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calls out steve harvey

*Hollywood heartthrob Christian Keyes is calling out Steve Harvey over the controversial comments he made about the Flint water crisis.

As previously reported, the comedian and radio host came under fire for telling a caller to “enjoy your nice brown glass of water”, following a debate over the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Finals loss to Golden State Warriors.

The Flint water crisis began in 2014 when the drinking water source for the city was changed to the Flint River. Due to insufficient water treatment, over 100,000 residents were potentially exposed to high levels of lead in the drinking water.

Television personality and host Steve Harvey speaks at the State Farm Color Full Lives Art Gallery during the 2016 State Farm Neighborhood Awards at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on July 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As reported by, Keys took to social media to address Harvey’s offense comments, saying:

Nine thousand cases of lead poisoning. Three and four-year-olds out there who haven’t started speaking yet because the lead has left them disabled to a certain extent. They have not been able to develop properly.

He continued:

We supported you through a lot of stuff. If you did a show in Flint, guaranteed people would come out by the thousands spending money they don’t even have to come see and support you to take their minds off what they are going through. And you on there cracking jokes about the dirty polluted water telling the Flint native “enjoy his glass of brown dirty water” You should be ashamed of yourself. You set a terrible example.

Keyes ended his criticism with:

I know accidents happen. This is a perfect time for you to lift up that heavy ass mustache you yours and apologize to the city of Flint. Have some class man. Message! Let’s see if he is man enough to make right what he did wrong to the city of Flint.

See the clip below:




*Actresses Tika Sumpter and Carmen Ejogo are headed to the big screen in separate projects.

Production company CorradoMooncoin has cast Sumpter, Ben Tavassoli and Jamie Lee Curtis in the political thriller “The Pages,” according to Variety. The female-driven story of obsession, betrayal, and regret begins principal photography in Chicago this week.

Sumpter plays a former top security advisor threatened by associates from her dark past including a steely politician — played by Curtis — with an unwavering knack for achieving her goals.

Joe Chappelle directs from his own script.

Sumpter recently portrayed the young Michelle Robinson (Obama) in the feature film “Southside With You,” and currently stars in Tyler Perry’s series “The Haves and the Have Nots” on OWN. She’ll next be seen in David Lowery’s “Old Man and the Gun.”

Ejogo, meanwhile, joins the cast of Sony’s untitled Denzel Washington thriller from writer/director Dan Gilroy.

The project, formerly known as “Inner City,” tells of a Los Angeles attorney who is offered a job at a prestigious law firm after the death of his longtime partner and takes on a case that has life-altering repercussions.

Ejogo has been cast as one of the female leads, a worker at a civil rights organization.

In addition to “Alien: Covenant,” Ejogo currently appears onscreen in the horror movie “It Comes at Night” and appeared in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” as Seraphina Picquery.



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The parents of Mike Brown, the Ferguson, MO black teen who was shot and killed by then officer Darren Wilson, have reportedly reached a settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit.

USA Today reports that a federal judge approved the settlement for an undisclosed amount on Tuesday (06-20-17). U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber reportedly sealed the settlement terms due to the sensitivity of the agreement.

“The settlement agreement shall remain sealed by this Court and shall be considered a closed record under Missouri Revised Statute . . . due to the adverse impact to Plaintiffs should it be disclosed,” Webber wrote in the settlement approval documents. “Disclosure of the terms of the settlement agreement could jeopardize the safety of individuals involved in this matter, whether as witnesses, parties, or investigators. The public policy to consider records open is outweighed by the adverse impact to Plaintiffs.”


mike brown's parents

While the terms of the settlement are sealed, the suit reportedly alleges that Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Brown, violated the victim’s civil rights by way of “unlawful detention and the use of excessive and deadly force,” USA Today reports. The suit also accused the former police chief of failing to hire, train, and conduct a proper and fair investigation into Mike Brown’s death. According to court documents, Brown’s family accused the police department of having “a custom or policy of negligently hiring and retaining officers, failing to properly train and/or supervise officers in the use of deadly force.”

Whatever the amount was that he ruled for, Judge Webber said the settlement was “fair and reasonable compensation for this wrongful death claim and is in the best interests” of Brown’s family.



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*Steve Harvey has squeezed yet another job onto his resume.

You may have already seen his new competition series “Steve Harvey’s Funderdome,” thanks to a hacker who uploaded eight episodes to an illegal file sharing site earlier this week. But ABC, today, released an extended clip from the June 11 season premiere.

Created by Harvey and “Shark Tank” producer Mark Burnett, the series has entrepreneurs going head-to-head in pitching their ideas and winning seed money for their fledgling business.Screen-Shot-2017-06-08-at-5.17.51-PM

Contestants could pocket anywhere from $10,000 – $100,000, based on their ability to convince a live studio audience that they deserve to be funded.

Watch the First Look clip below:



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The musical “Sweetee” with book, music and lyrics by Gail Kriegel, playing at the Ford Foundation Studio Theatre, located at 480 West 42nd Street in Manhattan, has a cast made in heaven. Every single actor, dancer and singer is perfect for their role. Jordan Tyson as Sweetee captures the essence of a poverty stricken interracial southern girl bred in the church. She has high moral values despite the fact her mother makes money the only way she knows how, on her back. Sweetee comes up in the South throughout the depression era of the late 1930s, early ’40s. A time when whites would shoot or lynch a black person simply for living.

Sweetee has a dream and a voice like an angel and the ambition to do something with it. She loves her mother but can no longer tolerate the conditions she lives under and longs for a better life. Naive, she runs away and joins a band of orphan musicians who are under the sponsorship of good looking, smooth talking Reverend Dan, portrayed by Jeremiah James, who has hopes for a better life for himself, his family and the band, but must live under the confines of the oppressive conditions of the South. Even though a white man and rebel at heart, he has no choice but to obey the Jim Crow laws imposed on his band. Rev Dan’s outspoken ways has gotten him and his wife banned from several churches. He places his hopes into his ragtag band of colored orphans anticipating they can open some charitable doors. Filled with optimism, Sweetee throws her lot in with the group and under Reverend Dan’s management travels from church-to-church attempting to eke out a living.

Cheated and often broke, Reverend Dan has difficulty coming up with train fare to get the band from town-to-town, until one day Sweetee and the band of musical orphans make the acquaintance of a streetwise, fast talking, happy-go-lucky talent named Cat Jones played by Jelani Alladin who shows the band the ways of the road. Cat joins the band imploring them to get off the church circuit and start playing and singing money-making popular feel-good music to the consternation of Rev. Dan. It wasn’t long before Dan and Cat clash.

The band starts doing well with the new music under the tutelage of Cat but when Rev Dan books them for a church gig in NY, the band is divided. Sweetee is torn between her loyalty to Rev Dan and her love for Cat. She feels a responsibility to Dan so accompanies him to her hometown as a singer and then New York, frightened the entire time her traveling with a white man through the South could get them both lynched.

Some of the musical numbers consist of: “Amazing Grace,” “Nothing Comes Easy,” “Dream Big,” and “This Little Light of Mine.” The show music is feel good music: uplifting, foot-tapping and joyous. The cast, consisting of Cedric Cannon whose baritone is a delight to hear; Katy Blake, Adante Carter, Hugh Cha, Dave Droxler, Morgan Siobhan Green, Amir Royale, and Katherine Weber. All of whom make “Sweetee” a pleasant theatrical experience.

“Sweetee” has a two week run and ends June 18. This is a play of picking oneself up by their bootstraps and despite hardships fulfilling dreams. “Sweetee” leaves the audience wanting more. Get your tickets now!!!


Deardra Shuler has experience in theatre, music, concert promotion, television and publishing. She was affiliated with the Negro Ensemble Company and is a former manager of the children’s theatre,”TADA.”

Deardra Shuler

She has produced and promoted concerts in Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, and Radio City Music Hall.  Ms. Shuler is the former Editor and Managing Editor of three New York City minority newspapers. Presently, she is the Entertainment Editor of The Black Star News. As a freelance writer she writes for several New York City newspapers; including the Examiner, Amsterdam News and EURweb.  Deardra has a column in California and is the former PR chairman for the FESPACO film festival in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, Africa.  She is presently program manager for where she also hosts her own show “Topically Yours.”



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*Cleveland Cavaliers player J.R. Smith is denying that he sent a tweet following Game 3 of the NBA Finals that read, “Cavs in 7.”

The tweet appeared to signal his confidence that the Cavs will win the next four games to take home another NBA championship over the Golden State Warriors, but some fans felt the timing of it – minutes after losing 118-113 – was way too soon.

The tweet was eventually deleted from Smith’s timeline and the player has since denied even sending out the declaration.

He tells, “I got out of the shower and my phone was buzzing. I did not tweet that. I’m smarter than that.” And while many NBA spectators thought it was too much, it did give high hopes for Cavs fans who fell to a dead silence in the last final minutes of Wednesday night’s game.

“I do believe, but I didn’t tweet that,” he told the outlet. “I would be much smarter than that than to tweet that at literally 12:04, right after the game.”

Game 4 of the finals is Friday at 6 p.m. in Cleveland.

Brandy Flaunts New Boyfriend

IMG_1737*Brandy has a new boyfriend that she wants all of us to see.

The singer-actress took to Instagram with pics of herself boo’d up with Sir the Baptist, a rapper and preacher’s kid from Chicago whose government name is William James Stokes.

His name suggests he could be a Christian rapper, but in an interview with Essence, the artist says he aims to be the “connecting piece between our spirituality and our day-to-day world.”

He told of his moniker:

My dad was a pastor of a Baptist church that ultimately became a Pentecostal church. So I wanted to reference where I came from. Names come from places, time, and people’s lives. Also, John The Baptist was the forerunner for Jesus Christ. Everybody knows Jesus Christ, but not many people know about John The Baptist. The one thing about John The Baptist is that he’s this voice crying out in the wilderness. Being an artist out of Chiraq, I feel like it’s the wilderness. I wanted to be that voice of reason in a place that’s a little disturbed.






Tony Nominations: 9 Biggest Snubs and Surprises


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Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet


MAY 2, 2017 | 09:42AM PT

With a crowded field of contenders and no clear frontrunner, Broadway’s busy 2016-17 season was packed with potential for the Tony nominations. But with so much competition for so few slots, there were bound to be disappointments — not to mention a few impromptu celebrations. Who surprised? Who got snubbed? Here are nine big ones.

SURPRISE: “Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812”
Dave Malloy’s quirky electropop opera had long been expected to do well with the nominations — just not so well that it would rack up a dozen noms, outpacing obvious favorites “Hello, Dolly!” and “Dear Evan Hansen.” The show’s nominations for new musical and score seemed assured, as did directing and design nods, but a nom for the book wasn’t a shoo-in, and it wasn’t clear how many of the cast members would make the cut in acting categories. Even topliner Josh Groban wasn’t a sure thing, since his title role of Pierre is an odd, retiring one, playing a major part in the proceedings (and singing a couple of big, notable songs) but lurking in the background for a lot of the show. Despite all that, the idiosyncratic show took the lead — thereby lending the musical a promotional boost that could help at the box office once it’s big-draw star, Groban, finishes off his stint in the show in July.

SNUB: “War Paint”
The compelling real-life story of dueling cosmetics titans, “War Paint” comes from a formidable team: songwriters Scott Frankel and Michael Korie, whose “Grey Gardens” was a Tony contender in 2007; Pulitzer and Tony-winning playwright Doug Wright (“I Am My Own Wife,” “Grey Gardens”) and “Dear Evan Hansen” director Michael Greif (“Rent,” “Next to Normal”). In another, less crowded season, the show would have vied for a lot more awards. But this year, with the best musical category sticking at four (rather than a possible five), “War Paint” was left out of the big race, as well as competitions for score and book (which went to the new musical nominees). “War Paint” claimed the two noms of which it was assured — acting nods for Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole — plus design slots for a set (David Korins) and costumes (Catherine Zuber).

SURPRISE: Denée Benton and Eva Noblezada
Both Benton (“Great Comet”) and Noblezada (“Miss Saigon”) had been tipped as possibilities for the lead actress race alongside sure-things LuPone, Ebersole, and Bette Midler (“Hello, Dolly!”). But the thinking in the industry was that at least one of the two open slots, if not both, would go to faves from previous seasons, Laura Osnes (“Bandstand”) and Phillipa Soo (“Amelie”). Instead, nominators chose two newcomers, making head-turning Broadway debuts, to round out the race.

SNUB: “Sunset Boulevard”
The biggest award contender for the current revival of “Sunset Boulevard,” Glenn Close, wasn’t even eligible since she’s reprising a role for which she’s already won a Tony. But the strong-selling staging was also left out of the mix for musical revival when nominators opted to reduce the category from four to three titles. The production was shut out of the nominations entirely.

SURPRISE: Cast sweeps
It’s no secret that the four-actor ensemble of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” is uniformly strong, with Laurie Metcalf, Chris Cooper, Jayne Houdyshell, and Condola Rashad each giving distinct, memorable performances in Lucas Hnath’s best play nominee. Still, it’s a pleasant surprise to see all four of them snag nominations. Ditto the most prominent players in the now-closed “Falsettos” revival, with Christian Borle up for lead actor and Andrew Rannells, Stephanie J. Block, and Brandon Uranowitz in the mix in feature races.

NUB: Allison Janney, Mark Ruffalo, and Gideon Glick
Janney, who was a well-liked stage actor before she was an Emmy winner, is a favorite in the theater community, and she’s perfectly cast in “Six Degrees of Separation,” playing the role originated by Stockard Channing. She seemed a shoo-in for an acting nod. Among lead actors, Ruffalo, as the central character in “The Price,” and Glick, playing the charming wallflower who is the protagonist of play “Significant Other,” seemed likely to be celebrating this morning, too. But neither they nor Janney made the cut in formidable fields. The slots for lead actress in a play, for instance, went to five other notable names: Cate Blanchett, Sally Field, Jennifer Ehle, Laura Linney, and Metcalf.

SURPRISE: Dennis Arndt for “Heisenberg”
Simon Stephens’ quirky play “Heisenberg” was almost a stealth candidate this season: The Broadway production opened way back in the fall, and it was the transfer of a show that many in the industry had seen back when it played Off Broadway. Still, both its actors, Tony winner Mary-Louise Parker and Arndt, earned raves in the tale of an unlikely May-December sorta-romance. Nominators made a point of remembering Arndt, the veteran actor who made his Broadway debut in the Manhattan Theater Club production.

SNUB: “Anastasia”
When a five-nominee race for best musical seemed a possibility, “Anastasia” looked like a real contender for that fifth slot. It’s shaped up into a strong earner at the box office, drawing on an unexpectedly broad fanbase, and it comes from a team of Broadway veterans including songwriters Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (“Ragtime”), playwright Terrence McNally (“Love! Valour! Compassion!”), and director Darko Tresnjak (“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder”). Lead actress Christy Altomare also seemed to have a shot at the lead actress. But nominators made other picks, and the show emerged with two noms, one for featured actress Mary Beth Peil and the other for costume designer Linda Cho.

SNUB: “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
It’s not that “Charlie” had been expected to do well with the nominators in a season jam-packed with new musicals. But it nonetheless seems significant that the high-profile and large-scale musical, a big bet by Warner Bros. Theater Ventures, was shut out completely. (Its lead actor, Borle, did get a nomination — but did it for his performance in another show, “Falsettos.”) On the other hand, “Charlie” probably doesn’t need the awards season love. The title alone is one of the strongest around, and the musical’s box office has only grown in the weeks since it’s started performances.

The 71st Tony Awards will be handed out in a June 11 ceremony emceed by Kevin Spacey at Radio City Music Hall.


SAG-AFTRA to Cover Performers at Billboard Latin Music Awards


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SAG-AFTRA has reached an agreement to cover performers at the 2017 Billboard Latin Music Awards.

The nationally broadcast award show will air live on the Telemundo network on April 27 and is produced by CMS Productions. The union made the announcement Wednesday.

“This is another historic moment for Spanish-language performers,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “Successfully organizing the Billboard Latin Music Awards would not have been possible without the success of the Telemundo performers. This victory is another step in SAG-AFTRA’s efforts to organize throughout the Spanish-language media industries. We look forward to working with Telemundo again to positively impact Spanish speaking performers’ lives.”

In March, Telemundo’s telenovela performers voted  to join SAG-AFTRA following a successful organizing campaign. The Billboard Latin Music Awards contract will cover performers including members of the Miami-based professional dance community, which has also been organizing to improve conditions on Spanish-language television shows. The agreement also marks the first time that any Spanish-language awards show has been covered in Miami.

In 2016, SAG-AFTRA successfully organized Telemundo’s Latin American Music Awards in Los Angeles. The Latin Grammy Awards, broadcast on Univision and produced in Las Vegas, has been organized for years.

“This moment highlights why it’s important for the creative community to come together,” said SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director David White. “When performers unite, they can create change in an entire industry. I am proud of our Spanish-language performers and am excited to work closely with Telemundo.”

Provided by Film Reporter@Variety_DMcNary





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EuropaCorp and STXfilms announce an intimate Fireside Chat today, April 24, for the highly-anticipated EuropaCorp thriller The Circle, based on Dave Eggers’ acclaimed novel. Twitter CEO & Co-Founder Jack Dorsey will join Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Patton Oswalt and screenwriter/director James Ponsoldt to discuss the film and issues related to our modern socially-connected world and technology.
The chat will be livestreamed from The Circle Twitter handle (@WeAreTheCircle) today (April 24) at 11am PT / 2pm ET. The Circle will be released by STXfilms on behalf of EuropaCorp on April 28th.
Using the film’s provocative themes as a jumping off point, the hour-long chat will include topics of discussion such as diversity within the tech industry, leading a tech company, our data-driven world, and the boundaries of privacy online.
The Circle is a gripping modern thriller, starring Emma Watson (“Harry Potter”), Tom Hanks (“Sully”) and John Boyega (“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”). When Mae (Emma Watson) is hired to work for the world’s largest and most powerful tech & social media company, she sees it as an opportunity of a lifetime.  As she rises through the ranks, she is encouraged by the company’s founder, Eamon Bailey (Tom Hanks), to engage in a groundbreaking experiment that pushes the boundaries of privacy, ethics and ultimately her personal freedom. Her participation in the experiment, and every decision she makes begin to affect the lives and future of her friends, family and that of humanity.
The Circle opens this Friday in theaters nationwide. Get Tickets Now: