Songs, Movies & Moments: February 2020

Joaquin Phoenix
Joaquin Phoenix

A Look at Entertainment

by T.J. Moore –

It wasn’t enough for actor Joaquin Phoenix to pick up another award for his powerful performance in The Joker—or to make another hollow acceptance speech.

At the BAFTA Awards, Phoenix wanted to discuss the lack of diversity at not only BAFTA but in the awards season as a whole.

“I feel conflicted because so many of my fellow actors that are deserving don’t have the same privilege,” Phoenix said. “I think that we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here. I think that’s the message that we’re sending to people that have contributed so much to our medium and our industry, and in ways that we benefit from.”

Phoenix continued, “I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment, although that’s what we give ourselves every year. I think people just want to be acknowledged, appreciated, and respected for their work. This is not a self-righteous condemnation because I’m ashamed to say that I’m part of the problem. I have not done everything in my power to ensure that the sets I work on are inclusive, but I think it’s more than just having sets that are multicultural. We have to do the hard work to truly understand systemic racism. I think it is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuate and benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones that dismantle it. So that’s on us.”

BAFTA’s been criticized since it unveiled a nominations list featuring no nonwhite actors and an all-male list of nominated directors.

Terry Crews
Terry Crews

After enduring a week of constant insults and online heckling, Terry Crews has issued an apology for Today statements about NBC’s investigation into America’s Got Talent after Gabrielle Union’s firing.

Crews issued a thread of tweets recently addressing his various comments about the situation involving the NBC show, of which he is the host, and Union, whose firing came after she had lobbed complaints of racism and sexism against the show’s production.

“I told @KevinHart4real a while ago, he needed to acknowledge the pain of other people,” Crews tweeted, “Right now, I have to do the same thing. I want to apologize for the comments I made. I realize there are a lot of black women hurt and let down by what I said and also by what I didn’t say.”

“I hear you, I respect you and I understand you,” he continued. “I am sorry and I am here to support you. I spoke from my personal point of view without first taking into consideration someone else’s experience.”

Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union

Crews addressed Union personally with the following tweet:

“@itsgabriellu, I want you to know it was never my intention to invalidate your experience—but that is what I did. I apologize. You have been through a lot in this business, and with that I empathize with the struggle toward fairness and equality in the workplace.”

The apologies came days after Crews was viciously roasted online by fans who felt slighted by what he had said on Today. While appearing on the show January 24, he called America’s got Talent “the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment.”

Many people took his comment as a way to disregard Union’s experience with the show, especially after she and other black women supported him when he revealed he was sexually violated by former agent Adam Venit.

Crews made matters worse when he tweeted a statement about not having to look after anyone else other than his wife.

Rapper Future
Rapper Future

Rapper Future is using his legal force to silence the alleged mother of his seventh child, according to documents obtained by TMZ

Future filed a defamation and invasion of privacy lawsuit against Eliza “Reign” Seraphin, accusing her of spreading false information, including intimate sexual details. He claims that Seraphin gave an unauthorized interview where she described the rapper’s genitals during a radio interview with Rah Ali, which Seraphin then promoted on social media.

Seraphin has maintained that Future is the father of her daughter, who was born last April as a result of a sexual relationship which occurred between 2016 and 2018. He argues that he would have not engaged in sex with Seraphin if it was going to be openly shared on social media.

In the suit Future filed, he confirms the sexual relationship with Seraphin, but believes she’s using the basis of that to advance her monetary income and social status. He also denies that he ever put a hit out on her over her refusing to get an abortion, stating that the claim has caused him emotional damage—and to lose out on opportunities relating to his brand.