2018 Steinberg Playwright Awards - Arrivals
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Lee Daniels Expresses 'Sadness' Within 'Empire' Family Amidst Jussie Smollett's Case

"These past couple of weeks have been a freakin’ roller coaster..."

While he doesn't mention the high-profile Jussie Smollett case by name, Lee Daniels seemingly mentions the effects of "the incident" on the Empire cast and crew in a new video. On Instagram, the show runner gives followers a brief rundown of how the January event has impacted the team.

"These past couple of weeks have been a freakin’ roller coaster," the Philly-bred entertainment mogul says while brushing his teeth. "Me and my cast have experienced pain, anger and sadness, frustration, and really don’t know how to deal with it."

He continues by stating that "the incident" occurred after the recent Empire episodes were filmed, so fans of the show are seeing footage shot during simpler times for the Lyons family. The show is in its fifth season, and it's unclear as of now if it will return for a sixth.

"The show was made to bring America together, to talk about the atrocities that are happening right now in the streets," Daniels explains of Empire and his other Fox series, STAR.

Smollett pleaded not guilty to 16 felony counts during his court appearance on Mar. 14. He is due back in court on Apr. 17, and he fervently maintains his innocence in what the Chicago Police Department believe was a stage hate crime attack orchestrated by the actor.

 

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Black Trans Woman Bee Love Slater Found Burned Alive In Florida

Over the weekend, the body of Bee Love Slater, a 23-year-old transgender woman was found burned beyond recognition inside a car. According to reports, Slater is the 18th trans woman to be killed this year.

Hendry County investigators said as of now the investigation into Slater's death is ongoing. They cannot title it a hate crime until a clear motive has been established, but Slater's best friend, Kenard Wade thinks the vicious manner of her death is a clear sign.

"She had a really, really good heart," Wade told CBS Fort Myers affiliate Wink. "She would never harm anyone, never put anyone in harm's way. How could someone go to that extreme to get rid of her?"

Wade continued and said Slater received several death threats because she's trans and expressed a desire to leave the area for safety reasons.

Slater's death falls in line with an on-going trend of violence against trans women, particularly black trans women. The Human Rights Campaign states 18 trans women have been murdered in 2019, while 26 members of the trans community were killed in 2018 and 29 trans deaths were recorded in 2017.

CBS News reports that the week of Slater's death, Bailey Reeves, 17 transgender teen was shot and killed in Baltimore on Labor Day.

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Moses Robinson

T.I. Grills Candace Owens On Trump's 'MAGA' Slogan At The Revolt Summit

T.I. had one pressing question for Candace Owens during the 2019 Revolt summit that Owens couldn't quite answer. The two-day conference held in Atlanta brought together music executives, activists, and entertainers to discuss hip-hop, it's power, the current climate of the genre and to network. However, with the 2020 presidential elections nearing politics were also a hot topic.

For Saturday's (Sept. 14) Hip Hop and Politics panel hosted by Jeff Johnson, T.I. asked the conservative commentator to explain Donald Trump's campaign slogan. "When you say Make America Great Again, which period are we talking about?" Tip questioned. "[Is it] the period when women couldn't vote? The period when we were hanging from trees? The crack era? Which period in America are you trying to make great again."

The 30-year-old Connecticut native said: "I actually think that I would totally rock a hat right now that says Make Black America Great Again," which prompted T.I. to interject and restate the original question.

"Which period was America great that we're trying to replicate? Which era was it? Tell me." T.I. questioned. With an excited audience, Owens' attempt to explain Trump's slogan didn't go so well.

Watch the clip below.

@Tip was not trying to hear it from black white supremacist #CandaceOwens #Diddy #Revolt pic.twitter.com/SfJ0Rvd9SM

— MMS Online (@MMS_Online_) September 15, 2019

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Megan Thee Stallion Signs To Jay-Z's Roc Nation

Just weeks after Megan Thee Stallion was seen with Jay-Z in New York, the breakout Houston rapper has announced her affiliation with Roc Nation.

"I would like to announce that I am officially apart of the @rocnation fam," she said Friday (Sept. 13) with a photo of her and Mr. Carter. "The grind don’t stop!" The rapper has had quite the summer thanks to the release of her recent project, Fever along with monster singles "Hot Girl Summer" with Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign as well as "Cash Shit" with DaBaby.

In addition to her climb to the Billboard charts (both singles made the Hot 100 chart), the rapper made a splash at New York Fashion Week with hangouts with Anna Wintour and a performance at Rihanna's Diamond Ball.

Megan sent subtle hints with her signing to Roc Nation. After all, she drives the boat with D'usse and was recently seen with Jay-Z at Puma's 5th Avenue opening in August.

WTF pic.twitter.com/TRzV32FPRS

— jhus (@likemylambo) August 30, 2019

 

 

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I would like to announce that I am officially apart of the @rocnation fam!!! The grind don’t stop ! #realhotgirlshit

A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on Sep 13, 2019 at 1:18pm PDT

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