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Octavia Spencer Says LeBron James And Maverick Carter Backed Her Call For Equality In Hollywood

"That type of leadership has been important, and I'm thrilled about it."

In 2018, world-renowned athlete LeBron James and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer teamed up to produce a visual story on Madam C.J. Walker. Under James and his longtime business partner Maverick Carter's SpringHill Entertainment company, the team will tell Walker's story of becoming a million dollar beauty industry maven in a society that demeaned and targeted black people.

While Walker's fight to prominence will be displayed onscreen, executive producer Spencer, who will step into Walker's shoes in the near future, discussed her personal fight for equality in her career. In an interview with The Undefeated, the Hidden Figures star said James and Carter stepped in to make sure that her worth was respected for this project.

"When we were in negotiations they had to...step up for me. He and Maverick...that type of leadership has been important, and I'm thrilled about it," Spencer revealed. "When I asked for certain things, they had to go and say, 'She deserves these things!' It's sad that we have to do that, but they did and that's what I'm working with: people who have no problem standing up."

In the summer of 2018, Spencer's The Help co-star Jessica Chastain shared how she also helped to advocate for equal pay for Spencer. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Chastain said she was taken aback to learn of Spencer's wage as compared to her's or other white women in the industry.

"I knew women of color got paid less than Caucasian actresses," Chastain said. "What I didn't know is someone of Octavia's level, who had an Oscar and two Oscar nominations, how much less she would be getting paid. When she told me what she was making, that's what really made me go, 'Hold up, that doesn't compute in my brain.'"

The Madam C.J. Walker program will premiere on Netflix.

READ MORE: Tracee Ellis Ross Considers Cutting Appearance On 'Black-ish' Amid Anthony Anderson Pay Gap

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Casanova Surrenders To FBI In Federal Racketeering Case

Casanova turned himself in to the FBI on Wednesday (Dec. 2). The rapper, born Caswell Senior, is charged with conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Each charge carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Prior to surrendering to authorities, Casanova recorded a video message professing his innocence. “As you already know, I’m fighting serious charges right now but I’m innocent, that’s one. Two, I’ve been fighting my whole life so I can do this.”

He was the last to be arrested out of 18 defendants accused in a massive gang bust. The 34-year-old recording artist suggested that his legal predicament was the result of being a rapper. “We are a target. Be careful out there. Watch who you associate with. Watch who people bring y’all around. I’ll see y’all soon, God willing.”

Casanova breaks his silence and says he’s innocent pic.twitter.com/lHYNpwZNTn

— XXL Magazine (@XXL) December 3, 2020

According to the federal indictment, the alleged members of the Untouchable Gorilla Nation gang are charged with several crimes including racketeering, murder, and narcotics offenses.

On Tuesday, the FBI's New York office announced that Casanova was wanted by the feds. Attorney, James Kousouros, denied that Casanova was attempting to evade authorities.

“From the moment I was contacted, my client's clear intention was to surrender himself, he never intended to evade the judicial process,” Kousouros said. “Over the last 48 hours I was in contact with the government arranging a peaceful surrender. He just wanted a peaceful surrender. Mr. Senior is fully confident that he'll be exonerated when all the facts are brought forth.”

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Barack Obama Says He Doesn't Like The Term “Defund The Police”

Barack Obama's advice about the using the term “defund the police” is receiving mixed reviews. The former commander in chief explained his issue with the “slogan” in an interview on the Snapchat show Good Luck America.

Obama cautioned against using the term as he feels it to be exclusionary. “If you want people to buy your sneakers you’re going to market it to your audience. It’s no difference in terms of ideas,” he explained. “If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it's not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan, like ‘defund the police.’ But you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you're actually going to get the changes you want done.”

He also suggested that instead of “defund the police” people should say: “Let’s reform the police department so that everybody’s treated fairly.”

The 59-year-old politician seemingly theorized that the use of “defund the police” may have cost Democrats House seats in the recent election. “The key is deciding do you want to actually get something done, or do you want to feel good among the people you already agree with? If you want to get something done in a democracy, in a country as big and diverse as ours, than you got to be able to meet people where they are and play a game of addition and not subtraction.”

Read some of the reactions to his comments below.

With all due respect, Mr. President—let’s talk about losing people. We lost Michael Brown Jr. We lost Breonna Taylor. We’re losing our loved ones to police violence.

It’s not a slogan. It’s a mandate for keeping our people alive. Defund the police. https://t.co/Wsxp1Y1bBi

— Cori Bush (@CoriBush) December 2, 2020

Imagine if Obama came out and gave a quick speech about how Defund the Police means reallocating resources to organizations that can help, instead of using cops to deal with things like mental health situations.

Says a lot about the man that he instead criticizes slogans.

— Dave Anthony PHD, MD, Esquire. (@daveanthony) December 2, 2020

obama doesn't like "defund the police" as a slogan because it is a specific actionable thing with a clear goal in mind. hope, change, yes we can & all that are better because they don't require you to actually do anything after saying them

— Shaun (@shaun_vids) December 2, 2020

What if activists aren’t PR firms for politicians & their demands are bc police budgets are exploding, community resources are shrinking to bankroll it, & ppl brought this up for ages but it wasn’t until they said “defund” that comfortable people started paying attn to brutality

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) December 2, 2020

The phrase 'defund the police' is awkward and misleading. It doesn't accurately convey the need to reallocate funding so that social services and policing are properly weighted.

The phrase mangles the meaning in a way that guarantees that many won't ever even hear it.

— Floss Obama🎅🏾 (@FlossObama) December 3, 2020

Obama is right. Defund the Police is a bad slogan. Reform the Police is better.

— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) December 2, 2020

obama is right. y’all need to stop saying defund the police when we mean abolish the police

— anti-lawn aktion (@antihoa) December 2, 2020

No one can push neoliberal thought like Obama. Suddenly, EVERYONE has decided that "defund the police" is just a slogan, and that it is responsible for Dems losing even tho none of them supported it.

The aim is to undermine activists just like he did w/ the potential NBA strike.

— Honeyves (@AdamantxYves) December 2, 2020

I need Barack Obama to leave the sloganeering to the movement.

Defund. The. Police.

We are keeping it. We are demanding it.

— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) December 2, 2020

We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety. https://t.co/Vu6inw4ms7

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 2, 2020

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Juice Wrld’s Mom Shares Touching Tribute In Honor Of His Birthday

Juice Wrld would have turned 22 on Wednesday (Dec. 2). In honor of his birthday, the late rapper’s mother, Camille Wallace, shared a touching message posted to his social media accounts.

“Jarad and I both loved celebrating our birthdays — mine is just two weeks before his. On our special days we used to wish one another Happy Birthday dozens and dozens of times throughout the day. Now I like to think of all the ‘Happy Birthday’ we saved for the future.”

The statement adds, “He will forever be the light of my life. Today, we celebrate him, his immense talent and creativity and his contribution to this world. Through his art, he spoke his truth.”

Happy Birthday, Jarad. We miss you. #lljw🕊 pic.twitter.com/TCoNQRLvuq

— . (@JuiceWorlddd) December 2, 2020

The “Lucid Dreams” rhymer, whose birth name Jarad Anthony Higgins, died from an accidental drug overdose last year. He passed away six days after his 21st birthday.

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