Aug 27

The History of BET

Black Entertainment Television (BET), headquartered in Washington, D.C. and currently operates under the VIACOM umbrella.   With more than 90 million homes watching worldwide, it is the well-known station targeting African-American viewers.  It is also a leading provider of black American cultural and entertainment based programming, both of original creations, acquired properties and musical presentations.

After stepping down as a lobbyist for the cable industry, Freeport, Illinois native Robert L. Johnson decided to launch his own cable television network. Johnson would soon acquire a loan for $15,000, and earned a $500,000 investment from media executive John Malone to start the network.[3] The network, which was named Black Entertainment Television, launched on January 25, 1980.[4] Initially broadcasting for two hours a week as a block of programming on Nickelodeon (it would not be until 1983 that BET became a full-fledged channel), the network’s lineup consisted of music videos and reruns of popular black sitcoms.  (from Wikipedia)

BET has gained popularity with its’ vast black audience, but has faced a number of major African Americans critics such as syndicated columnist George Curry, cartoonist and television producer Aaron McGruder, movie director  and producer Spike Lee, and former Syracuse University professor Boyce Watkins. These critics and others denounced BET’s programming, claiming it promoted sexism and anti-intellectualism.

They also argued that showing rap and hip hop-oriented programming along with comedy programs either intentionally or inadvertently promoted anti-black stereotypes. BET founder Richard Johnson and Viacom executives claimed they were providing the programming the market demanded. In 2008 a number of prominent black ministers (“Enough is Enough”) publicly protested BET programming choices outside the network’s headquarters.

Enough is Enough supported a 2008 report “The Rap on Rap” by the Parents Television Council that argued that BET’s rap programming, which they believed contained gratuitous sexual, violent and profane content, was targeting children and teens.

The controversy continued in 2010, when BET co-founder Sheila Johnson said she is “ashamed” of what the network has become. “I don’t watch it. I suggest to my kids that they don’t watch it,” she said. “When we started BET, it was going to be the Ebony magazine on television. We had public affairs programming. We had news.

The criticism has not impacted the growth and acceptance of BET and the various shows and programs they have created.  In 2013, it is reported that 79.82% of households with television receive the BET network.  However, there is no information available as to what percentage of those households chose to get the network, or receive the network as part of a larger cable package.

According to the sales material, “BET provides contemporary entertainment that speaks to young Black adults from an authentic, unapologetic viewpoint of the Black experience. BET connects with its target audience in a way no other media outlet can providing hit music, entertainment and news programming that is reflective of their experiences.  Our outstanding mega-specials keep viewers regularly tuned in for the latest and greatest in Black entertainment.”

Aug 28

On TV this fall: ‘The Exorcist,’ ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘Westworld’ – Kansas City Star

In the fall TV season, everything old is new again … again.

Network execs still believe you want to watch new versions of vaguely remembered or nearly forgotten TV shows and movies.

And while such efforts can yield creative new endeavors, for every reimagined “Battlestar Galactica” there’s a failed remake of “Bionic Woman,” Knight Rider” or “Charlie’s Angels.”

Last season CBS stumbled with since-canceled TV adaptations of the films “Limitless” and “Rush Hour,” but the network will try again with a reboot of ’80s action series “MacGyver” (Sept. 23) and its midseason re-do of the 2001 film “Training Day.”

Fox brings back “24” with a new lead character in midseason’s “24: Legacy,” and this fall the network adapts the 1987 movie “Lethal Weapon” (Sept. 21) for TV with Clayne Crawford (“Rectify”) and Damon Wayans (“In Living Color”) replacing Mel Gibson and Danny Glover.

The CW revisits the less popular 2000 movie “Frequency” (Oct. 5); HBO reimagines malfunctioning amusement park robots in “Westworld” (Oct. 2), inspired by the 1973 movie.

While it’s dangerous to judge any series by its pilot episode, Fox may have the best hope for success with its sequel to 1973’s box office hit “The Exorcist” (Sept. 23). Jeremy Slater, showrunner of Fox’s “The Exorcist,” seems to have a good grasp on the show he’s making.

“The only way you can succeed is by doing something new and telling a new story with new characters and hoping audiences will fall in love and will respond to this new story the way audiences did with the original,” Slater said earlier this month at a Fox press conference during the Television Critics Association summer 2016 press tour.

The pilot, written by Slater and directed by Rupert Wyatt (“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”), introduces a Chicago priest, Father Tomas Ortega (Alfonso Herrera), who teams with an experienced exorcist, Father Marcus Keane (Ben Daniels, “Flesh and Bone”), to help Angela (Geena Davis, “Thelma & Louise”) and Henry Rance (Alan Ruck, “Spin City”) who face a demonic presence in their home.

Slater cited “Lost,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “The X-Files” and “Breaking Bad” as key influences as he makes his first foray into series television.

“People won’t tune in week after week just for scares,” he said. “We have plenty of big plot twists coming up this season, but at the end of the day, it’s always going to be a show about a family in trouble and the two priests that are brought in to help them. And if the audience doesn’t care about that, we haven’t done our job.”

The pilot features nods to the original “Exorcist,” including use of the song “Tubular Bells” and references to events in the film.

“As a horror fan, nothing infuriates me faster than a remake that comes along and says, ‘The movie that you love no longer exists. The story that you were invested in is getting wiped out of history.’ It was important to let everyone know that this is a continuation of an existing story,” Slater said, noting that the Fox series begins to build its own mythology.

“It was important to start laying in bread crumbs right from the beginning, start introducing our Dharma Initiative, our bad guys who are out there. … The basic idea is that this time around, evil has grander ambitions than just targeting one 8-year-old girl in Georgetown. Evil has a plan.”

More highlights

These programs show the most promise on fall TV:

▪ “Designated Survivor” (Sept. 21, ABC): Kiefer Sutherland returns, but not as Jack Bauer on “24.” This time he’s playing a low-level Cabinet secretary who becomes U.S. president after a terror attack during the State of the Union Address. He’s an apolitical everyman who must navigate the political crisis that ensues.

▪ “The Good Place” (previews Sept. 19, then moves to its regular night Sept. 22, NBC): Kristen Bell plays a woman who should have gone to hell but due to an error gets sent to heaven, aka “the good place.” There she’s mentored (by Ted Danson) and encounters a bounty of weirdness in this series from the co-creator of “Parks and Recreation.”

▪ “Great Performances: Hamilton’s America” (Oct. 21, PBS): Can’t get a ticket to the Broadway show in New York? This documentary special may be your best bet. Filmmaker Alex Horwitz follows “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda as he develops the musical. The film focuses on the history of Alexander Hamilton and the creative process and shows scenes from the musical.

▪ “Insecure” (Oct. 9, HBO): Issa Rae, star of the web series “Awkward Black Girl,” moves up to premium cable in this comedy about young African-American women who struggle with uncomfortable — one might say, awkward — experiences. “Insecure” forgoes the strong, confident style of “Scandal’s” Olivia Pope in favor of Rae’s exploration of social and racial issues through a more flawed lens.

▪ “This Is Us” (Sept. 20, NBC): Characters who seem to have no connection struggle and succeed in their daily lives, including a couple awaiting the birth of triplets; a Hollywood actor on a lousy sitcom and his overweight sister; and a financial titan in New York trying to meet his biological father.

More new shows (by premiere date):

▪ “Harley and the Davidsons” (Sept. 5, 6, 7, Discovery Channel): Historical miniseries about the founding of the motorcycle manufacturer.

▪ “Loosely Exactly Nicole” (Sept. 5, MTV): Young woman tries to make it in Hollywood.

▪ “Son of Zorn” (Sept. 11, Fox): Hybrid live-action, animated comedy follows a He-Man-like cartoon warrior (voice of Jason Sudeikis) who visits his son and human ex-wife (Cheryl Hines) in Southern California

▪ “Kevin Can Wait” (Sept. 19, CBS): Kevin James is back on CBS as a retired cop.

▪ “Bull” (Sept. 20, CBS): Michael Weatherly plays a character inspired by a younger version of Dr. Phil McGraw when he ran a jury consulting business.

▪ “Speechless” (Sept. 21, ABC): Minnie Driver stars as the mother of a special needs son.

▪ “Notorious” (Sept. 22, ABC): A high-profile criminal defense attorney (Daniel Sunjata) colludes with a cable news producer (Piper Perabo).

▪ “Pitch” (Sept. 22, Fox): Fictional drama about the first female Major League Baseball pitcher.

▪ “Conviction” (Oct. 3, ABC): A former U.S. president’s daughter (Hayley Atwell) leads New York’s Conviction Integrity Unit exploring claims of innocence by people who have been convicted of crimes.

▪ “Timeless” (Oct. 3, NBC): Time travelers try to stop a villain from changing history.

▪ “No Tomorrow” (Oct. 4, the CW): Hippie (Joshua Sasse, “Galavant”) believes the apocalypse will arrive in eight months.

▪ “Divorce” (Oct. 9, HBO): Sarah Jessica Parker stars as a woman getting a divorce.

▪ “American Housewife” (Oct. 11, ABC): Sitcom focused on a housewife (Katy Mixon) in suburbia.

▪ “Man With a Plan” (Oct. 24, CBS): Matt LeBlanc plays a family man whose wife goes back to work.

▪ “The Great Indoors” (Oct. 27, CBS): “Community” star Joel McHale leads the cast of this multicam sitcom set in an outdoors magazine office.

▪ “Pure Genius” (Oct. 27, CBS): Tech genius (Augustus Prew) opens a hospital in Silicon Valley.

▪ “People of Earth” (Oct. 31, TBS): Alien abduction support group comedy from Greg Daniels (“The Office”).

▪ “Stan Against Evil” (Nov. 2, IFC): A former sheriff (John C. McGinley, “Scrubs”) teams with a new sheriff to fight evil in a quaint New England town.

▪ “Good Behavior” (Nov. 15, TNT): Michelle Dockery (“Downton Abbey”) ditches her genteel demeanor as Mary Crawley to play a drug addict con artist.

Aug 26

Youthful Thug Reached New Heights Together with his ‘Jeffery’ Cover

The mixtape features the rapper in an unconventional outfit.

Aug 25

OK! Magazine Thinks Todrick Hall Is Taylor Swift’s Man

How could they be more wrong?

Aug 25

Disney’s first black animator looks in the incisive doc ‘Floyd Norman: An Animated Life’ – Los Angeles Occasions

Like the guy himself, “Floyd Norman: An Animated Life” is genial on the surface but lets us go a little deeper into an unusual life than we might possess expected.

Now over 80, Norman is a genuine leader, the first black artist hired by The disney produtcions. He is, as documentary directors Michael Fiore and Erik Sharkey put it, some a Forrest Gump of the animation entire world, present at all kinds of key moments, from the original “Jungle Book” to “Toy Story 2, ” given that he was employed by the facility in 1956.

Norman comes off because warm and unaffected, but there exists a bite to his wry spontaneity, complexities that can be sensed underneath his easygoing smile.

“He has a way of looking outside themself, ” says his wife plus Disney employee Adrienne Brown-Norman. “It’s almost like he stands outside his body. ”

Norman has driven their wife to work at Disney each day for the last 15 years but has not turned around and gone home. He is refused to let the fact that he no longer works at the place — he was let go when he has been 65 — stop him from carrying out what employees have come to call “Floydering, ” a kind of creative loitering/kibbitzing in the Disney offices.

Rather than being bitter at their termination, Norman’s found a solution that still allows him to participate in a world he loves. “I no longer see a 79-year-old man, ” says “Beauty and the Beast” co-director Whilst gary Trousdale, “I see a kid who seem to loves cartoons. ”

Trousdale is one of a number of animators who talk about Norman and his work, and “An Animated Life” is almost as much about how the feature animation process functions as it is about the musician himself.

Norman was raised in Santa Barbara, in an environment so free of overt racism that will Brown-Norman says its existence amazed him when he first visited relatives in the deep South.

When, at age 6, Grettle saw “Dumbo” at Santa Barbara’s classic movie palace the Arlington, he knew animation would be his life, and when his dad stated the Disney studio from the loved ones car, he knew that was the area he wanted to be.

Norman caught a break in senior high school when he got a part-time job with Bill Woggon inking the nationally syndicated Katy Keene comic books. When Disney employed him, he points out, being a leader was not on his mind: “I has been just another artist looking for a job. inch

One of the pleasures of “An Animated Life” is listening to Norman, who ended up in the studio’s story department, recall what it was just like working with Disney the individual, not the distant corporation.

“It was cool to be in the room along with Walt as long as he didn’t place you, ” he says of the hands-on leader. “He’d look at something plus say, ‘That’s not funny, try it again. I don’t like it. ‘”

When Disney died unexpectedly in 1966, Norman ended up causing the company for a time to try other things. It was, Brown-Norman says, like losing the father: “There was nobody remaining to please. ”

Norman and fellow animator Leo Sullivan founded Vignette Films, which among other things did ahead-of-its-time short films for high schools on African-American figures like Booker T. Wa and George Washington Carver.

The variety of projects Norman had been part of, both outside Disney so when he returned, make quite a checklist. He worked on the original 1969 “Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert” television special, did a stint with Hanna-Barbera, wrote the Mickey Mouse daily and Sunday amusing strip for six years, also designed the animated logo for “Soul Train. ”

All this work took a cost on Norman’s personal life, because interviews with his first wife plus their children point out. And second wife Brown-Norman also provides a candid take a look at their unconventional courtship.

Though Norman is devoted to his work, you also sense from your pet the absence of ego that is necessary to be part of the trial-and-error feature animation procedure. “What we do is not long lasting, ” the animator says of his own individual efforts. “What will be permanent comes from many, many, a lot of tries. ”


No MPAA rating

Running time: one hour, 34 minutes

Laemmle’s NoHo, North Hollywood

“Floyd Norman: An Animated Life. ” An informative documentary on the Africa American animation pioneer who worked on everything from the initial “Jungle Book” to “Toy Story 2” since he was employed by Disney in 1956. : Kenneth Turan

See the most-read stories in Entertainment this hour »

Aug 23

Why there’s no Heterosexual White Guy Pride Festival – Charlotte Observer

The tweet came Sunday afternoon from a guy named Rob up in Denver.

“Heterosexual Pride Day, White History Month, or a Men’s Rights movement would be ridiculous. So is today’s Pride festival.”

The tweet actually began with “@Clublama” which, so you understand if you’re not on Twitter, means Rob intended the message first and foremost for me. I get a lot of Tweets like that, as do many media types, especially those who play in the arena of opinion. We say snappy, quippy things about what’s going on, so listeners, readers, or viewers often want to direct their snappy, quippy things to us.

So first, Thank You, Rob, for thinking of sending your snappy quip to me. As it happens, I’ve heard that one before. A few thousand times, along with sibling snappy quips such as:

– Think we could get away with having a White Miss America pageant?”

– When are they having the Heterosexual Alliance Against Defamation awards?”


– How come nobody sings, “I am Man, hear me roar”?

Yes, I’ve actually been asked that last one.

These proclamations are often made in ways that reveal the speaker or tweeter is pretty sure they’re the first to ever make the declaration. But, no. Downtrodden straight white guys have pined this particular persecution for a while.

I specifically remember it filling my email and flooding my phone lines in 2004 when the NBA awarded an olive branch franchise in Charlotte to Bob Johnson, billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television. A blessing, that Twitter hadn’t yet been born.

The heterosexual male white elephant in the room of Rob’s argument is this: Virtually all our history had been about whites. Historically, virtually all rights had belonged to men. Homosexuals could be and do virtually anything they wanted as long as they kept the “homo” part of their history to themselves. Or at least had a good cover.

There was no fight to be the first white President, baseball player, or Miss America. Men did not have to fight to be the first male Senator, stock car driver, or network executive. Heterosexuals did not have to fight for the right to simply be.

And blacks, women, and gays are hardly the first groups to express recognition of themselves in some way. We celebrate Columbus for Italians and St. Patrick for the Irish. There are Leif Erikson Days and Casimir Pulaski Days. We mark holidays for Christians, and holidays for Jews. We even have days for Groundhogs and Fools.

I’ll admit the Pride festival, while I support it, can seem a little silly at times. Ten years ago I was riding a motorcycle in Chicago when I found myself behind a trailer on which were riding fifteen guys in pink jockey shorts and nothing else. I had ridden near where the Pride parade was gathering, and though I’m happy for them that they were “out, loud, and proud” – fifteen guys rolling down the street in pink tightie whities is ridiculous.

The fact is, Rob, there’s never been a Heterosexual Pride Day, White History Month, or Men’s Rights movement because the overwhelming, secure, controlling majority that is heterosexual white men has never needed special days or recognition.

Every day has been ours.

Aug 22

Prominent black journalist, publisher George Curry has died – WNEM Saginaw

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – George E. Curry, a journalist, civil rights activist and publisher whose syndicated column ran in hundreds of black-owned newspapers around the United States, has died. He was 69.

Curry, of Laurel, Maryland, died suddenly on Saturday at Washington Adventist Hospital in Takoma Park, Maryland, after he was taken to the emergency room there, his sister, Charlotte Purvis, said Sunday.

Curry’s syndicated column was carried in more than 200 African American-owned newspapers, and he served two stints as editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a news service for black papers.

He also served as editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine in the 1990s, and within the past year, he had been raising money to relaunch Emerge as a digital magazine covering racial injustice and other issues important to the black community. He became the first African-American to be elected president of the American Society of Magazine Editors.

He was a frequent commentator on Black Entertainment Television and on the Rev. Al Sharpton’s radio show.

“I am saddened beyond words upon hearing of the death of George Curry,” Sharpton tweeted Sunday. “He was a giant and trailblazer. RIP.”

A native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Curry graduated from Knoxville College in Tennessee, where he edited the school paper and played football. He worked as a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune.

“George E. Curry was a giant in journalism,” Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement. “He stood on the front lines of the civil rights era and used his voice to tell our stories when others would not.”

While at Emerge, he led a four-year campaign to win the release of Kemba Smith, a woman sentenced to 24 years in prison for her minor role in a drug ring. Emerge ran a cover story on Smith in 1996 called “Kemba’s Nightmare.” President Bill Clinton pardoned Smith in 2000.

In addition to his sister, Curry is survived by his son, Edward Curry, and granddaughter, Neyah Curry.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Aug 21

Kim Kardashian’s Twerking Has Improved Over the Years

Someone’s been practicing.

Aug 20

Benzino’s Nephew Found Guilty of Shooting Your pet

benzino nephew gai scott convicted shooting

Back in March 2014, Benzino’s nephew, Gai Scott, shot him during his mother’s funeral procession in Massachusetts. Zino suffered non-life threatening wounds to his make and back.

Gai was arrested and has finally already been found guilty of assault and battery power with a dangerous weapon. He has been cleared of the more serious charge associated with armed assault with the intent to killing.

Police say each men were in moving vehicles on their way to Plymouth church for your funeral when Gai opened open fire.

He is looking at as much as 10 years behind bars, and his sentencing is scheduled for August twenty six.

Crazy azz family feud!

Aug 20

Poor Donald Runs For Black Include – Huffington Post

Currently polling from one percent of the African-American election and with so few days left before November 8th, why on earth is certainly Trump looking for black support ? Even if he were to move the needle slightly, the numbers wouldn’t come close to searching himself out of the hole in which he currently finds himself.

Yes, I’m sure he’s hurt and a bit disappointed which he is on track to get the lowest percent of the black vote since Robert E. Lee. Who can blame him? He’s a reality TV star as well as the first lesson in TV is get a cool black friend to exhibit how cool you are. Trump’s only got Omarosa.

Obviously Trump doesn’t give a damn about the black vote. But he or she does care very much about the non-racist white working and middle course vote.

From the moment he politicized his entertainment persona by becoming the particular figurehead of the “First African-American-President-Is-Really-an-African-Born Muslim Movement, ” he threw their lot in with what is called the “alt-right” (if by “alt” you indicate white supremacist/ Neo Nazi /truther/militia nutballs). He is happily and explicitly anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant and the best predicator for identifying a Trump supporter is their fondness for the n-word . So no, black folks, whether we have anything to lose or not, will not throw our lot in with a guy who’s biggest fan is Jesse Duke.

Since no other explicitly whitened nationalist candidate has ever made it this far (sorry Pat Buchanan and George Wallace), Trump discovers himself in uncharted, choppy oceans. He had the hardcore white racist vote at hello, and for now he’s still hanging on to the “racist adjacent: ” non-racist whites ready to rationalize or overlook his sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant dictates.

But they have only dawning on him since there aren’t enough of them to place him in the White House.

Trump desperately needs to win back white voters who were once understandably drawn to his projected strength and perceived focus on their issues, but who, more and more, have been unsettled by his inconsistent behavior and intemperate ugliness. After all, who wants to vote for an asshole? Would not that make you an asshole your self?

So of course his recent lips service to African-Americans isn’t actually for African-Americans.

It’s whites that he needs to persuade he’s not a racist. He simply plays one on TV.

This Blogger’s Books and Other Items from…

Aug 19

The Barack Obama Mixtape You Constantly Wanted Is Here

Obtain down with another POTUS playlist.

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