Day: July 14, 2018

In a statement for People, Whitney Houston’s mother said that learning about the claims of her daughter’s abuse were “overwhelming and unfathomable.”

Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 8.08.50 AMWhitney Houston’s mother says allegations that her superstar daughter and her son were molested by her niece are “unfathomable.”

In a statement to People magazine on behalf of herself and sister singer Dionne Warwick, Cissy Houston revealed they first learned of the claims two days before the documentary Whitney premiered in May.

In the film, Whitney Houston’s longtime assistant said the singer told her that cousin Dee Dee Warwick molested her as a child and Whitney’s oldest brother also made the same claim.

In the statement, Cissy Houston says Dee Dee Warwick may have had her “personal challenges,” but the idea that she would have molested her children is “overwhelming and unfathomable.”

Dee Dee Warwick died in 2008. Whitney Houston died in 2012.

Read More: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-whitney-houston-fred-rogers-ruth-bader-ginsburg-fuel-documentary-boom-1125567

‘Pose’ Shows The Importance Of Accurate Casting While Scarlett Johansson Drops Out Of ‘Rub & Tug’

Screenshot_2018-07-13 'Pose' Shows The Importance Of Accurate Casting While Scarlett Johansson Drops Out Of 'Rub Tug'(1)Scarlett Johansson has dropped out Rub & Tug vacating the role of the role of kingpin Dante “Tex” Gill. Johansson’s involvement in the role was controversial because Gill, a real-life figure, was a transgender man, whereas Johansson is a cisgender woman.

Johansson had taken a huge amount of online criticism for initially taking the role, and things only got worse when Bustle reported that Johansson said in a statement from a representative, “Tell them they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment.” Also, the film would have reteamed her with Rupert Sanders, who helmed Johansson’s other controversial film, the Hollywood adaptation of Ghost in the Shell, in which she plays the Major, who was originally Japanese character Major Motoko Kusanagi in the manga and anime adaptations. In this new statement, given to Out.com, Johansson states how she’s learned more about the lack of sensitivity held in her initial comments about her involvement in the film.

“In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project,” she states. “Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity continues.”

Johansson also brings up a GLAAD statistic that LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40 percent in 2017 with no representation for trans characters in a major studio film.

“While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation bout diversity and representation in film. I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly.”  While Johansson might credit her debacle as advancing the conversation, Rub & Tug is only part of the larger conversation. FX’s Pose created by Ryan Murphy and renewed for a second season has made history each week thanks to its cast of transgender women of color, MJ Rodriguez, Dominque Jackson, Indya Moore, Hailie Sahar, and Angelica Ross. The show also has trans women behind the scenes, including Janet Mock, who recently made history as the first trans woman of color to write and direct a television show, musician Our Lady J, and dancer/choreographer Leoimy Maldonado.

Not only does Pose show that the talent is out there waiting to be discovered, but it also shows how, when people are allowed to be in charge of their own stories, an authenticity is added that only heightens the film or television show, making it better than it could have ever been if cast otherwise. Pose has great writing and great style, but it wouldn’t be what it is if it didn’t have the authentic voices of the women behind the scenes and in front of the camera, women who have lived through similar struggles as their characters.

In terms of Rub & Tug, Johansson wouldn’t have had any struggle to pull from; instead, she would have been using what is a reality for many people as an actor’s choice in the hopes of gaining recognition during awards season. If anyone should be getting recognized, it should be a trans actor who gets cast as Gill, a colorful and interesting figure in modern American history.

SOURCE:https://shadowandact.com/pose-shows-the-importance-of-accurate-casting-while-scarlett-johansson-drops-out-of-rub-tug

Tinashe Responds to Ben Simmons Beefing Up Security Because of Her: ‘L-O-L’

A new day, a new chapter in the everlasting drama between Tinashe, her ex-boyfriend Ben Simmons, and his new girlfriend Kendall Jenner (who he might have gotten together with while he was still with Tinashe). Kendall, for one, is apparently “annoyed” by the whole thing.

TMZ caught up with Tinashe outside a club in Los Angeles and asked her what she thinks of Ben’s plan to hire more security because he thinks she’s stalking him, and she reacted simply by laughing in the reporter’s face.  Tinashe didn’t do much other than laugh during this interview with TMZ, which, to be fair, seems like a pretty chill response for someone accused of stalking. Tinashe has said previously that she is “done” dating basketball players after this whole mess with Ben, but if reports are true, she did appear to enjoy at least part of the drama surrounding his new relationship with Kendall. The three found themselves at the same club earlier this month, and TMZ caught TInashe just as she was leaving. The reporter asked how she felt seeing him, and she replied by saying he had been texting her the whole time he’d been in there with Kendall.  That was big news for gossip lovers online for a few hours, but soon Ben’s camp denied the rumors, with TMZ reporting that Tinashe admitted she lied about the texts. It was this texting ordeal that triggered reports about Ben’s wish to beef up his own security.

Whatever happens next—and judging by the amount of news generated by these three so far, something will definitely happen—one thing is for sure: TMZ will be right there filming it.

SOURCE: https://www.complex.com/music/2018/07/tinashe-responds-to-ben-simmons-beefing-up-security-because-of-her-laughter

Kendrick Lamar and SZA Call “All the Stars” Lawsuit an “Overreach”

Kendrick Lamar and SZA are calling BS on a copyright infringement lawsuit. Back in February, British-Liberian artist Lina Iris Viktor sued the TDE artists over the official music video for “All the Stars.” The artist claimed the visual—directed by Dave Meyers and the Little Homies—featured elements of her gold-patterned work, and therefore infringed on her copyright.

“Why would they do this?” Viktor told the New York Times earlier this year. “It’s an ethical issue […] Cultural appropriation is something that continually happens to African-American artists, and I want to make a stand.”

Viktor is currently suing for damages as well as a cut of “All the Stars” profits; however, Kendrick and SZA’s legal team insist the artist’s lawsuit is “the epitome of litigation overreach.”

According to legal documents obtained by Pitchfork, the defendants argue that the music video did not use stolen elements from Viktor’s work; and even if it did, the art had no effect on the record’s massive success.

Their motion reads in part:

Common sense and logic dictate that the alleged 19-second use of the Artwork in the Video is far more speculative (and, in any event, no less speculative) a reason for people’s decisions to stream or buy the Single or Album […] Any attempt by Plaintiff to tie such decisions to the alleged use is especially suspect due to the added uncertainty as to whether people who play the Video actually watch it instead of just listening to the audio, and, if they do watch, whether they do so until the final minute when the alleged use occurs.

The document goes on to list Kendrick’s and SZA’s accolades, insisting their popularity and talent is what led “All the Stars” to become so profitable—not the alleged stolen art. They also argue that Viktor’s claim for reputation damages should be dismissed.

Viktor’s attorney responded to the motion with the following statement: “The defendants have filed a motion for partial summary judgment asking the Court to preclude indirect damages, i.e. damages for defendants’ profits from the sale of the single and the album attributable to the infringement in the music video. We have been expecting this motion and we are confident that the law on this issue is in our favor.”

SOURCE:https://www.complex.com/music/2018/07/kendrick-lamar-sza-request-all-stars-lawsuit-dismissed