For Your Consideration For Showtime's "The Chi"
Amy Sussman

'The Chi' Creator Lena Waithe Speaks On Jason Mitchell Allegations

Lena Waithe is breaking her silence in regards to the sexual harassment allegations brought against actor Jason Mitchell. Waithe, who is the creator of the popular television series, The Chi, and the series' showrunner, Ayanna Floyd, released their statements regarding the matter on Tuesday (May 28).

A source close to Waithe told The Hollywood Reporter that she was only made aware of Mitchell’s alleged harassment only after the first season of The Chi wrapped. In Waithe's statement to THR, she focuses on one of Mitchell's alleged victims, Tiffany Boone.  "I think Tiffany is a wonderful actress and an extremely brave woman. I wish her nothing but success in the future. I look forward to getting back to work on season three," she said.

Ayanna Floyd seemingly challenged Waithe's account, stating "when I took the helm in season two, it was Lena who informed me of the issues between Jason Mitchell and Tiffany Boone from season one, and that Tiffany was thinking of leaving the show because of it."

Floyd continued: “As a result of this information, I discussed Tiffany’s claims with the studio’s HR department and set up HR presentations for the writers, cast and crew. Ultimately, everyone was well aware of Jason’s behavior and his multiple HR cases, including Lena, the creator and an executive producer of the show, who is very involved at the studio and network level."

As previously reported, Jason Mitchell is accused of harassing more than one of his co-stars on The Chi, including Boone. He has reportedly been terminated from the show as well as two upcoming projects he was set to star in. He was also dropped from his management company.

In the wake of the Me Too movement, Waithe previously told THR: "I’ve been very involved in Time’s Up and that movement, and for season two, we’re making sure that women feel safe [I]f you want to play that game and be disrespectful or misbehave on set with an actress or anyone, I’ll happily call Showtime and say, ‘This person has to go,’ and you will get shot up and it’ll be a wonderful finale."

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Exclusive: Will Smith And Martin Lawrence Discuss "Odd Couple" Energy For 'Bad Boys For Life'

It might seem like it was ions ago, but Will Smith and Martin Lawrence returned to the top of the box office in January with the third installment of the Bad Boys franchise. Bad Boys For Life brought our faves to the big screen with their classic banter and unmatched energy.

In an exclusive clip from the film's digital release, the two discuss what makes their chemistry so electric. For Lawrence, it was the mission to keep comedy at the forefront of the action-packed film. Elsewhere in the clip, the film's directors Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah share their experience working with the film veterans.

"I cannot even describe it when they're together something happens," Adil says. "Whatever they do is funny, cool and so interesting. We don't have to do a lot of directing, we just let them do what they do."

Bad Boys For Life grossed over $60 million in its opening weekend and $204 million globally. The film is officially available today (March 31) for digital release. It will land in 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD on Tuesday, April 21.

It was recently announced that Sony already kicked off plans to develop a fourth film for the franchise. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chris Bremner, who worked on Bad Boys for Life, has been tapped to handle the script.

You can read out VIBE VIVA cover story with Bad Boys For Life co-star Nicky Jam here. 

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
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Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Drake To Direct Upcoming ’48 Laws Of Power’ Episode On Quibi

While Drake is behind the mic laying down new verses for upcoming music, the Toronto native will also step behind the camera to direct an episode of an upcoming series. Based on Robert Greene’s best-selling book The 48 Laws of Power, the series of the same name will debut on Quibi in the near future.

Drake’s production company Dreamcrew, and Anonymous Content will helm the executive producing duties. The partnership will also receive executive direction from Dreamcrew’s co-founder Adel “Future” Nur and executive Jason Shrier. “When Drake and I sat down with Robert Greene it was incredibly inspiring,” Future said. “The laws allow for a wide range of dynamic storytelling and Quibi allows us to tell these stories in bite-sized chapters similar to the book.” The entertainment outlet will launch on mobile on Apr. 6.

Greene, who’ll be an executive producer as well, said he’s looking forward to the cinematic adaptation of his 1998 book. The passage outlines the road to success through philosophies taught by Sun-tzu, Machiavelli, and more.

"I have always thought that The 48 Laws of Power would be a perfect fit for a series, bringing to life the timeless Machiavellian game of power as portrayed in the book. But it was not until Drake and Future with Anonymous Content approached me with their unique cinematic approach to the laws that I knew I could join forces with them and go all in for a filmed interpretation of my work," Greene said. Anonymous Content will spearhead the studio.

Although music videos might be the only time you see Drake on the television screen, for now, the 33-year-old has his hands in a couple of TV projects from Netflix to HBO. On the former streaming service, Drake executive produced London's hit series Top Boy. On HBO, the first season of Euphoria, which Drake recently posted a picture of a table read on his Instagram, is headed into its second season. The production is currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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