Songs, Movies & Moments: February 2017

Stacey Dash

A Look at Entertainment

by T.J. Moore –

It was painfully obvious that Fox News was using Clueless “star” Stacey Dash to push their narrow-minded and often racist-leaning views. Fox believed that Dash’s appearances and presence on the network would prove to their critics that they are indeed “fair and balanced.” This seemed to be clear to everyone but Dash herself.

Fox declined to renew the actress’s contract recently, but a network representative told The Hollywood Reporter that the decision was made last fall. Dash made her Fox News debut in 2014, but hasn’t been seen on-air since last September.

Since her decision to vote for the Romney-Ryan ticket instead of Obama-Biden in the 2012 election, Dash staked out conservative positions—and turned those positions into notoriety on Twitter and a spot on Fox News. In 2015, Fox News suspended Dash for swearing on-air in a rant about President Obama.

Chrisette Michele Photo: Lizzy Sullivan

File this under “every choice has its consequences.” R&B singer Chrisette Michele has been blasted and criticized on social media over her decision to perform at the inauguration ball. She performed “Intentional” with gospel singer Travis Greene during the inauguration and now she is still feeling the backlash.

In a Billboard interview, Michele stated that she was disowned by some in her circle over her decision to perform. She also explained the she never thought about declining the invitation to perform, cleared up whether or not she received $750,000 to perform, and admitted that she didn’t even get to meet Trump despite performing at the ball. Here are some of the interview’s highlights:

On How She Ended Up Accepting the Invitation: “When we go to the phone call, (and this may sound crazy), there was literally no hesitation,” Michele recalled. “The first thing I thought was that I have an opportunity to get in front of these people who don’t seem to understand who they’re talking to and show them what we look like. I felt automatically committed to making sure that I stood up for the women who’ve felt disrespected and the minorities who felt disrespected, communities that felt disrespected. I thought that it was almost my responsibility to just say yes, but to say yes with purpose.”

On Her Hope To Use Her Art For Change:

“I recently spoke at Harvard about how we can use art for change. I sat with a lot of different folks in politics to see what can happen. So when I got the offer (Inaugural Ball), the only thing I thought of was what I could do to fix this.”

Whether She was Paid $750,000 to Perform:

“No. I didn’t perform for free,” Michele said. “One, it wasn’t $750,000, but my manager did negotiate my contract.”

In response to her critics, Michele recorded No Political Genius, a collections of poems and songs.

Filmmaker Raoul Peck was introduced to the work of James Baldwin in the 1970s when a gay African American couple in Berlin gave him a copy of The Fire Next Time. In that essay collection, Baldwin delivered provocative and searing insights into racism and civil disobedience.

Forty-plus years later Baldwin’s words have stayed with Peck. Now moviegoers will have the opportunity for the late autho’s words to impact them as well.

Peck’s docufilm I Am Not Your Negro has been described by Huffington Post as “a documentary that should be essential viewing for all Americans” and by The Guardian as a “cinematic seance and one of the best movies about the Civil Rights era.”

Peck uses James Baldwin’s “Remember This House”—an unfinished manuscript about the civil rights movement and the roles of Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, and Medgar Evers—to frame America’s racial divide.

With permission from Baldwin’s younger sister and assistant Gloria, Peck combed through Baldwin’s novels and correspondence, plus over 30 pages of notes that Baldwin made for “Remember This House.” The documentary is entirely in Baldwin’s words, “‘unfiltered’ so the audience can hear them,” said Peck.

Samuel L. Jackson voices Baldwin in the U.S. version of the film, while French rapper Joey Starr will voice the French version of the documentary.

I Am Not Your Negro will hit theaters February 3.

Paula Patton and Robin Thicke Photo: Brian To

What was once an amicable divorce and co-parenting relationship between Robin Thicke and Paula Patton is now contentious. After their six-year-old son Julian told officials at his school that his father had spanked him, the school contacted the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services, and an investigation was opened. When Patton was made aware of the spanking incident, the actress sought a motion to have Thicke’s access to their son limited to daytime monitored visits.

Now, Patton has accused her singer ex of abusing her during their marriage.

In an alleged incident four years ago, Patton claims that she caught Thicke behaving inappropriately with a masseuse. When she confronted him, she says that he became violent.

“Robin became physically violent with me,” Patton wrote, according to Us Weekly. “He pushed me down and kicked me.”

That same year, Patton also claims that Thicke assaulted her while the two were at the Cannes Film Festival.

“We began fighting. Robin hit me with a closed fist to my upper body and then pushed me onto the ground”

According to People, Patton said in her court papers that she tried to make things work with Thicke, who she said had alcohol and substance abuse problems. She was afraid to have her son raised in a broken home and also afraid to leave, because Thicke allegedly would “threaten that he would leave both of us penniless given IRS tax liens incurred by him during the course of their marriage.”

The custody ruling will stay in effect until February 24, the date of their next hearing. Thicke will not be able to leave Los Angeles County with his son, and will also get to see him while being supervised three days a week at a neutral location.

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