Obama Delivers Commencement Address At Rutgers University
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With 'Grown-ish' Season 2 Premiere, Freeform Will Pay Up To $125,000 In Student Loan Debt

Grown-ish is officially back, and there's help on the way for your expensive student loan debt. 

Grown-ish finally returns tonight (Jan. 2) on ABC’s Freeform. The season kicks off with two back to back episodes following the life of Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi) with the rest of the gang. Besides blessing viewers with the return of the show, Freeform is also aiming to help pay off overdue student loans, Complex reports.

The network has joined forces with scholarship app Scholly (made largely popular with a Mark Cuban-supported victory on the reality competition show Shark Tank) to pay a reported $125,000 in outstanding student loan debt for current students and college graduates. Starting today, eligible candidates have until Thursday, January 31 to enroll to win. With the show's return, Freeform launched an initiative to help ease the stress that comes with paying off student loans and dodging Sallie Mae phone calls. For more information on how to sign up for the opportunity, visit Scholly's website. The winner will be announced at the 2019 Freeform Summit.

In the past, Shahidi–who is also a student at Harvard University studying sociology and African-American Studies–has been very vocal about the change she wants to see in education and how young people consume pivotal current events.  "My dream of dreams is to create some form of alternate curriculum that is inclusive of all people," she told The Hollywood Reporter last year.

"The knowledge disparity stems from the fact that news isn't marketed to me and my peers," she added. "It's as though it doesn't pertain to us, even though half of these policies that are being implemented will affect us. We know people who are immigrants, we know people who are undocumented."

The masses are waiting for tonight's Grown-ish comeback is an understatement,  after a sneak-peak Season 2 trailer from last year showcased the cast paying homage to classic college show A Different World. Here's a clip of the trailer below. Grown-ish  airs at  8 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Janet Mock Becomes First Trans Woman To Score Overall Deal With Netflix

Janet Mock just made history. Per Variety, the director, writer and producer is the first transgender woman to score a major deal with Netflix.

The 36-year-old’s deal with the streaming giant is reportedly for three years, and features the exclusive rights to her television series Pose, as well as first-look for future feature film projects.

“As a best-selling author, producer and director, Janet Mock has demonstrated she knows how to bring her vision to thrilling, vivid life,” Netflix VP of original content Cindy Holland says of Mock. “She’s a groundbreaker and creative force who we think will fit right in here at Netflix.”

“As someone who grew up in front of the TV screen, whether that was watching talk shows or family sitcoms or VHS films, I never thought that I would be embraced,” Mock says of her groundbreaking new endeavor. “And more than embraced. Given not just a seat at the table but a table of my own making.”

“It is truly groundbreaking for Netflix to empower Janet Mock, a trans woman of color, to create and greenlight her own films and TV shows,” says Nick Adams, director of transgender media and representation at GLAAD. “We can’t wait to see the stories she’ll bring to the screen.”

Beyoncé as well as Barack and Michelle Obama also scored major, multi-million dollar distribution deals with Netflix in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

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'Dear White People' Season 3 To Premiere Summer 2019

Dear White People first came to Netflix two years ago, following the experiences of black college students among their white peers at ivy league institution, Winchester University.

The storyline originally grabbed the attention of viewers at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Deadline reports that season three is set to premiere Aug. 2 starring Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, Antoinette Robertson, DeRon Horton, John Patrick Amedori, Ashley Blaine Featherson, and Marque Richardson.

The cast released a video as a part of their announcement where they debated the debate salty grits vs. sweet grits.

Ironically or strategically planned, the announcement of the season premiere falls on Juneteenth as it commemorates 154 years of the abolishment of slavery in the U.S.

Season two left viewers on the hunt for Winchester's secret society with Samantha White (Logan Browning) and Lionel (DeRon Horton), as reported by Entertainment Weekly. Their clues led them to meet Giancarlo Esposito, the narrator of the show.

Creator of the series, Justin Simien, also told EW that season three will take place in the spring whereas the last two seasons took place in the fall. "I'm really curious to see what happens in the springs, to see what happens with a little bit of distance from these characters and sort of allow them to absorb what just happened to them," he said.

In May, Simien took to his Twitter page to announce that he would be hosting a short film competition, open to the public. Aspiring filmmakers will have to produce a six-minute short film following the theme "Dear _______." The winner will have their film screened at the third season premiere of Dear White People. 

Y’all. This is huge. @netflix (ya know the giant global platform for) is letting me hold a short film competition leading up to @DearWhitePeople Season 3. This. Could. Be. Your. Break! pic.twitter.com/YFK6tIZIiO

— Justin (@JSim07) May 1, 2019

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Whoopi Goldberg Reacts To Lizzo's 'Sister Act 2' Tribute

Lizzo shut the house down at the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards on Monday (June 17) with her tribute to the 1993 film Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. Following her performance, Whoopi Goldberg – the original star of the film – congratulated Lizzo on her amazing performance.

Lizzo performed her single "Juice" at the awards show. She channeled Lauryn Hill and the Saint Francis Academy's finale performance of "Joyful, Joyful." At the start of Lizzo's performance, she and her backup dancers were dressed in choir robes. Just like in the movie, the dancers were asked to remove their robes, where they then joined the rapper on stage. Lizzo also recreated much of the original choreography.

After catching wind of Lizzo's tribute, Goldberg responded on Twitter on Tuesday (June 18). "Girl YOU knocked the crap out of last night, and as your newest fan... kudos kudos kudos!!!" Goldberg tweeted.

As you may know, Goldberg starred in the 1993 sequel as Sister Mary Clarence, an undercover Vegas showgirl who infiltrated a strict Catholic school. Lauryn Hill and Sheryl Lee Ralph also starred in the film.

Check out Lizzo's performance and Goldberg's reaction below.

@lizzo Girl YOU knocked the crap out of last night, and as your newest fan... kudos kudos kudos!!!

— Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) June 18, 2019

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