Brazilian Production of ‘The Lion King’ Sought Black Actors, but Finalists Are Spray Tanned Whites


I don’t mean to beat a Brazilian Horse, but it looks like our neighbors to the south are at it again. On the heels of an article we shared this week about Globo TV airing a show about a white woman who “becomes” black by painting herself brown and donning an afro wig in order to sleep with a black man, the wonderful blog Black Women in Brazil shared another troubling story about the casting of the Brazilian production of The Lion King. While producers of the show, O Rei Leão (The Lion King), supposedly put out a casting call for black and/or brown children to play the lead roles of Simba and Nala, the finalists for the roles are reportedly white children who are artificially tanning their skin to fit the characters’ description.

A Brazilian newspaper, Folha de S.Paulo, reports:

The production of the Disney musical O Rei Leão (The Lion King) sought black or brown children to play the protagonists Simba and Nala in the Brazilian edition, which debuts in March. But most of the child actors in the final phase of auditions are white. Two finalists declared to the Folha news column that they are using tanning spray to darken their skin to suit the production. The T4F company, which is assembling the show, says it didn’t recommend the procedure to applicants. In American and English versions of the show, the protagonists are black.

It’s hard to imagine the producers of the show could not find any black or brown children to cast as Simba and Nala considering Brazil has the largest population of African-descended people outside of Nigeria.

But I guess it makes sense. Despite the country’s diversity, darker skinned Brazilians are almost always absent from TV and in the media, so it’s no surprise that the show’s producers would end up casting white actors to play roles traditionally held by actors of color.

Interestingly enough, the blog Black Women of Brazil (BWB) also said a production of The Color Purple was said to be heading to the country, but it’s apparently running into problems. The show, which would need an all-black cast, is having trouble securing funding from investors who are unsure if Brazilian audiences will pay to see an all-black show. Gatas Negras of BWB laments, “I guess that’s just how things go in a “racial democracy,” where race is not allegedly a problem…except when you’re black. [SOURCE]

Fantasia Goes Off: ‘The World Is Gone Mad’

Has everyone “gone mad?” Fantasia had a moment on Instagram Sunday night while addressing those who have “judged” her and said she will rise above everything, even the government and “the church house,” that have gone mad too…”I Rise ABOVE IT ALL!!! THE WORLD IS GONE MAD. KIDS, THE GOVERMENT, THE church House… Everybody Trying!!!!!!! Its a lot that going on that the Bible speaks about we should Not be doing. Weed legal in some places, Gay Marriage Legal BUT YET IM JUDGED!!! Im not doing Nothing for you… My Life!!!!” — Fantasia.
Pause… let that settle in.
While the talented vocalist might have a point in some areas, was all of that necessary? You’re mad about being judged, but then you turn around and judge others? In related news, Fantasia has been busy working on a new album, which is a follow up to her well received 2010 effort “Back To Me.” That album led her to win a Grammy (“Bittersweet”). Hopefully, this new project will lead to another win.
Fantasia is also slated to appear during the annual pre-Super Bowl Gospel celebration concert in New Orleans (in February).

Read more:


Screen shot 2012-12-29

Animal Planet’s annual Puppy Bowl, held simultaneously during the Super Bowl halftime show, is going to have some serious competition this year: Beyonce. The “Love on Top” singer is incorporating her recent mega-million dollar endorsement with Pepsi and her upcoming Super Bowl halftime show into one giant fan-loving commercial-slash-performance. Let us explain… Beyonce and Pepsi, who is the official sponsor of this year’s halftime show, want fans to send in photos of themselves channeling their inner Sasha Fierce. They are requesting pictures of people shouting with their shades on and other various poses for an “on air introduction” aka commercial that will segue into Queen B’s halftime show. 50 lucky fans, who get their photos in by Jan. 11, will be picked to join her on the field as she performs from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, La. during Super Bowl 47.

“You could be seen by million on TV in the Super Bowl Halftime show opener!” the contest’s tagline reads. If that’s your thing, you have until Jan. 21 to submit your photo here. Good luck.


eyeballA homeless man who didn’t know he was the heir to an almost $300 million dollar fortune has passed away. The body of Timothy Henry Gray, 60, was found under a railroad pass in Wyoming Thursday night (Dec. 27). The coroner said he died of hypothermia (the low temperature that day was 10 degrees) before discovering he was the long lost relative of reclusive heiress Huguette Clark.

NBC News reports:

Children sledding found the body of Timothy Henry Gray, 60, Thursday afternoon in Evanston, a small mining town in southwestern Wyoming near the Utah border. The coroner said it appeared he died of hypothermia. The low temperature that day was 10 degrees, and had hit zero in the previous week. Lt. Bill Jeffers of the Evanston Police Department said there was no evidence of foul play, and Gray was wearing a light jacket. Gray’s siblings said they hadn’t heard from him since their mother’s funeral in 1990, when he disappeared without a word. It wasn’t clear whether Gray was living under the overpass, where transients have been known to camp. Tim Gray was an adopted great-grandson of former U.S. Sen. William Andrews Clark, known as one of the copper kings of Montana, a banker, a builder of railroads and the founder of Las Vegas. The senator’s youngest daughter, Huguette Clark, was a recluse who died in 2011 in New York City at age 104, after living in hospitals for 20 years while her palatial homes sat unused. Gray was her half great-nephew.

Read the full story here.


Jay-Z and Coldplay co-headlined the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last night, and rang in 2013 together. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin sang “Auld Lang Syne” as balloons showered the audience. (Martin’s kids and wife Gwenyth Paltrow can be seen in the video celebrating from the stage, as well.) Jay-Z and the band then went straight into “Run This Town,” which they performed together at the closing of the London 2012 Paralympic Games this past summer. In addition to his own set, Jigga man joined Coldplay for their collaboration “Lost+” earlier in the evening. Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Taylor Swift and One Direction’s Harry Styles were also at the house that Hov built for the NYE festivities.

Morning News Headlines 01.01.13

Excess-profits tax on contractors during wartime is long overdue
FINE PRINT | For the new year, a radical national security idea that should have happened years ago.
(, The Washington Post)
Hillary Clinton’s blood clot in her skull, doctors say.
The secretary of State did not sustain a stroke or neurological damage, her spokesman said late Monday.
( by David Brown and Anne Gearan , The Washington Post)
Exercise DVDs for the new year offer ways to lose weight and get fit
Also: AARP magazine suggests tips for caregivers coping with their stressed lives.
(, The Washington Post)
How to recover from surgery faster
Wise patients know what to expect in the hospital, use painkillers wisely and plan for after-discharge care.
( by Consumers Union of United States , The Washington Post)
An antibiotic didn’t help get rid of a lower respiratory tract infection
Study of 2,000 adults finds that amoxicillin didn’t work any better than a placebo.
(, The Washington Post)
More National: Breaking National News & Headlines – Washington Post

Prince William motorcycle officer dies in collision
Officer Chris Yung, 35, was killed in Manassas while responding to a call.
( by Jeremy Borden , The Washington Post)

WWI-era Navy mine ‘rendered safe’
Authorities detonate an unexploded Navy mine dating to World War I found in St. Mary’s County.
( by Martin Weil , The Washington Post)
Metro police announcement is white noise to some riders
The Metro Transit Police chief’s voice accompanies countless Metro rides, but are riders listening?
( by Mark Berman , The Washington Post)
Homicides decrease in Washington region
The District recorded 88 killings in 2012, down from 108 in 2011.
( by Allison Klein , The Washington Post)
Odd bills back on agenda for Va. lawmakers
Legislative proposals often reflect constituents’ concerns back home
( by Errin Haines , The Washington Post)
More Post Local: Washington, DC Area News, Traffic, Weather, Sports & More – The Washington Post

Helping VA rehabilitate those with multiple wounds of war
Micaela Cornis-Pop oversees more than 110 rehabilitation facilities around the country, helping the VA stay at the forefront of developments in treating traumatic brain injury and other medical issues facing injured veterans.
( by The Partnership for Public Service , The Washington Post)
After a ‘cliff’ deal, what next?
The accord would set the stage for more discord between Obama and congressional Republicans.
( by Rosalind S. Helderman , The Washington Post)
It’s Biden, McConnell to the rescue once again
Vice president, Senate minority leader struck late deals in 2010 tax-cut fight, 2011 debt-ceiling crisis.
( by David A. Fahrenthold and Ed O’Keefe , The Washington Post)
Odd bills back on agenda for Va. lawmakers
Legislative proposals often reflect constituents’ concerns back home
( by Errin Haines , The Washington Post)
New abortion clinic regulations approved by McDonnell
Clinics say strict building codes could put them out of business
( by Laura Vozzella , The Washington Post)
More Post Politics: Breaking Politics News, Political Analysis & More – The Washington Post

Mom worries successful daughter’s boyfriend may be a freeloader
How can Mom come to terms with this relationship?
(, The Washington Post)

‘Watch Night’ services commemorate a turning point for African Americans
On 150th anniversary of Emancipation Proclamation, Fort Washington church rings in new year.
( by Lonnae O’Neal Parker , The Washington Post)
Storm names: Public service or just a lot of hot air?
The Weather Channel defends its practice of naming storms
( by Paul Farhi , The Washington Post)
Mark your calendars, or not: 2013’s weirdest holidays
Some unusual observances in the coming year include National Yo-Yo Day and Get a Different Name Day.
(, The Washington Post)
On ‘Downton Abbey,’ aspic matters
Extensive research goes into the fare shown in the kitchen and on the table in the hit PBS series.
( by Becky Krystal , The Washington Post)
More Style: Culture, Arts, Ideas & More – The Washington Post

Senate approves deal to avoid ‘fiscal cliff’
Bipartisan measure passes 89-8 in rare New Year’s morning vote.
( by Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane , The Washington Post)
Tax increase coming for many Americans
With end of payroll tax holiday, 2013 bill will rise regardless of “fiscal cliff” resolution.
( by Zachary A. Goldfarb , The Washington Post)
White House likes what it sees in possible deal and chance to win battle.
Proposal could raise taxes $600 billion over 10 years, impose few cuts and open door to more gains.
(, The Washington Post)
Amazon apologizes for Christmas Eve outage affecting Netflix
A disruption in Amazon’s cloud-computing services hindered Netflix customers from watching movies.
( by Danielle Kucera Bloomberg News , Bloomberg)
Chavez Suffers Complications After Fourth Cancer Operation
Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez suffered a new setback in his battle against cancer, forcing his vice president and chosen successor to stay on in Cuba as the president struggles to recover from a respiratory infection.
( by Jose Orozco, Corina Pons and Charlie Devereux Bloomberg News , Bloomberg)
More Business News, Financial News, Business Headlines & Analysis – The Washington Post

TV and radio listings: January 1
(, The Washington Post)
For Morris, it’s too good to be believed
COLUMN | Redskins rookie Alfred Morris puts his signature on finale to a Hollywood-script regular season.
(, The Washington Post)
Shanahan might get new offer
Redskins are seriously considering negotiating a contract extension this offseason with their head coach.
( by Mark Maske , The Washington Post)
Hamilton has D.C. pipeline at Stanford
Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton had deep Washington roots, and uses them to give Stanford an edge.
( by Chelsea Janes , The Washington Post)
Wizards get closer to full strength
John Wall and Trevor Ariza return to the practice court, although neither participate in full-contact drills.
( by Michael Lee , The Washington Post)
More Sports: Sports News, Scores, Analysis, Schedules & More – The Washington Post

Tech trends to watch in 2013
What consumer trends will we see in the next year?
( by Hayley Tsukayama , The Washington Post)
Five security resolutions for 2013
Protect yourself before you wreck yourself.
( by Meghan Kelly | ,
Year in Review: Technology
A look at what major tech companies did in 2012.
( by Hayley Tsukayama , The Washington Post)
Why 2012 was the year we started to care about tech policy
If 2012 has taught us anything, it’s that the average, often faceless Internet user’s voice can make a difference like never before.
( by Tom Cheredar | ,
More Technology News – The Washington Post

N. Korea’s Kim says he wants peace with South
Supreme leader calls for détente, but with conditions South Korea’s new president will find difficult to accept.
( by Chico Harlan , The Washington Post)
Excess-profits tax on contractors during wartime is long overdue
FINE PRINT | For the new year, a radical national security idea that should have happened years ago.
(, The Washington Post)
Weeks after truce with Hamas, Israel lets more building materials into Gaza
Limited amount of gravel heads to private construction projects, but Gazans say it’s still not enough.
( by Joel Greenberg , The Washington Post)
Pakistan releases eight Taliban prisoners
Islamabad said it hopes the release will facilitate the peace process in neighboring Afghanistan.
( by Shaiq Hussain , The Washington Post)
Muted New Year’s celebrations in India after gang-rape victim’s death
Many Indians decided not to celebrate the advent of 2013 out of respect for the 23-year-old victim.
( by Rama Lakshmi , The Washington Post)
More World: World News, International News, Foreign Reporting – The Washington Post

The new year
‘Fear itself’: FDR’s words are even more true today.
(, The Washington Post)
Stop the gun madness
The new year is a time for action.
(, The Washington Post)
An F for effort
Tuition aid shields colleges from hard budgetary choices.
(, The Washington Post)
Republicans adrift
In more ways than one, the party is out to sea.
(, The Washington Post)
Vanden Heuvel: It’s past time to fix the economy
Stop trying to figure out how best to hurt it.
(, The Washington Post)
More Opinions: Washington Post Opinion, Editorial, Op Ed, Politics Editorials – The Washington Post

The List: Discuss what’s in and what’s out
Dan Zak and Monica Hesse discuss The List – Style’s guide to what’s in and what’s out.
(, vForum)
Web Hostess Live: The latest from the Web
Web Hostess Monica Hesse sifts the Internet so you don’t have to, searching for meaning, manners and the next great meme.
(, vForum)
Ask Boswell: The Washington Redskins
Sports Columnist Tom Boswell answered reader questions about the Redskins, the Capitals, the Nationals, baseball, the NFL and more.
(, vForum)