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New York City Stripper Strike Goes Nationwide

The occupation doesn't matter, the issues at hand do. 

Colorism, racism and unfair labor practices are at the root of the New York City stripper strike that has lasted for the past five months, and now plans to go nationwide. Started by Bronx native Gizelle Marie in October 2017, the #NYCStripperStrike has opened the doors for conversation about the abuse and discrimination that plague exotic dancers in New York City and around the country.

In New York, strip clubs are divided by "upscale," which favor light-skinned dancers, and "urban" clubs. While the "urban" clubs don't discriminate based on race they are more dangerous and less profitable for dancers, according to Jezebel. One of the issues Gizelle wants to fight what some feel is an unspoken race quota against black dancers in upscale clubs.

“What we’re trying to do is address the fact that black women aren’t allowed to work in upscale clubs, so that can be one of the reasons why they’re enduring all the issues in the urban clubs,” said Gizelle. “In certain upscale clubs there will be like 150 dancers, and less than 10 of them will be black women. Some of the clubs have just one, two or three black dancers.”

Another issue that prevails in the industry is the advent of the new age "bartender." According to The Washington Postaround five years ago women who mastered social media began calling themselves "startenders" to be hired by club promoters, instead of professional mixologists. These women often dressed like strippers and competed for men's attention, with a similar monetary goal: have them "make it rain" on them. Because these women are "private contractors" and not employees of the club, they often reap more benefits than the dancers and avoid having to pay a house fee.

In December, Gizelle and other organizers began working with the sex-worker advocacy organization, the SOAR Institute. This led to women around the country joining in the action during the NYC Women's March in January in support of the stripper strike. From there, Gizelle marched with other sex workers in the Las Vegas Women's March. This gained the attention of the International Women's Strike USA who have decided to work in support of the stripper strike.

While the movement is gaining national attention, it is still in its early phases with no concrete agenda. Yet, the stripper strike has already made a drastic difference for many dancers.

“Girls have told me there has been a bit of change in some of the clubs. The money has shifted toward the dancers in some places,” said Gizelle. “A lot of women have reached out [to me] and been very supportive. They’re like, ‘you’re doing a great job. We thank you so much for speaking up for us.’”


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Dr. Dre Released From Hospital, Will Receive 24-Hour Home Care

Dr. Dre was released from L.A. Cedars Sinai Medical Center on Friday (Jan. 15), nearly two weeks after he suffered a reported brain aneurysm. Ice T confirmed the news tweeting, “Just FaceTimed with @drdre. He just made it home. Safe and looking good.”

The 55-year-old music mogul will remain under 24-hour care for the next few weeks as medical professionals continue to monitor his progress. Doctors are still unclear on what caused the aneurysm.

Dre’s hospital release comes days after new details were revealed in his divorce from estranged wife, Nicole Young. According to court documents publicized this week, Nicole accuses Dre, birth name Andre Young, of putting a gun to her head in 2000 and 2001. She also details other alleged abuse incidents in 1995 (before they were married) and in 2016, when he allegedly punched her in the face and kicked down her door.

The Grammy winner has denied Nicole’s abuse claims.

Nicole and Dre tied the knot in 1996. The pair share two adult children, Truice and Truly. Nicole filed for divorce last summer.

In addition to demanding that Dre cover her legal fees, Nicole wants the court to take the abuse allegations into account when “awarding support and fees.” Dre has already agreed to pay $500,000 of Nicole’s legal bills and $2 million in temporary spousal support.

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Cardi B Lands Leading Role In Comedy ‘Assisted Living’

Cardi B is making her way back to the big screen. The Bronx native officially landed her first leading role in the upcoming Paramount comedy, Assisted Living.

According to Variety, Cardi will play a small time crook struggling to find a hiding place after her latest heist fails. Her character, “Amber,” disguises herself as an elderly woman and hides out at her grandmother's nursing home. The film is described as a “raucous comedy” similar to Mrs. Doubtfire and Sister Act.

Paramount acquired the rights to Assisted Living in 2019. The film’s script was penned by This Is Us writer, Kay Oyegun.

Cardi, 28, made her film debut in the 2019 celeb-heavy stripper flick, Hustlers. The “WAP” rapper appears to have hinted at her Assisted Living role in a recent interview with Billboard where she dished on filming scenes for Fast & Furious 9.

“After ‘Hustlers’ I filmed a little bit for 'Fast & Furious' so I felt like ‘I’m ready for this,’ I knew what to expect,” she explained. “But the characters were a little different so I was like ‘Oh wow, I’m going to need more acting classes.’ I’m planning on doing a movie this year and I’m going to be the lead role so I’m like ‘I need to execute this flawlessly.’”

Besides film, Cardi was a judge on the Netflix completion show, Rhythm & Flow, and landed her own Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries.

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Wendy Williams Reveals She Was Date Raped By ‘80s R&B Singer

Wendy Williams revealed that she was date raped by  ‘80s R&B singer, Sherrick, early in her radio career. The talk show host shared the story with reporters while promoting her Lifetime biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

“He mesmerized me with his twinkling eyes,” she recalled. “He flipped the interview around to where he was interviewing me — I was just gaga over this man and he asked me to go to an album release party with him that night.

“Before the party, I was date raped by him,” said Williams.

Sherrick, born Lamotte Smith, was a member of the group Kagny, whose song is featured on The Last Dragon soundtrack. He signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1987 and scored a marginal hit with the single “Just Call” off his debut self-titled album. Sherrick struggled with sobriety but declared himself “drug-free” before dying of unknown causes in 1999.

Williams says that she was raped in Sherrick’s Washington D.C. hotel room and it, unfortunately, wasn’t her first time being sexually assaulted. The New Jersey native had been date raped in college. “Those types of things happen to girls all the time and they’ve been happening a lot, to a lot of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and their great-great-grandmothers too.”

From the sounds of it, Sherrick's widow doesn't exactly believe Williams' story. She not only questioned Williams' account but wondered why she waited so long to go public, and why she didn't call police at the time of the incident.

“As I will never minimize or dismiss the horrid actions of sexual assault, I am saddened that Ms. Williams feels the need to publicly make these allegations when the man she is accusing is no longer on this earth to defend himself,” Lynne Conner Smith said in a statement to Page Six.  “Our family does not know Ms. Williams and are not aware of any relationship or encounter they may have had.”

The sexual assault will be chronicled in the film, as well as other details from Williams' life -- like her rise to talk show fame, her battle with drug addiction, and marriage to ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

Wendy Williams: The Movie premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 30.

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