Songs, Movies & Moments: August 2017

R. Kelly

A Look at Entertainment

by T.J. Moore –

After several weeks of being ripped apart by fans and the media, R. Kelly is finally stepping in the name of denying the recent allegations that have been swirling around the R&B star.

Kelly’s representatives have released statements denying that he is the head of a sex cult, and though one of the alleged girlfriends came out and said that she was “happy and fine,” the public had yet to hear from Kelly.

But now he reached out via an old flip phone, which made the video pixelated and dark.

“Yo what’s up y’all it’s your boy, Kellz,” he said on the video. “And I just want to let all my fans out there know that despite all the crap y’all hearing, I will be coming to the east coast to do my show. And believe me ya’ll, it’s a bunch of crap.”

Kelly’s rebuttal wasn’t enough to squash the story. On the day that Kelly spoke, a woman who would only identify herself as “M.” shared her story about an alleged relationship with Kelly on Chicago’s WKYS.

“M.” said that she met Kelly at the mall where she was working. He gave her his number and they started texting briefly for two years before she was invited to his house. She then alleged that Kelly asked her to strip and walk in front of him before engaging in a sexual act.

“M” says when all of the cult allegations came out, she could attest to some of the claims. While she doesn’t believe that the women are being held captive, she does believe that the women are sex slaves.

According to TMZ, Nearly half of R. Kelly’s tour dates have been cancelled due to poor ticket sales, leaving only six shows on his schedule.

Sister Circle – L-R: Rashan Ali, Syleena Johnson,
Kiana Dancie, and Quad Webb-Lunceford. Photo: Business Wire

Tegna Broadcasting is stepping up the volume of original daytime programming for its TV stations with a September premier of Sister Circle, a roundtable talk show aimed at African American women. TV One will also carry the show as part of the channel’s expanded morning newsand lifestyle programming block, according to Variety.com.

Sister Circle will feature a panel of four women: Married to Medicine’s Quad Webb-Lunceford, singer Syleena Johnson, sports reporter Rashan Ali, and comedienne Kiana Dancie. The four will discuss a range of lifestyle and relationship issues as well as other subjects. The four women will be joined by DJ Q (AKA YouTube’s Funky Dineva) who will spin records and add a male perspective to the table.

The hour-long show will also feature celebrity guests and expert commentary. Sister Circle will premiere on September 11.

A lawsuit against the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks clams that black artists were discriminated against at Phillips Arena.

According to TMZ, a former Hawks security manager is suing the team after he says he was wrongfully fired for pointing out discriminatory practices. The manager says that black celebrities were made to go through rigorous security checks at the arena while white artists were allowed to bypass metal detectors.

Sam Hayes, the former security manager at the center of this lawsuit, claims that his white boss was going out of his way to make sure black celebrities were rigorously checked. Hayes claims that Drake and Future asked to bypass metal detectors. Their requests were denied, while legendary rock group AC/DC had its similar requests granted.

Hayes claims that celebrities such as Tyler Perry, Cedric the Entertainer, and DL Hughley and others were denied bypass requests, but stars like Adele, Amy Schumer, the WWE live Tour, and Ariana Grande were allowed to skip metal detectors.

For Hayes, the breaking point was when he saw a member of the band Radio going through the metal detectors with one member dropping his pants. When Hayes brought up the discrimination to management, they allegedly said that “Hip-Hop acts draw a different crowd and the white acts bring in more money.”

A Hawks spokesperson told TMZ that Hayes was terminated for poor performance and his claims are baseless.”

Hayes is demanding unspecified damages.

Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay’s hit drama Queen Sugar has been renewed for a third season.

According to Essence, the OWN series averaged more than 2.4 million viewers and earned incredible ratings since the second season premiered in June.

DuVernay has also expanded her partnership with Oprah by locking up a “first-look” deal with Harpo Films for television and digital. The first collaboration from the agreement will be the Central Park Five limited series on Netflix.

“I’m so proud of Ava and her ability as a filmmaker to challenge the status quo and push for inclusiveness on screen and behind the camera,” Winfrey said. “I love, love, love the work we have been able to create so far. I am looking forward to developing many more meaningful projects together.”

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