Carpool Karaoke' Segment Looks As Eventful As We'd Hope

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Former ABC President Channing Dungey Joins Netflix As VP Of Original Content

Former ABC president, Channing Dungey, is heading to Neflix. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dungey will officially join the company early next year in a "newly created leadership role" as a vice president of original titles.

Dungey will work directly with fellow vp, Cindy Holland, and Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Saranados. Her position involves overseeing the streaming network's current deals, which include the Obamas’ Higher Ground Productions company.

The move also re-teams Dungey with Shonda Rhimes’ and Black-Ish creator, Kenya Barriss, both of whom left ABC and signed with Netflix.

In addition, Dungey will oversee a group of executives who have worked on Narcos, House of Cards, and other big shows on the streaming network.

"I'm drawn to the forward-thinking, risk-taking and creative culture at Netflix, and the deeply talented people there, especially Ted and Cindy, with whom I’m excited to partner on setting the strategy for original content," Dungey said in a statement. "Given that ABC, the place I’ve called home for nearly 15 years, represents the gold standard of traditional broadcast, it feels like the perfect next step for me to join Netflix, the unparalleled leader in streaming. I'm invigorated by the challenges ahead and the opportunity to forge new relationships, and excited for the very welcome reunion with incredible talent."

In 2016, Dungey was named president of ABC, making her the first Black woman to lead any of the four major networks. She began her career with the company in 2004, and worked her way up to executive vice president of the network’s drama division developing hit shows such as Scandal, Quantico, Hot To Get Away with Murder and American Crime, before being promoted to network lead. Her exit from ABC came in November, shortly after firing Roseanne Barr for making racist comments.

READ MORE: The Obamas Sign A Multi-Year Production Deal With Netflix

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