Why Stephen A. Smith Should Really Take a Seat

ESPN

ESPN

Recently, ESPN reporter Stephen A. Smith got a tap on the wrist by ESPN for making victim-blaming comments about domestic violence toward women. At first, he tweeted (in a series of tweets, that is) an apology to fellow ESPN reporter Michelle Beadle, who called him out on his remarks, but didn’t hesitate to reiterate his victim-blaming. Then, he tweeted a longer apology after deleting some of his previous tweets. Then he apologized on-air Monday on “First Take.” Whew.

Smith has a history of using his platform on ESPN First Take to say some ignorant, problematic stuff. But one that comes to mind for me is one he made back in May 2014 in response to viewer backlash over his support of Mark Cuban’s comments related to bigotry and prejudices. The Dallas Maverick’s owner, in the wake of the Donald Sterling scandal, said that we all have prejudices “in one way or another,” and he went on to say that if he saw “a black kid in a hoodie…late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street.”

Stephen, as he is wont to do, didn’t appreciate the backlash, and, among encouraging respectability politics and other things, made the point that instead of Continue reading

Adorable Super Bowl Ad Gets People In Their Feelings

With Super Bowl XLVIII upon us, the best part of it for pop-culture aficionados like me is the commercials! YouTube means we get an early look at a number of the ads that will be the most talked about. Budweiser has become a giant in the Super Bowl ad game, and this year is no different. The ad stars one of the famous Clydesdales and a cute labrador retriever puppy. Like most of these ads, it stars one stubborn animal that just keeps coming back. It’s an improvement from  last years clip. (Yes, the “Brotherhood” one was cute. Gave me chills! But there’s something about puppies.)

Folks got in their feelings. I did too. Christina Pippas said “OMG I AM CRYIN. I AM CRYING”.  And if you’re familiar with the meme, one YouTube commenter said “i cri eri tim”. I won’t lie.I teared up. And I actually got The Fox and the Hound teas from the clip too.

Watch the adorable ad below! Continue reading

TV: My Story

Growing up, TV has always had a real presence in my life. Some of the first television shows I remember watching came from Public Broadcasting. Classics like Sesame Street and (the modernized version of) Zoom, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, modern fare like Barney and Friends, and a bizarre show about Teletubbies filled my days. As I got older, I stuck with PBS, but also watched more Disney and Nick Jr. My twin sister and I would wake up from our naps to watch Blue’s Clues and Little Bear. In the mornings, we’d watch Rolie Polie Olie and Bear In the Big Blue House.

TV wasn’t just entertainment, it taught me things. Shows in my youth taught me basics like counting and critical thinking (how do you think we figured out what Blue was trying to say?), but as I got older different shows gave me clues to social life. Lizzie McGuire taught me how to navigate middle school.

And now, I have a myriad of tastes in TV. Continue reading

Black Ensemble Casts Making Big Screen Comebacks

Screen  Gems, Sony Pictures

Screen Gems, Sony Pictures

The ’90s was a decade that holds special prominence in my heart. Not just because of the now cliché points of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon nostalgia, but because more mature programming and media featured casts of talented black actors. Think Soul Food (the movie, that is), Waiting To Exhale, Boomerang and yes Friday. Even the first few years of the 2000’s brought classic films that told stories from an African-American perspective.

In some ways, that era may be coming back.  Continue reading

Trailer: Ashton Kutcher in ‘Jobs’

Five Star Feature Films

Five Star Feature Films

I’d say there was a fair amount of skepticism when Ashton Kutcher was set to play Apple icon Steve Jobs in a movie. Some of that may (or may not) be put to rest with the first official trailer for Five Star Feature Films’ Jobs. The trailer gives viewers a peek into Kutcher’s portrayal of the man behind Apple’s brand at different points in his life. What’s most interesting to me from the teaser, however, is how they seem to portray Job’s creative, albeit flawed, genius: in one scene, he kicks out a co-worker from a meeting when he remarks that “typeface isn’t a pressing issue”. I guess it is.

It’ll be interesting to see how the quirks of Steve Jobs play out in the full film. It may be more interesting to see what  fans and critics of Apple have to say about the way things are depicted, but it is a movie, after all. Watch the trailer below. Jobs will be in theaters August 16th.

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Robert Downey, Jr. Returns For Avengers 2, Avengers 3 as Iron Man

Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios

Marvel.com officially announces that Robert Downey, Jr. will be back as Iron Man in the sequels to Avengers. Maybe I was out of the loop, but there won’t just be a part deux to the iconic blockbuster, but a third part! Joss Whedon is on board for Marvel’s The Avengers 2 screenplay. So even though he wrote Cabin In The Woods, a movie that was a waste of 95 minutes of my life, The Avengers was very much enjoyable, so I’m thinking the one-liners, quips and such will be just fine for the next installments of the superhero team franchise.

Marvel’s The Avengers 2 starts production March 2014 and will be in theaters May 1st, 2015.

Disney Pixar Announces: Finding Dory!

Disney Pixar

Disney Pixar

Since it’s the second day of the month, I’m thinking this isn’t an april Fools joke.

Both Disney Pixar and Ellen DeGeneres herself have taken to social media to officially announce that everyone’s favorite funny Blue Regal Tang with short-term memory loss is getting her own movie. Ellen simply added along with the above graphic, “it’s happening.” But she added more detail in an official statement:

“I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time. I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating Toy Story 16. But the time they took was worth it. The script is fantastic. And it has everything I loved about the first one: It’s got a lot of heart, it’s really funny, and the best part is — it’s got a lot more Dory.”

If you’re still skeptical, the official Facebook page was created March 11th, so this definitely isn’t a cruel joke for Dory fans. The movie is set to take place a year after Nemo was found, and will have both old and new characters.

 Finding Dory is set to hit theaters November 2015.

*Update: Ellen used her first day back on her daytime talkshow to share the news too! Watch her announcement after the jump: Continue reading

Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Renner Hosting ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live logo – SNL Studios

On upcoming episodes of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, Anne Hathaway and Jeremy Renner will be hosting as part of promo for their upcoming movies. Anne will be touting the screen version of the  French novel turned popular broadway show Les Misérables November 10th. Jeremy will be promoting the upcoming Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunter when he takes the stage November 17th. Rihanna and Maroon 5 will be musical guests November 10th and 17th, respectively.

I can’t say I’m excited for seeing either on SNL, but Anne’s done this twice before. Promos could be a good indication once those surface. I’ll be sure to post…

From THR

Disney Channel Developing a “Boy Meets World” Sequel

Boy Meets World Logo – Michael Jacobs Productions / Touchstone Television

Oh boy (no bad pun intended). I’m not sure how to feel about this… TV Line reports that the Disney  Channel is developing Girl Meets World, a sequel to the Boy Meets World series that has generated a massive fan base (myself included) since it entered re-run status after it ended its original run in 2000. The developing sitcom will focus on Corey and Topanga’s preteen daughter. Fans of the show will recall that the high school loves got married toward the end of the series.

It could be cool, but the question is if Ben Savage (who played Corey)  and Danielle Fishel (who played Topanga) will actually return to their original roles. And of course fans will want to see Sean and Eric on the show so that opens another question. My biggest concern is the Disney Channel factor. With how homogenous their shows look, this could be a disappointing mess if it happens. Hopefully that won’t be the case, because Boy Meets World producer Michael Jacobs is on board for the sequel series.

From THR

Celebs Urge You To Vote in New PSA

Another election year means another star-studded PSA encouraging the American public to vote.

Where the 2008 campaign was called “Don’t Vote”, this year’s theme is “Vote 4 Stuff”. Selena Gomez, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen DeGeneres, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and other celebs lend their voices and faces to tell y’all to get out there and vote come November 6th! You can vote for all kinds of stuff – these famous folks have some interesting ideas. Check out the video below and let these guys know what you’d vote for on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube!

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