Vogue Aug cover issue of Simone Biles
Congratulations to Singer Ciara and NFL Star Russell Wilson because the two welcomed Win Harrison Wilson to their family. Russell Wilson made headlines earlier questioning the NFL on their COVID-19 plans and how the season would progress. He was particularly worried about his then pregnant wife Ciara. Things are still taking shape with improvements and revisions on the NFL plan and some players, like Eagles Wide Receiver Marquise Goodwin, are opting out of the upcoming NFL season. For now, Wilson has made no such announcement as he enjoys the brand new edition to the family. Win joins big brother Future Zahir, 6, and Princess Sienna, 3 and all are doing well.
Ellen DeGeneres is under fire….at least her talk show is. There have been rumblings that the popular daytime talk show host and comedienne isn’t as nice as projected on the show. One fellow comedian, Kevin T. Porter, took to social media and offered to exchange Ellen DeGeneres being rude stories for donations to the L.A. Food Bank. Porter got 2,000 responses, and it went viral and set off a meanest people alive thread about Ellen. Then things went from bad to worse as former staff from her daytime talker came forward with allegations of a toxic work environment, not just from Ellen but her top staff including executive producers. The stories became so plentiful that Warner Brothers, the studio that producers The Ellen DeGeneres Show, has launched a workplace investigation into the allegations, some of which include racist behavior. Producers have released an initial statement claiming responsibility for the show day to day is theirs and not DeGeneres’, but they strive for a decent work environment and regret if even one person had a negative experience working on the show. The investigation continues.
Marsai Martin has better news on the talk show front. The 15-year old co-star of ABC’s Emmy nominated Black-ish has taken on the talk show game. Martin will host Tiny Talk Show on the Quibi network. The show is being billed as the world’s smallest functional talk show, and Martin will be co-executive producer. This isn’t the first time Martin has put on the production hat. As part of her first-look deal with Universal Pictures, Martin became film’s youngest executive producer when she co-starred in Little with Regina Hall, who also was an executive producer. At press time, no premiere date has been announced for Tiny Talk Show with Marsai Martin.
Speaking of the Emmy nominated Black-ish, that’s exactly what was announced this week. The Emmy nominations have broken their record by nominating more people of color than ever before. Among the nominees are Watchmen, the HBO superhero series that focuses on America’s racial history, receiving 26 nominations, the most of any series including a Lead Actress Drama nomination for Oscar winner Regina King. Sterling K. Brown and Maya Rudolph are double nominees this year as Brown is up for This Is Us and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Rudolph is up for Saturday Night Live and The Good Place. Andre Braugher (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), William Jackson Harper (The Good Place), Oscar Winner Mahershala Ali (Ramy), Samira Wiley (The Handmaid’s Tale), Thandie Newton (Westworld), Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II (Watchman), Oscar winner Louis Gossett, Jr. (Watchman), Uzo Aduba (Mrs. America), Billy Porter (Pose), Sandra Oh (Killing Eve), Anthony Anderson & Tracee Ellis Ross (Black-ish), Ramy Youssef (Ramy), Zendaya (Euphoria), Don Cheadle (Black Monday), Giancarlo Esposito (Better Call Saul), Jeffrey Wright (Westworld), Octavia Spencer (Self Made), Kerry Washington (Little Fires Everywhere), Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live), Yvonne Orji (Insecure) and double nominee Issa Rae for Best Actress and Executive Producer (Insecure) are those vying for Emmy. Jimmy Kimmel returns as host of The Emmys, which may be virtual by the time September 20th comes around, on ABC.
America bids farewell to some stall worth members of our culture. Congressman John Lewis was the youngest speaker to take the podium at The March On Washington, which he helped organize, in 1963. In 1965, Lewis was among the marchers beaten by police when they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma to Montgomery, which became forever remembered internationally as Bloody Sunday and helped spur further civil rights legislation. Since that time, Lewis was sent to Congress as a Representative of Georgia and continued his civil rights activism. From leading a sit-in during a full session at the House Of Representatives to standing at a Black Lives Matter Rally and protest march less than a month before pancreatic cancer would claim his life at age 80, Lewis never stopped fighting. Congressman John Lewis’ body was brought to the capital in DC. There will be a funeral in Atlanta Georgia, though the family has asked people take precautions during the pandemic and not travel cross country for the limited services. Civil Rights Leader John Lewis 1940-2020.
In Selma, Alabama, Reverend C.T. Vivian famously took a punch in the jaw from Sheriff James G. Clark while Vivian attempted to legally register eligible African Americans to vote and Sherriff Clark was illegally attempting to stop them. Reverend Vivian remained undeterred and continues like efforts throughout the rest of his life. From his work with the Freedom Riders to Dr. Martin Luther King, Vivian remained on the front lines of protest and peaceful, at least on his part, civil disobedience. In later years, Vivian spoke at public events and colleges in order to keep young people’s eyes on the prize of equality. Vivian was awarded the Presidential Medal Of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor by America’s first African American President, Barack Obama. Reverend C.T. Vivian has passed away at the age of 95.
Songwriter/Producer/Performer Joseph B. Jefferson was one of Philly Soul’s most prolific contributors. First, he was a founding member of the late 60’s funk band The Nat Turner Rebellion, named for the late U.S. slave revolt leader. Jefferson would later join Thom Bell and Gamble & Huff here in Philly becoming a successful songwriter and producer. His most successful work was writing for the then Thom Bell produced Spinners albums on Atlantic Records beginning with his solo million selling composition One Of A Kind (Love Affair). He then teamed with Bruce Hawes and Charles Simmons to write a string of Spinners classics including Mighty Love, Love Or Leave, Sadie, They Just Can’t Stop It (Games People Play) and Love Don’t Love Nobody. Jefferson continued to write and/or produce for Philly International artists Patti LaBelle (When Am I Gonna Find True Love; What Can I Do For You (solo)); Jerry Butler (I’m Glad To Be Back); Silk (Can’t Stop (Turning You On)); The Three Degrees (If & When; Can’t You See What You’re Doing To Me), The Futures (Ain’t No Time Fa Nothing), The Jones Girls (This Feeling’s Killing Me), The Stylistics (Could This Be The End; Maybe It’s Love This Time), MFSB (To Be In Love) and The O’Jays (Brandy, I Really Miss You). Jefferson was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame in 2013. Joseph B. Jefferson was 77 years old.
Olivia de Havilland was the last surviving major star of the 1939 movie Gone With The Wind, but her acting career spanned nearly five decades after that 1939 epic. A two-time Oscar winner for The Heiress and To Each His Own, de Havilland rewrote the book on how the classic Hollywood studio system treated its stars. She sued Warner Brothers when they tried to option an extension on her contract based on suspensions they issued her. She won her suit, and it was named the De Havilland law as a result. de Havilland also became known for her teaming with Errol Flynn in several successful movies including 1938’s The Adventures Of Robin Hood. She later moved to Paris and slowed her performing career quite a bit. To the point where she was quite selective but did appear in Roots: The Next Generations in 1979 and in 1988’s The Woman He Loved. She participated in many Gone With The Wind Anniversaries but her last major headline was unsuccessfully suing the producers of the TV movie Feud: Bette & Joan in which de Havillandfelt defamed by a portrayal she didn’t authorize. de Havilland famously replaced Joan Crawford and re-teamed with Bette Davis in the 1964 psychological thriller Hush…. Hush, Sweet Charlotte.Leaving behind a body of classic works Olivia de Havilland has died at the age of 104.
John Saxon was a character actor whose work spanned generations. In the 1970’s, he was side by side with Bruce Lee and Jim Kelly in 1973’s Enter The Dragon, the film that essentially kicked off the Karate movie franchises. In the 80’s, he did the night time soap Falcon Crest and returned to the big screen in the horror classic Nightmare on Elm Street and two of its sequels. Throughout Saxon’s successful career there were movies with Clint Eastwood & Robert Duvall (Joe Kidd), Richard Widmark & Lena Horne (Death Of A Gunfighter) and Burt Lancaster & Audrey Hepburn (The Unforgiven), just to name a few. John Saxon was 83.
TV Legend Regis Philbin has passed away from natural causes. Though he said he regretted that his career stride came in his mid fifties, Philbin’s career is still one for the record books. He was listed in the Guinness Book Of World Records for logging in more hours on camera in TV than anyone else in history. Besides being a fixture on morning television for 30 years, he once tried to take on Late Night King Johnny Carson as Comedian Joey Bishop’s sidekick in the 1960’s. In between that and his triumphant top rated primetime series Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, Philbin logged in his dues locally and in syndication building his everyman brand with a bigger than life personality twist. Dana Carvey made his impression of Philbin a smash. Philbin’s legacy morning show Live continues on with Kelly Rippa and Ryan Seacrest, who both joined the ABC network for special programming dedicated to Regis Philbin, who passed at age 88.
Black-ish and Grown-ish Actress Yara Shahidi is on the cover of Elle
Gold Medal Olympic Gymnast Simone Biles is on the cover of Vogue
Oscar, Emmy and Tony Winner Viola Davis is on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.
COVID-19 can’t stop some traditions, so Jasmine Sanders shares the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition with Kate Bock and Olivia Culpo. Sanders’ social media nickname is Golden Barbie, and she’s also a TV personality and actress.
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