Ryan Coogler. Photo by James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

Songs, Movies & Moments: February 2021

Ryan Coogler. Photo by James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

A Look at Entertainment

by T.J. Moore –

Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and his Proximity Media banner have signed an exclusive five-year deal with Disney for television projects, according to Shadow and Act.

Coogler will develop new television series under Disney; the first one has been described as “a drama based in the Kingdom of Wakanda.” The Wakanda project will join the Marvel television series lineup at Disney+ that’s a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films.

“Ryan Cooler is a singular storyteller whose vision and range have made him one of the standout filmmakers of his generation,” said Disney Chairman Bob Iger. “With Black Panther, Ryan brought a groundbreaking story and iconic characters to life in a real, meaningful, and memorable way, creating a watershed cultural moment. We’re thrilled to strengthen our relationship and look forward to telling more great stories with Ryan and his team.”

Catch Coogler’s Wakanda project on Disney+.

Nick Cannon
Nick Cannon

Nick Cannon and Viacom-CBS resumed their partnership recently. Following Cannon’s apologies for the anti-Semitic remarks he made last year, Cannon and Viacom will continue to team up for the popular Wild ’n Out show. Initially, Viacom severed ties with Cannon, and it looked like the show would no longer continue. In a statement released by Deadline.com, Cannon expresses contrition for his comments and vows to learn from this incident.

“I want to assure my Jewish friends, new and old, that this is only the beginning of my education. I am committed to deeper connections, more profound learning, and strengthening the bond between our two cultures today and every day going forward,” Cannon said.

Cannon’s efforts have not gone unnoticed.

“Nick has not only apologized and taken responsibility for his comments, but he has also worked to educate himself and others through engagement with Jewish leaders and on his platforms,” an MTV Entertainment Group spokesperson said to Variety. “Those efforts are of the utmost importance and that’s why we have invited him to rejoin our team.”

According to Variety, Cannon partnered with Jewish community organizations against anti-Semitism, co-writing an op-ed in the Jewish publication, The Forward, on the anniversary of the Charlottesville rally.

The timing of this news is hard to ignore as Cannon’s syndicated daytime talk show through Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury is back on track for a premier later this year.

Queen SugarSeason five of the OWN hit series Queen Sugar was initially in production when it had to pause due to the coronavirus pandemic. After pausing, Ava DuVernay decided to “completely revamp the season five storyline to address the very real issues our country was facing through the lens of the beloved Bordelon family and the fictional community of St. Josephine.” DuVernay, along with returning show runner Anthony Sparks, tackles the Covid-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter protests and movement, and corruption in politics to showcase the specific impact and ramifications these issues have on communities and people of color.

Catch the season five premiere of Queen Sugar, Feb. 16 on OWN.

Yvonne Orji
Yvonne Orji

Insecure star Yvonne Orji is bringing her life story to Disney+. Orji is developing First Gen, an autobiographical comedy, with David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey.

The series will draw from Orji’s experiences as a Nigerian immigrant trying to balance fitting into American culture while trying to appease her parents and heritage. Orji will serve as executive producer.

Oyelowo will also executive produce through his Yorub Saxon production company. Winfrey will executive produce through Harpo.

The news comes on the heels of Issa Rae’s recent announcement that the fifth season of Insecure will cap off the series’ run.

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