Diahann Carroll, Pioneering Actress on ‘Julia’ and ‘Dynasty,’ Dies at 84

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She also landed an historic Tony Award, plus an Oscar nomination for her performance in ‘Claudine.’

Diahann Carroll, the captivating singer and actress who came from the Bronx to win a Tony Award, receive an Oscar nomination and make television history with her turns on Julia and Dynasty, died Friday. She was 84.

Carroll died at her home in Los Angeles after a long bout with cancer, her daughter, producer-journalist Suzanne Kay, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Carroll was known as a Las Vegas and nightclub performer and for her performances on Broadway and in the Hollywood musicals Carmen Jones and Porgy & Bess when she was approached by an NBC executive to star as Julia Baker, a widowed nurse raising a young son, on the comedy Julia.

She didn’t want to do it. “I really didn’t believe that this was a show that was going to work,” she said in a 1998 chat for the website The Interviews: An Oral History of Television. “I thought it was something that was going to leave someone’s consciousness in a very short period of time. I thought, ‘Let them go elsewhere.’ ”

However, when Carroll learned that Hal Kanter, the veteran screenwriter who created the show, thought she was too glamorous for the part, she was determined to change his mind. She altered her hairstyle and mastered the pilot script, quickly convincing him that she was the right woman.

Carroll thus became the first African American female to star in a non-stereotypical role in her own primetime network series. (Several actresses portrayed a maid on ABC’s Beulah in the early 1950s.)

Her character Baker, whose husband had died in Vietnam, worked for a doctor (Lloyd Nolan) at an aerospace company; she was educated and outspoken, and she dated men (including characters played by Fred Williamson, Paul Winfield and Don Marshall) who were successful, too.

“We were saying to the country, ‘We’re going to present a very upper middle-class black woman raising her child, and her major concentration is not going to be about suffering in the ghetto,'” Carroll noted.

“Many people were incensed about that. They felt that [African Americans] didn’t have that many opportunities on television or in film to present our plight as the underdog … they felt the [real-world] suffering was much too acute to be so trivial as to present a middle-class woman who is dealing with the business of being a nurse.

“But we were of the opinion that what we were doing was important, and we never left that point of view … even though some of that criticism of course was valid. We were of a mind that this was a different show. We were allowed to have this show.”

Julia, which premiered in September 1968, finished No. 7 in the ratings in the first of its three seasons, and Carroll received an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe for her work.

While recuperating after starring on Broadway in Agnes of God, Carroll had found herself digging Dynasty — “Isn’t this the biggest hoot?” she said — and lobbied producer Aaron Spelling for a role on his series.

“They’ve done everything [on the show]. They’ve done incest, homosexuality, murder. I think they’re slowly inching their way toward interracial,” she recalled in a 1984 piece for People magazine. “I want to be wealthy and ruthless … I want to be the first black bitch on television.”

Continue on to The Hollywood Reporter to read the complete article.

Watchmen: An HBO Limited Series

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Watchmen movie poster

Set in an alternate history where masked vigilantes are treated as outlaws, WATCHMEN, from executive producer Damon Lindelof embraces nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel, while attempting to break new ground of its own.  Regina King leads a cast that includes Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Jean Smart and more.

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#WatchmenHBO

The Original Broadway Showing of Hamilton is Coming to a TV Near You

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Lin Manuel Miranda on stage as Alexander Hamilton

By Natalie Rodgers

A fully taped production of the Broadway hit, Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is being released to Disney+ in its entirety on July 3, 2020, just in time for Independence Day.

Originally due to premiere as a theatrical release on October 21, 2021, the movie has been moved up to provide a sense of hope and comfort due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because of the cultural and historical impact that Hamilton has had since its Broadway debut in 2015, Disney plans to make the experience more captivating and to include as Disney quoted, “the best elements of live theater, film, and streaming.”

Creating this kind of atmosphere will not be a difficult task, due to how the filmmakers have already produced it. The production was filmed from various camera angles from the show’s original Richard Rodgers Theatre home and filmed across three different performances in in 2016.

The production will include all of the original Broadway cast members, including Leslie Odom Jr., Renee Elise Goldsberry, Phillipa Soo, Jonathan Groff, Daveed Diggs, upcoming In the Heights star Anthony Ramos, and of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton.

 

Photo: Getty Images 

LeBron James, Bad Bunny, Jonas Brothers to throw class of 2020 a virtual graduation

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LebRon James speaking in front of large audience

The LeBron James Family Foundation recently announced that it will celebrate seniors in a special event called “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020″ at 5 p.m. Pacific on May 16 with help from superstar guests.

The Los Angeles Lakers star has drafted Bad Bunny, Pharrell Williams, the Jonas Brothers, Chika, YBN Cordae, H.E.R., Ben Platt, Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe and Malala Yousafzai for the hourlong special. It will air simultaneously on ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and the streaming platforms Complex Networks, Facebook app, Instagram, People TV, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube.

We learned early on in our work with students and families in Akron that education is so much more than academics. It’s about a shared experience, a journey we’re all on together — students, parents, educators, community members and everyone around them. With that not being possible right now, we’ve been working to find ways to help families get through this really difficult time,” James said in a release.

“These students have worked incredibly hard for this and there’s no way we can let that go unrecognized. While this won’t be the graduation experience they were supposed to get, we hope we can still give them something special because they deserve it,” the basketball great added.

The commercial-free, multimedia event — which will be curated by high school students and educators across the country with support from the American Federation of Teachers — will feature a collection of vignettes, commencement speeches and celebrity performances.

Students, families and teachers will be encouraged to submit photos and videos using #GraduateTogether for a chance to have them included in the telecast. Don’t know what to do with your senior portrait? Artist JR is inviting seniors to share them for the virtual yearbook celebrating the nation’s 2020 high school graduates. Local TV stations also will feature shout-outs to high school students in their communities.

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

BECOMING – OFFICIAL TRAILER

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BECOMING is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but also for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House.

The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.

Film Release Date: May 6, 2020
Format: Original Documentary Feature

Directed by: Nadia Hallgren
Produced by: Katy Chevigny,
Marilyn Ness, & Lauren Cioffi
Co-Producer: Maureen A. Ryan
Executive Producers:
Priya Swaminathan & Tonia Davis

A NOTE FROM MICHELLE
I’m excited to let you know that on May 6, Netflix will release BECOMING, a documentary film directed by Nadia Hallgren that looks at my life and the experiences I had while touring following the release of my memoir. Those months I spent traveling—meeting and connecting with people in cities across the globe—drove home the idea that what we share in common is deep and real and can’t be messed with.

In groups large and small, young and old, unique and united, we came together and shared stories, filling those spaces with our joys, worries, and dreams.

*BECOMING is the third release from Higher Ground Productions and Netflix*

To view the documentary now available on Netflix visit, netflix.com/Becoming.

#IAmBecoming

JUST MERCY

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JUST MERCY is a powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.

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#JustMercy

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@JustMercyFilm

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@JustMercyFilm

Netflix Premieres First Ever Documentary About Black Women CEOs

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multiple images of the stars of She Did That Netflix series

Black women CEOs and entrepreneurs are the stars of the newest Netflix documentary called She Did That. Filmmaker and blogger Renae L. Bluitt created the documentary to promote a more accurate representation in the media of Black female business owners.

She Did That is Bluitt’s first cinematic project, and as a digital content creator and PR consultant, she has been writing about the entrepreneurial pursuits of Black women on her blog, In Her Shoes, for nearly a decade. But now the topic is being brought to the world’s attention via the world’s most popular streaming service.

The film revolves around the lives of four Black women entrepreneurs, their journeys, and how they face issues such as the funding gap for Black women. Inspired by #BlackGirlMagic, Bluitt wanted to show how Black women turn challenges into opportunities and become an inspiration to the next generation.

“As the fastest group of entrepreneurs in this country, [Black women] are literally turning water into wine in spite of the many obstacles we face on our entrepreneurial journeys. This film was created to let the world know what it really takes to be a successful Black woman entrepreneur in this world. Platforms like social media only show us the results and the highlights, but “She Did That” pulls back the curtain to reveal how and why we do it,” Bluitt told Forbes.

She Did That highlights the perseverance and determination of Lisa Price, the founder of hair care brand Carol’s Daughter; Melissa Butler, the founder of beauty brand The Lip Bar; Tonya Rapley, the founder of My Fab Finance; and Luvvie Ajayi, a New York Times best-selling author, speaker and digital strategist.

For the project, Bluitt intentionally hired a camera crew of Black women as well as production staff, assistants, and researchers for filming locations. In addition, after almost 2 years of filming, the documentary premiered at a sold-out screening event at ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans. It has since been screened at several HBCUs and other cities in partnership with organizations that cater to Black women.

Bluitt said she is overwhelmed with the opportunity to partner with Netflix. Now with a wider audience, she hopes that the film willl touch more Black women’s lives.

“I want women to know that even the most successful women in business have experienced the challenges and obstacles they face while building their brands. We all make mistakes, learn from them, and stop to refuel or keep going even stronger. I want women to know they are not alone in their fears and the biggest takeaway is this – if the women in this film can do it, you can do it, too!”

Stream it now on Netflix by visiting netflix.com/title/81194454

Continue on to Black Business to read the complete article.

NAACP Announced the Winners of the 51st NAACP Image Awards Hosted by Anthony Anderson on Saturday, February 22nd

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Rihanna, dresed in a floy purple dress, accepts her award on stage at the NAACP Image Awards ceremony

Rihanna Received the President’s Award and U.S. Congressman and Civil Rights Leader John Lewis was Honored with the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the Live Ceremony.

The Star Studded Evening Featured Appearances from Angela Bassett, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jamie Foxx, Tiffany Haddish, Deon Cole, Janelle Monae, Jill Scott, Lena Waithe, Leslie Odom Jr., Lizzo, Lynn Whitfield, Marsai Martin, Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Sterling K. Brown, Tamron Hall, Tichina Arnold, Winston Duke, Yara Shahidi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Robin Thede, Brie Larson, Chloe Bailey and Harold Perrineau, with powerful Performances by Jill Scott and H.E.R. with Skip Marley.

The NAACP celebrated the stellar achievements of the 51st NAACP Image Awards winners during a special ceremony which was broadcasted live on BET Saturday, February 22, 2020 at 8 p.m./7 p.m. CT from the Pasadena Civic Center Auditorium. Winners of the night included Lizzo (Entertainer of the Year), Angela Bassett (Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series – “9-1-1”), Jamie Foxx (Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture – “Just Mercy”), Lupita Nyong’o (Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture – “Us”), Marsai Martin (Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – “Little”), Tracee Ellis Ross (Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series – “black-ish”) and “Just Mercy” (Outstanding Motion Picture).

During the ceremony, NAACP President and CEO, Derrick Johnson, presented global music and fashion icon, business entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Rihanna, with the President’s Award which is presented in recognition of a special achievement and distinguished public service.

Rihanna accepted the award saying “Thank you to the NAACP for all of your efforts to ensure equality for our communities. Thank you for celebrating our strength and tenacity. We’ve been denied opportunities since the beginning of time. Still, we prevail. so I’m honored. Imagine what we can do together. Thank you for this honor.”

U.S. Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis (D-GA), was recognized with the NAACP Chairman’s Award during the ceremony and sent in a special video accepting the award.

Jill Scott took to the stage with an electric performance of “Do You Remember” and “Is It The Way” and Skip Marley joined H.E.R for a medley of “Slide”, “Slow Down” and “Turn THe Lights Down Low”.

Additional guests in attendance included Brie Larson, Chloe Bailey, Deon Cole, Elaine Welteroth, Harold Perrineau, Janelle Monae, Lena Waithe, Leslie Odom Jr., Logan Browning, Lukka Sabbatt, Lynn Whitfield, Octavia Spencer, Robin Thede, Shahidi Wright Joseph, Sterling K. Brown, Tamron Hall, Tichina Arnold, Tiffany Haddish, Winston Dukes, Yara Shahidi, Yvette Nicole Brown.

See the full list of winners from the 51st NAACP Image Awards telecast below:

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series

Angela Bassett – “9-1-1” (FOX)

MOTION PICTURE CATEGORIES

Outstanding Motion Picture

“Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture

Michael B. Jordan – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture

Lupita Nyong’o – “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Jamie Foxx – “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Marsai Martin – “Little” (Universal Pictures)

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR

Lizzo

Previously announced winners

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Outstanding Comedy Series

“black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Deon Cole – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Marsai Martin – “black-ish” (ABC)

Outstanding Drama Series

“Greenleaf” (OWN)

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series

Omari Hardwick – “Power” (Starz)

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Harold Perrineau – “Claws” (TNT)

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Lynn Whitfield – “Greenleaf” (OWN)

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

When They See Us (Netflix)

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

Jharrel Jerome – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special

Niecy Nash – “When They See Us” (Netflix)

Outstanding News/Information (Series or Special)

“Unsung” (TV One)

Outstanding Talk Series

“Red Table Talk” (Facebook Watch)

Outstanding Reality Program/Reality Competition Series/Game Show

“Rhythm + Flow” (Netflix)

Outstanding Variety (Series or Special)

“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (Netflix)

Outstanding Children’s Program

“Family Reunion” (Netflix)

Continue on to NAACP to read the complete announcement.

Michelle Obama Is On Her Way To Becoming An EGOT

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Our forever FLOTUS Michelle Obama is officially a member of the Grammy family, and on her way to the coveted EGOT status, meaning she’s earned an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award.

On Sunday, Obama won Best Spoken Word Album for the audio recording of her New York Times bestselling memoir, Becoming, which chronicles her life, from her childhood in Chicago to her days in the White House. Released in 2018, the book has held a place on the bestsellers list for 58 weeks.

The Best Spoken Word Album award goes to noteworthy audiobooks, storytelling and poetry recordings. Other nominees in the category included, National Poetry Slam winner Sekou Andrews and the Beastie Boys. Although Obama wasn’t there to collect her golden gramophone, jazz singer and fellow Grammy winner Esperanza Spaulding graciously accepted it on her behalf.

Snagging this honor from the recording academy puts Obama in good company with Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King Jr. and her husband Barack Obama. The former president is a two-time Grammy winner for Dreams From My Father (2006) and The Audacity of Hope (2008).

Obama is the second first lady to add the Best Spoken Word trophy to her mantle. In 1997, Hillary Clinton received the award for the audiobook of It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us.

Although this is Obama’s first Grammy win, in 2012 she landed a nod for her audiobook American Grown. But she didn’t actually record the audio for that book.

Snagging this honor from the recording academy puts Obama in good company with Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King Jr. and her husband Barack Obama. The former president is a two-time Grammy winner for Dreams From My Father (2006) and The Audacity of Hope (2008).

Obama is the second first lady to add the Best Spoken Word trophy to her mantle. In 1997, Hillary Clinton received the award for the audiobook of It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us.

Although this is Obama’s first Grammy win, in 2012 she landed a nod for her audiobook American Grown. But she didn’t actually record the audio for that book.

Fans must wait until the Oscars on Sunday, February 9 to see if Obama gets another step closer to the small group of celebrities enjoying rare EGOT air. There’s only 15 people who have the honor, and only two Black entertainers—Whoopi Goldberg and John Legend.

Continue on to Essence to read the complete article.

Spike Lee is first black person to lead Cannes Film Festival jury

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Spike Lee pictured in cap and giving the peace sign

Acclaimed director Spike Lee will head to this year’s Cannes Film Festival as the first black president of its jury. “I’m honored to be the first person of the African diaspora (USA) to be named President of the Cannes Jury and of a main film festival,” the “Do The Right Thing” director said in a statement.

“My biggest blessings have been when they arrived unexpected, when they happened out of nowhere,” Lee continued. “I was shocked, happy, surprised and proud all at the same time.”

The festival’s organizers said they are looking forward to seeing how Lee injects his personality “to shake things up” at May’s event. “Spike Lee’s perspective is more valuable than ever. Cannes is a natural homeland and a global sounding board for those who (re)awaken minds and question our stances and fixed ideas,” festival organizers said in a statement.

The New York native, who works almost exclusively on his own screenplays, first formed a relationship with the prestigious festival back in 1986, when he presented his first feature film “She’s Gotta Have It.” Since then, Lee has presented six films at Cannes: “Do The Right Thing,” “Jungle Fever,” “Girl 6,” “Summer of Sam,” “Ten Minutes Older” and “BlacKkKlansman.”

Continue on to CBS News to read the complete article.

Missy Elliott, Stevie Nicks, Tame Impala, Miley Cyrus Top Governors Ball Lineup

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Missy Elliott

New York’s Governors Ball has announced the lineup for its 10th annual festival, coming June 7, 2020 to New York City, and it’s a wide mix of styles, genres and eras: Missy Elliott — making her first major NYC performance in over a decade — Tame Impala, Stevie Nicks, Vampire Weekend, Solange, Miley Cyrus, Flume, Ellie Goulding, H.E.R., Swae Lee, Rufus Du Sol, Portugal. The Man, Foals, Summer Walker, Jon Bellion, Khruangbin, Carly Rae Jepsen, Maren Morris, Of Monsters and Men, Milky Chance, Bleachers, Banks and many more.

Not for nothing, the festival features several female headliners, unlike the recently announced Coachella lineup.

While the lineup features many strong performers, Elliott’s rare appearance could be this year’s highlight: While she has performed and dropped music sporadically over the past 15 years — last summer’s “Iconography” EP was her first non-single release since 2005 —  she is a roof-raising live performer, and this festival spot is likely to feature stellar choreography and a relentless barrage of her hits.

Continue on to Variety to read the complete article and view the full line up.

51st NAACP Image Awards Nominations Announced

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5ist Image Awards collage of nominees

The nominees for the 51st NAACP Image Awards were announced recently at a joint press conference with Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP and Connie Orlando, Executive Vice-President, Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy. The winners will be revealed during the two-hour LIVE TV special airing on BET Networks on Saturday, February 22, 2020 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m.CT.

Netflix leads the television category nominations with 30, with an additional 12 nominations in the motion picture categories for a total of 42. RCA Records leads in the music recording categories with 14, followed by Columbia Records and BMG, respectively, with seven. Universal Pictures leads the motion picture categories with 15 nominations, and Penguin Random House has 8 nominations followed by HarperCollins with four in the literary categories.

“Representation across entertainment and the arts has profound meaning and unparalleled power to shape perceptions, influence culture, and galvanize communities,” said NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson. “This year’s nominees have conveyed a wide range of authentic stories and experiences that have resonated with many, and we’re proud to continue celebrating their outstanding achievements and performances.”

“This is a historic occasion for BET Networks, and we’re thrilled to be able to celebrate our network’s 40th anniversary in conjunction with this milestone moment of hosting the NAACP Image Awards,” said Scott Mills, President of BET Networks. “It is our distinct privilege to be able to acknowledge contributions of talent in TV, music, movies and literature and we look forward to celebrating these contributions next month.”
The NAACP Image Awards honors the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature, and film and also recognizes individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. The Image Awards previously aired on TV One.

In previous years, Image Awards attendees included Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith, Taraji P. Henson, Viola Davis, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Anthony Anderson, Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, Halle Berry, Common, Dwayne Johnson, Steve Harvey, Audra Day, John Legend, Lena Waithe, Tracee Ellis Ross, David Oyelowo, Laverne Cox, Octavia Spencer, Issa Rae, Trevor Noah, Terry Crews, Yara Shahidi, Danai Gurira, Jacob Latimore, Jay Pharoah, Jemele Hill, Josh Gad, Loretta Devine, Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Meta Golding, Michael Smith, Tyler James Williams, Ava DuVernay, Chadwick Boseman, and many more.

Voting is now open to the public to determine the winners of the 51stNAACP IMAGE AWARDS by visiting www.naacpimageawards.net– Winners will be revealed during the 51stNAACP Image Awards telecast. For all information and the latest news, please visit the official NAACP Image Awards website at www.naacpimageawards.net or on Facebook at naacpimageawards and Twitter @naacpimageaward (#NAACPImageAwards).

The complete list of categories and nominees for the 51stNAACP Image Awards follows:

ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR
Angela Bassett
Billy Porter
Lizzo
Regina King
Tyler Perry

TELEVISION CATEGORIES

Outstanding Comedy Series

“Ballers” (HBO)
“black-ish” (ABC)
“Dear White People” (Netflix)
“grown-ish” (Freeform)
“theNeighborhood” (CBS)

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series

Anthony Anderson – “black-ish” (ABC)
Cedric The Entertainer – “theNeighborhood” (CBS)
Don Cheadle – “Black Monday” (Showtime)
Dwayne Johnson – “Ballers” (HBO)
Tracy Morgan – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series

Logan Browning – “Dear White People” (Netflix)
Jill Scott – “First Wives Club” (BET+)
Tiffany Haddish – “The Last O.G.” (TBS)
Tracee Ellis Ross – “black-ish” (ABC)
Yara Shahidi – “grown-ish” (Freeform)

Continue on to Ebony to read the complete article.

Cynthia Erivo could become the youngest EGOT winner

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Cynthia Erivo on the red carpet at the Premiere of HBO's "The Outsider"

Cynthia Erivo is one step closer to EGOT status with an Oscar nomination for her turn as the iconic freedom fighter and suffragist Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ ‘Harriet.’

British actress Cynthia Erivo was nominated for her first Oscar on Monday morning for her performance as the iconic freedom fighter and abolitionist Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ “Harriet.”

The stage and screen actress (along with powerhouse singer — she is also nominated in the original song category) also earned Golden Globe, SAG and Critics’ Choice nominations for the role.

And while BAFTA controversially snubbed acting nominees of color entirely, the ceremony still asked her to perform (she declined).

Erivo was the only person of color nominated for an acting Oscar this year.

“Harriet,” distributed by Focus Features, exceeded box office forecasts when it opened in November, debuting to $12 million on its way to $43 million to date in global ticket sales. It marks the first feature leading role for Erivo, who stole scenes in 2018’s “Widows” and “Bad Times at the El Royale.”

She was first approached about “Harriet” while in the midst of a Tony-winning turn in the Broadway production of “The Color Purple.” The production is also responsible for her subsequent Grammy (for the cast recording) and Daytime Emmy (for a cast performance on NBC’s “Today”) wins. (For those who don’t want to count Daytime Emmys in EGOT status, Erivo will also headline the upcoming limited series “Genius: Aretha” for National Geographic. And playing music singer Aretha Franklin could put her in Primetime Emmy contention as well.)

Continue on to the LA Times to read the complete article.

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