Songs, Movies & Moments: April 2017


A Look at Entertainment

by T.J. Moore –

Fresh off the heels of his six-part docuseries The Kalief Browder Story, Jay-Z says that the feedback from the Browder story is to thank for a plan to close Rikers Island.

In a rare tweet, Jigga stated that the compassion of the viewers and awareness from Browder’s story is what ultimately made the plan to shut down the prison a priority for New York City.

“Our voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a state, It can change a nation. It can change the world.” he tweeted.

According to The New York Times, a plan is reportedly in place to close the infamous prison for good. On March 31, officials met to present an effective plan that’ll support Rikers’s termination, which reportedly received support from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Kalief Browder Story followed Browder’s struggle to acclimate to life outside of Riker’s Island after being held in the facility for several years awaiting a trial for a crime he didn’t commit. Browder spent much of his time in solitary confinement, resulting in post-traumatic stress that cause him to commit suicide in 2015.

Tamar Braxton

This summer will make it a year since singer and reality show start Tamar Braxton was fired from The Real. After the news surface, reportedly Braxton rebounded with news that she landed her own talk show to be produced by Steve Harvey.

“We’re proud to announce that my production company has just signed Tamar Braxton to produce a talk show and TV series. We’ve signed her to East 112 Street Productions for a new show,” Harvey announced in this June 2015 statement. “We saw the opportunity of what people may recognize as the end, but it’s not. It’ s such a beginning. She has such a bright future. She is such a star. She has so much to offer.”

Currently, there had been no additional details about the show, but in a recent interview with Essence, Braxton shared a few teases but no real information. “It’s going to be amazing, and we’re still working out a lot of the details about what it’s going to be about and what’s going to happen,” she said. “But it’s definitely going to happen.”

Beyoncé is director Jon Favereau’s top choice to voice Nala in the upcoming live-action remake of The Lion King according to Variety.

The Grammy winning singer has not made a decision regarding the film yet, as the star is pregnant. But since it’s a voice-acting role, sources say the studio and director will be flexible and do whatever it takes to accommodate her schedule.

Donald Glover has already been confirmed to voice Simba and James Earl Jones will revise his role as Simba’s father, Mufasa.

BET President of Programming Stephen Hill. Photo: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for BET

According to The Hollywood Reporter, BET President of Programming Stephen Hill is leaving the network. The news of his departure comes during what The Hollywood Reporter has termed as a Viacom shake-up.

Nonetheless, the news is still surprising, considering the network has been on an upswing under Hill’s watch. BET saw an increase in ratings with the New Edition biopic, Madiba, The Real Husbands of Hollywood, and Being Mary Jane.

Tamron Hall

Since leaving the desk at the Today show in February, Tamron Hall hasn’t really spoken about her decision to leave—until recently while speaking at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s Summit Salute event in New Orleans.

“Some would call and say, ‘Are you OK?’ And I was like, ‘What happened? Who died?’ and then there were other people who said, ‘What’s next?’ Hall said about the two types of people who contacted her after she left Today.

“It’s a job. It doesn’t define me,” Hall said. “It doesn’t determine what I do, how I treat people. I’m going to always look you in your face and say, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Please’—and if you make me mad, a good cuss word—but in the end, a title can’t define you. When your card no longer says anything beneath it, but your name, are you still you? Can you savor the victory—the moment that you were able to take that dream? I never imagined that I would be on the Today show.

Hall was reportedly offered millions to stay with Today but opted against doing so because of NBC’s decision to bring in Megan Kelly to take over the 9 a.m. hour Hall had been covering with Al Roker.

Hall still is the host of Deadline: Crime on ID and according to Page Six, will have a special to premier later in the month.

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