*Hey Gladiators, by now you may have heard that Shonda Rhimes‘ hit, “Scandal,” was inspired by the real life story of a Washington “Fixer” named Judy Smith and her “Leader of the free world client.” You might even know that the client was former president, George H. W. Bush.
But did you know that when it was clear that the show was going to be green-lit, and Smith placed a call to give Bush a heads up, about a new show that was going to premiere based on their business relationship; but the creator of the show had decided to throw in a new twist, Mr. Bush wasn’t completely turned off by the idea. In fact, he quite liked it.
*Hey, at this point no one would blame you at all if you’re thinking, “Oh Snap. Not again.” What with the recent experience of a very dramatic on-air exit from Miss “F**k it. I Quit!” in Alaska; in a all-or-nothing attempt to supposedly publicize the legalization of weed in Alaska. We now have another story about an anchor with a potty mouth. Only you can see how red this dude’s face got when he realized he was still on the air!!!
In the Bronx, New York, News 12 anchor Matt Pieper went on a brief but very audible rant to a colleague about “people relying on government assistance” during a news bulletin. But lawd have mercy, he didn’t mean to blast it to the masses. Continue reading →
(ATLANTA, GA) Out On Film, Atlanta’s LGBT film festival, will open its 27th annual international event with the debut of Patrik-Ian Polk‘s (“Noah’s Arc”) acclaimed “Blackbird” on October 2nd. This adaptation of Larry Duplechan‘s book, written by Polk and Rikki Beadle Blair, stars Academy Award winner Mo’Nique, Isaiah Washington (“Grey’s Anatomy”), D. Woods (Danity Kane) and newcomer Julian Walker. Polk is known for the breakthrough TV series “Noah’s Arc” as well as the films “Punks,” “Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom,” and “The Skinny.”
“Blackbird” stars Walker as 17-year-old Randy, a devout choir boy living in a conservative Mississippi town, struggling to understand his sexuality while also caring for his mother following his sister’s disappearance. The film is the first starring role for Mo’Nique following her Oscar-winning performance in “Precious” and features Isaiah Washington as Randy’s absentee father. Continue reading →
*Bill Cosby did a remarkable thing for black people and television in general 30 years ago. He used his education, comic genius, courage and skill to demonstrate that people of all races and socio-economic rankings can sit around a television set and watch a show where a family with children go through the same things all families go through.
But this family just happened to be black.
And he made it look effortless. And it was enjoyable. The Cosby Show did change what was possible if you were black and on television. It did show that you didn’t have to play to type, and that there truly is a universality of the human experience. It made you believe you actually could be anything. Unapologetic. Out loud! Whether it be a doctor, a lawyer, heck, a homeboy in outer space. And you can be sure that the eight-season-success of this formula called “The Cosby Show” proved beyond the shadow of a doubt to NBC that with the right kind of support, successful shows, with positive messages, can be brought about by an all-black cast.
But of course this wasn’t the mindset BC: before Cosby. Where the most prominent programming was black sitcoms built on a racist past. Shows like radio’s Amos ’n’ Andy – a staged minstrel-turned-television show that starred black actors playing roles with safe characters who were non-threatening to white folks. Dress these folks up or down, but keep them sassy, with that ham-bone talk coming out of their mouth because these characters were only seconds out of the cotton patch, and now struggling in the big city. Continue reading →
*Though I didn’t see the episode, I do recall the trailer. Iyanla sat on a porch with Jay Williams, a successful video producer in Atlanta, who had an armful of black baby dolls; which represented the 34 biological children Williams has fathered with 17 different women. The segment was powerful because after a very few moments of intense questioning and attempts at reasoning by Iyanla, you could see that Jay was getting frustrated and he eventually put the armful of dolls that Iyanla had him holding down. Iyanla asked him why he did this, and he responded something like, “because I’m tired of playing with the dolls.”
Now that could have very well been the end of the experiment for a less bodacious host. But not for Iyanla, who didn’t skip a beat when she picked the dolls up again and put them in Williams’ lap saying something to the effect of, “Too bad. Their mother doesn’t get that option.” Continue reading →
*You kind of get the impression something really deep is about to go down, when a news anchor says, “We’ve got some serious stuff to discuss, and we are an open book, and we wanted to let you guys in on something that we’ve known for a while.” This is how Jennifer Roscoe set up the news for her viewers to learn about the return of her co-anchor, Dave Benton’s brain cancer. It was at the end of their nightly newscast on Thursday.
Benton, an Illinois news anchor, then stepped in make the major on-air announcement himself; revealing that his doctors had told him that he has just four to six months left to live. This heartbreaking news is the latest in what has been Benton’s yearlong battle with brain cancer. Continue reading →
*Chances are you’re going to be as stoked as I am to check out this interview that the legendary Johnny Mathis did with The Associated Press recently.
The 78-year-old singer is up to some pretty interesting stuff. He’ll drop a 13-CD box set of unsuccessful commercial albums recorded from 1963 to 1967, when he left Columbia Records and went to his own production company; he talks about trying yoga for the first time, and even doing a stint on “a show called ‘The Simpsons.’”
And wait until you hear what he has to say about shows like “American Idol.” From the sound of it, don’t expect to see this legend sitting behind the table telling young folks what they should do!
Anyway, it’s classic. It’s the iconic, very elusive, Johnny Mathis. Talking! Yippee!!! Continue reading →
*Poor Sherika Phillips. Under her very professional reporter posterior while speaking for television station WMC-TV (Action News5) on Live camera about the massive flooding that has occurred in Memphis on Thursday, and a very thin woman who looks like she had been out all night getting drunk or high at best, steps into the camera frame and says, “I been over here since 2003 and this is the 5 times [sic] this motherf*cker done…” and walks off camera. The reporter resumes as best as possible before there is a cut to the studio!
For the record…
You handled it like a true professional, Ms. Phillips. Now I hope you won’t mind that the EUR readers and I are going to have a little fun and try to guess what you were really thinking before you “readjusted.”