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No Spoiler: Boots Riley Explains ‘Sorry To Bother You’s’ Wild Ending

Some people were like, "That's a step too far. You had me until that."

There are many messages in Boots Riley's directorial debut Sorry To Bother You but don't expect to grasp them all on a first watch. Paired with Lakeith Stanfield's standout performance, the film leaves just enough room for audiences to react to the film's insane ending, which is what Riley wanted all along.

Without giving away the film's ending, Riley spoke with The Ringer Monday (July 9) about his intentions with the film. Per the trailer, STBY tells the story of Cassius (Lakeith Stanfield) and his journey into telemarketing. Topics of code-switching, capitalism, and racism come into play throughout Riley's vibrant cinematic approach.

The rapper turned director explained his style of absurdist comedy. "There are so many things that are going on in this movie that happen partially, to keep [the] momentum going for something else," he said. "There are details within details. By doing that, I'm able to make you ready for anything."

The film came to fruition in 2012 and with the help of programs like the Sundance Institute, Riley was able to bring his vision to life. Riley says many were hesitant to stand behind the movie due to the very jaw-dropping ending.

Some people were like, "That's a step too far. You had me until that," he said. "I knew that I was doing something different enough to where some people weren't going to go for it. It's a game of stone and suit. You make a story where only you can tell it. There was no part of this that says, 'This is close to that let's make it like that.'

After the film was released to limited audiences last week, Riley believes moviegoers have a good understanding of the ending.

"It's been getting the reaction that I hoped for," he said. "I didn't just want to show my character going through an emotional change. I wanted to take the audience, give them an experience right then that felt similar to those emotional exchange that comes when you're exposed to new ideas and see the world differently."

Don't expect to catch all of the messages in the film. Riley broke down how the film should be digested as art.

"What is Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon trying to say? What is Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children trying to say? They're saying a lot of things," he added.

"If I made a song or a movie with one thing to say, shoot me. I would've just wasted your time and mine. The whole thing is art. I think that people got everything I wanted to say. My movie isn't saying, 'Speak your mind and everything will be fixed.' It handles that subject but says something different from what we're hearing."

Sorry to Bother You arrives in theaters nationwide Friday, July 13. Check out the trailer below and the full interview here.

READ MORE: Lakeith Stanfield Responds To Homophobic Freestyle Backlash

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Halle Berry Receives Praise For Refusing To Skip Black Journalists On Red Carpet

Halle Berry is receiving all the praise at the moment, not only for her latest role in the new John Wick movie but for refusing to skip two interviews with a pair of black journalists on the red carpet.

Emerald Marie, a reporter from Where Is The Buzz TV, was one just two black journalists who were sent to the premiere of John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. Emerald recalled being excited to interview the Oscar winner, but was quickly cut off by the actress' publicist. Instead of walking away, however, Berry made the decision to turn around and speak with Emerald and the other black male journalist, Lamar Dawson.

“I can't skip my brother and sister,"  Berry said, according to Marie.

The latest incident is unfortunately common for black journalists and media companies. "Oftentimes, black reporters and black outlets are pushed to the end and unable to get the proper interview that they need,” Marie explained. Because of Berry's generosity, Marie said she has a "newfound respect" for the actress.

Dawson also released a statement to VIBE about his interaction with Berry. "Emerald and I were standing next to each other on the carpet and were discussing how too often Black reporters are skipped at these events--and then it nearly happened to us. It's a big issue that needs to be addressed. Our stories deserve to be told, too," he said. "When Halle came back, I was able to talk to her quickly about her show 'Boomerang' and how important it is for the show to feature Black, LGBTQ storylines--an interview question the mainstream outlets aren't going to ask thus underscoring the importance of diversity in newsrooms and the importance of outlets that seek to give a voice to marginalized people. I'm grateful for Halle for seeing us out there."

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum starring Keanu Reeves and Halle Berry hit theaters today (May 17). Check out Emerald Marie and Lamar Dawson's full recaps from the red carpet below.


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I wanted to share this story because so often we hear people say “support black business” We all know it’s hard being the Minortity in many industries! For Halle Berry to make a conscious effort to turn back around and make sure the only two black faces we recognized & allocated the time to get our coverage is just another reason why she is a Leader & Queen 👑 @halleberry ❤️‼️🎤 #blackbrandsmatter #johnwick3 #blackreporters thank you @whereisthebuzz for this platform

A post shared by @ on May 15, 2019 at 6:34pm PDT


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Last week, I shared a story about how too often Black journalists are often skipped on red carpets, but at the “John Wick 3” premiere I was covering, Halle Berry came back to talk to me and the only other Black reporter, The story has been getting traction and Halle was asked about it today at another premiere by @hay_itslay and I am deeply moved by her response and the response from many of you. I hope it sparks much needed change in the industry. ✊🏾

A post shared by LAMAR DAWSON (@dirrtykingofpop) on May 16, 2019 at 2:35pm PDT

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Uzo Aduba To Play Shirley Chisholm In Upcoming FX Series

Actress Uzo Aduba is reportedly slated to portray legendary congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm in the upcoming series, Mrs. America for FX, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Orange Is the New Black actress reportedly verified the reports on Twitter on Tuesday (May 14). The series will follow the backlash surrounding the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), THR reports. Aduba joins Cate Blanchett, Sarah Paulson, and other all-star actresses.

ERA, which prohibited gender discrimination, was introduced in Congress in 1923 but has yet to become law. Chisholm, who became the first black woman to serve in Congress and the first black woman in the United States to run for a major party’s presidential nomination, was a prominent advocate for ERA before she died in 2005.

Dahvi Waller wrote the nine-episode series and will also serve as the show's executive producer. Mrs. America is set to premiere on FX in 2020.

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Will Smith And Queen Latifah To Produce Hip-Hop 'Romeo & Juliet' For Netflix

Will Smith and Queen Latifah are joining forces to produce a film that blends hip-hop and Shakespeare. The pair are reportedly gearing up to produce an upcoming hip-hop musical of Romeo & Juliet for Netflix, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The film will be a contemporary musical on Shakspeare's romantic tragedy that is set in New York City. The updated rendition will portray a young waitress from Brooklyn who falls in love with an aspiring musician from a wealthy family.

Solvan "Slick" Naim will reportedly direct from a script he wrote with Dave Broome. Latifah will produce the musical through her Flavor Unit Entertainment banner. Smith will act as an executive producer under his Overbrook Entertainment, with James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett.

Hip-hop and Shakespeare might sound like they don't miss, but you probably forgot that Baz Luhrmann's 1996 Romeo + Juliet. The film, which starred a young Leonardo DiCaprio, also took a more urban, hip-hop approach.

It's unclear when the upcoming musical will hit Netflix at this time.

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