This year, the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild awards offered a chance for Black actors and actresses to showcased and honored for their tremendous work in the past year. Similarly, this award show offered diversity on stage, the red carpet, and more.
Queen Latifah will be playing Bessie Smith in a biopic, and Dee Rees, director of the movie Pariah, is slated to write and direct the film, which will air on HBO.
So, I didn’t watch the Grammys last night because I have better things to do, like mentally compose haikus about how cold Chicago is and watch Negroes fight on Bravo while remarking about how terribly Christopher Williams aged. But thank god for the internet. I had heard/seen that this white rapper dude named Macklemore was going to perform some song called “Same Love” while a whole bunch of gay people got married on stage or something. Although this isn’t my kind of spectacle, I figured watching this performance on YouTube and posting my response(s) to it would be somewhat fresher than the awesome “thinkpiece” I had intended to write about Kendrick Lamar and Richard Sherman. Even I, a serious football fan, have grown tired of all this non-football fan attention Mr. Sherman has been getting. And even though I think he’s doing and saying some things that are worth note in this pop life landscape, I really don’t want to stoke the fire of that stale story. So anyway, it’s time to watch this performance.
Here we go:
Here’s the deal: Sony Pictures has decided to turn the 70’s television sitcom Good Times into a feature-length film. Last week, Deadline reported that Sony has tapped producer Scott Rudin and writer Phil Johnston to head the project. (Before we go all Spike Lee and question whether a couple of white dudes should be in charge of this, let’s all take a moment to exhale a collective sigh of relief that Mr. Perry is nowhere near the project.) Now, the film is in the very beginning stages, but what we do know is that, as Deadline put it, “The movie will be set in the 1960s, which gives Johnston a rich and politically charged period to mine.” Because, you know, the 60s is, like, the only politically charged period ever, the 70s was really all about disco, and black people can sit anywhere on the bus now and there’s a black president so they couldn’t possibly update the series. But I digress.
Anyway, since there are very little rumors circulating about the flick, I thought I’d take this morning to issue myself a bit of a Good Times movie challenge. That is, I do what Hollywood seemingly can’t: I cast a non-Tyler Perry, mainstream Hollywood film starring black people without using the names Kerry Washington, Zoe Saldana, and Halle Berry.
Pray for me.
While many LGBT advocates assuaged North Carolina’s “Um, no” response to their “We’re just like you–except gay” claim by calling Obama’s tepid #formemyselfpersonally support of same-sex marriage “brave,” as if they had never seen Pretty in Pink, I chose to keep my eye on Carolina. (Seriously, if you think the POTUS’ interview wasn’t some bad boyfriend, er partner, game, you should date more. Or watch the first 20 minutes of a Tyler Perry movie. Or listen to Drake. Take your pick.) Not distracted by Obama’s latest Al Green-esque antics, I learned about the potential (unintended) consequences Amendment One’s passage has for straight couples who aren’t legally married, such as loss of employee benefits and other protections including those that help those who have experienced intimate partner violence. I imagine that perhaps this was simply the result of North Carolina’s zealousness. Instead of being upset about their crunkness, however, I think the LGBT contingent should capitalize upon it.
Dear Queen Latifah,
Well, look at you! Just the other week I was considering the conditions under which you might come out, and now word on the street is you’re all up in the magazines talking about what kind of women you like:
Queen Latifah: …I just like ladies who have class. Period. And if it’s “T and A” you’re sellin’, that’s fine, as long as that’s what you’re selling. But you don’t have to show everything, you know? You can hold some back and just be yourself and let your personality shine and let your individuality show. To me, that’s sexier. A confident woman is a sexy woman, in my opinion. And I think guys find that to be the same way.
Queen Latifah: You don’t have to show everything; you don’t have to put it all out there to attract a guy. Because what kind of guy are you gonna attract? What is he really looking for? If you wanna be a booty call, I guess you can throw it all out there. (laughs) But if you’re looking for a relationship with someone who respects you and respects things other than your body—your mind, your spirit, your personality, your smile—then you have to kind of exude that more so than just yo’ booty and yo’ titties.
It wasn’t until I sat down to write this that I realized I’d have to confess to watching Single Ladies–more than once. It’s true. Admittedly, I watched the first episode because I think Dionne Stacey Dash is fine. And although I find the acting in some ways utterly intolerable, somehow I’ve seen enough episodes since to still be able to follow the story line. Saying I watch because I want to support Lisa[waaaaaybeyondhershelflife]Raye for miraculously still finding work–even in a recession–is pretty unconvincing. Perhaps I should just blame baseball season. Apparently, I’m not alone. Viewership of Single Ladies has been consistent, and Vh1, which has been steadily rebranding itself as a grown and sexy, older sibling counterpart to BET’s blazing hip-hop and R&B, will more than likely renew the (two-thirds) black version of Sex and the City for another season.