Jason Mitchell. Photo: Richard Shotwell

Songs, Movies & Moments: August 2019

Jason Mitchell. Photo: Richard Shotwell

A Look at Entertainment

by T.J. Moore –

In the aftermath of numerous sexual assault allegations and the scandal that had some looking at Showtime with skepticism, actor Jason Mitchell will not be returning to the network’s hit show The Chi.

However, that didn’t stop fans of the show from wondering about how Mitchell’s character will be written off. During the Television Critics Association press conference recently, Showtime’s co-President Gary Levine hinted that Mitchell’s character could be killed off.

“There’s a lot of great life in The Chi and there’s also death in The Chi and that’s how we’ll be dealing with it,” he said.

Given the way that Mitchell allegedly forced his Chi co-star Tiffany Boone off the show because of his inappropriate actions, and harassed showrunner Ayanna Floyd Davis, Mitchell’s termination had to happen eventually.

Mitchell was also fired from an upcoming Netflix film Desperados for similar behavior. At press time, Mitchell has yet to address the accusations or his removal from The Chi.

Lena Waithe

Producer Lena Waithe is bringing a new comedy to the small screen with her new series Twenties. The comedy is set in Los Angeles and will follow a group of 20-somethings as they navigate work, love, and life. Waithe told Variety that she wrote the series in her twenties and it’s based on her own life. The show will star Christina Elmore, Gabrielle Graham, and “JoJo” T Gibbs … and rapper Big Sean will make his acting debut.

Waithe is really excited to have the rapper on board.

Big Sean

“Big Sean is a star. I was really flattered that he mentioned me (at one of his concerts). I don’t think he knew this but I’ve been a fan of his for a really long time. Always loved his music, always loved his craft. I messaged him and he was like, ‘Yo, we should link up at some point. He’s from Detroit. I’m from Chicago—we’re not Hollywood.”

Twenties will premiere next year
on BET.

Salt-N-Pepa, Cheryl “Salt” James and
Sandra “Pepa” Denton

Legendary rap group Salt-N-Pepa is clapping back against a lawsuit filed by former DJ Spinderella last month, revealing the case has since been moved to mediation.

Months after she claimed that she was kicked of the group’s reunion tour with New Kids on the Block and received a “termination” email, Spinderella (née Deidra Roper) filed a breach of contract lawsuit in federal court in Texas against Cheryl “Salt” James and Sandra “Pepa” Denton.

“A U.S. District Court Judge in the Dallas District rejected DJ Spinderella’s request for immediate relief against Salt-N-Pepa and its management, ordering the case to mediation. We are grateful for the judge’s ruling as Salt-N-Pepa have been extremely generous to Spin over many decades and attempted to settle what amounts to a divorce, both peacefully and without rancor,” Denton and James said in a statement to People.

“Unfortunately, Spin and her legal team adopted a ‘scorched-earth’ approach that brought unnecessary attention to a business dispute that all along could have and should have been settled amicably and privately.”

In addition to alleged unpaid royalties, Roper also sued James and Denton for multiple breaches of contract, fraud, and intentional misrepresentation, according to documents obtained by The Blast.

“DJ Spinderella became synonymous with and inseparable from Salt-N-Pepa’s public identity as she helped boost the all-female SNP trio and brand to legendary iconic status and worldwide fame,” Roper claimed in a statement.

Roper also alleged that she was cut out of deals as years went by despite generating “significant on-stage excitement” and entertaining “audiences with her captivating musical grooves and remarkable deejay tricks.”

In documents obtained by The Blast, Salt-N-Pepa responded:

“After decades of friendship, Spinderella has embarked on a smear campaign, and sued her friends, based on blatantly erroneous assertions. The truth, however, is that Salt-N-Pepa have always tried to do right by Spinderella,” the documents read.

“Spinderella decided to quit performing with Salt-N-Pepa years ago and asked to rejoin the group in December, 2013. Nostalgia and the desire to help a friend motivated Salt-N-Pepa to agree. They offered to pay Spinderella on a per-show basis to perform with the group. Spinderella, grateful for the opportunity, agreed, and they performed together again. Things unfortunately did not work out and Salt-N-Pepa spent months trying to close open issues—like how they would each refer to their shared history going forward as they each pursued respective careers—in the hope they could part as friends.”

At press time, the parties have moved to settle the lawsuit in mediation.

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