3rd Annual Global Goals World Cup
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Akon Hopes 'Coming To America' Sequel Will Cast African Actors And Comedians

The sequel to the 1988 Coming To America film is steadily picking up steam with snapshots of the cast—namely Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall—popping up on social media. Recently, Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter, who worked on Marvel's Black Panther, was pictured with Murphy, presumably hinting that she's going to helm the reel's wardrobe.

While other details are still being kept under wraps, one spectator hopes that the makeup of the cast will reflect those from the continent. According to TMZ, Akon suggested that the sequel cast African actors and comedians this time around. He also commended the production for enlisting Carter's expertise.

"I love the fact that they're using the Black Panther concept because Black Panther opened up a whole other avenue for people to want to be educated more on Africa," the Senegal native said. The "Mama Africa" singer then continued to explain why the film's follow-up should enlist African comedians and actors.

"One thing I would recommend though, make sure to put, and I don't know, I haven't seen the casting yet, but I would recommend them cast some African comedians and African actors because the film, in Africa as you know the film industry is huge," he said. "It's one of the biggest in the world, so to expose some of those actors and comedians, you have to. There's no way you could do Coming To America without adding somebody like Michael Blackson who's African and one of the most funniest African comedians out there and he's well known in America so this is a way to really merge the two cultures together with African Americans and Africans can really do something on a huge scale."

Directed by John Landis, the film follows Zamunda's Prince Akeem Joffer's (Eddie Murphy) quest in Queens, New York to find his "queen to be." Throughout his journey, he and his right-hand man Semi (Arsenio Hall) encounter obstacles that slow down the process of Akeem's goal. The comedy also stars James Earl Jones, John Amos, Shari Headley and more.

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Jussie Smollett's Potentially Final 'Empire' Episode Draws Low Viewership

It hasn't been revealed whether Empire will return for a sixth season. However, if the show returns, there's no word on if Jussie Smollett will reprise his role as Jamal Lyon.

Regardless of the unknown, it looks like fans weren't all the way tuned-in to what may have very well have been Smollett's last episode on the show. Per Variety, Jamal's groundbreaking wedding episode garnered low ratings for the Fox series.

"The episode, in which Smollett’s character Jamal Lyon tied the knot in TV’s first-ever black, gay wedding, returned a 1.1 rating in the key 18-49 demo and 3.8 million total viewers," reports the site. "Those numbers are a tick up on the 1.07 rating of the previous two weeks, but are still down on the season 5 average, which currently sits at around 1.4."

Smollett's character was written out of the last two episodes of the fifth season, due to his highly-publicized arrest in February for allegedly filing a false police report claiming that he was attacked physically and verbally in Chicago. All 16 charges against him were dropped in March.

Recently, his Empire family penned a letter of support for their cast member, urging the show's producers to allow him to come back for the unannounced sixth season.

"[Smollett] is kind. He is compassionate," the letter says. "He is honest and above all he is filled with integrity. He is also innocent and no longer subject to legal uncertainty with the criminal charges against him having been dropped."

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John Singleton In Coma After Suffering Major Stroke

John Singleton is reportedly in a coma after suffering from a major stroke, TMZ reports.

The Boyz N the Hood filmmaker has reportedly been in the ICU since last weekend. According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, Singleton's mother, Sheila Ward, is asking a judge to appoint her temporary conservator of his work because he is "unable to properly provide for his personal needs for physical health, food, clothing, or shelter." Singleton was reportedly working on several projects and preparing to sign a lucrative settlement agreement at the time of his stroke, according to Ward.

As previously reported, Singleton suffered a stroke on April 17, after returning from Costa Rica. After experiencing problems with his legs, he reportedly checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where he suffered a stroke in his hospital room.

This story is developing.

 

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Goodbye Costa Rica... one of my new favorite places in the world.... so much to see so little time...

A post shared by JOHN SINGLETON (@johnsingleton) on Mar 6, 2019 at 1:07pm PST

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'Empire' Makes History By Airing First Black Gay Wedding On Network TV

Wedding bells have just made their way into the history books. Last night (April 25), FOX's Empire became the first network television show to air a black gay wedding. Jamal and his fiancé Kai (Jussie Smollett and Toby Onwumere, respectively) jump the broom and swap vows in the episode titled "Never Doubt I Love."

As an added treat, Empire even tapped the legendary Chaka Khan to perform at the fictional star-studded wedding (Mario and Wood Harris even showed up) which, as evidenced by the episode BTS video, was a moment for everyone right to the stars of the show themselves. “Today’s wedding is special and controversial,” Khan said of using her voice for this particular cameo. “But my answer to all that is just love is love.”

Cast members Taraji P. Henson and Gabourey Sidibe agree that Jamal and Kai's wedding might have just become the best Empire wedding.

While this doesn't necessarily take away from the controversy still surrounding Smollett's case in Chicago, it was a cause for celebration regarding diversity and representation on television nonetheless. As Ms. Khan said, right here and right now, the most important thing to note is that love is love.

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