A Look at Entertainment
by T.J. Moore –
In a recent interview for a Variety cover feature, Magic Johnson shared his unfiltered thoughts about HBOMax’s Winning Time, the streaming platform’s scripted drama about the Showtime Lakers. The basketball legend says he refuses to watch the series and says he’s baffled that neither HBO nor the creative executives sought participation from him or his teammates.
“You can’t do a story about the Lakers without the Lakers,” Johnson says. “The real Lakers. You gotta have the guys.”
The Showtime era coincided with Johnson’s 12-year tenure on the team, from 1979 to 1991, at which point he retired after his HIV diagnosis. In Johnson’s forthcoming AppleTV Plus docuseries, They Call Me Magic, NBA games were scarcely watched before Johnson was drafted. However, Johnson’s on-court chemistry with his teammates, combined with entertainment strategies implemented by Jerry Buss, turned basketball into a must-watch event.
Because of those conditions, Johnson believes that it’s impossible to tell the story without the involvement of the people who lived it.
“There’s no way to duplicate Showtime. I don’t care who you get. So let’s go through it like this,” Johnson told Variety. “Showtime started on the court. Just unbelievable! Fast-breaking entertainment! Every time out, Paula Abdul and them beautiful Laker Girls came out on that floor. First time ever. Dancing girls, and they turned it out. All the latest music and all the latest dances.”
Johnson also described the influx of celebrities that frequented the Great Western Forum to take in Laker games at the time.
Catch They Call Me Magic streaming April 22 on AppleTV Plus.
In the aftermath of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, Netflix has backed away from developing a planned movie with Smith.
The week before the Oscar, Fast and Loose director David Leitch withdrew from the movie. Fast and Loose was to tell the story of a crime boss who loses his memory after an attack. Piecing together clues, he discovers he has led a double identity as a wealthy kingpin and a broke CIA Agent. According to the Hollywood Reporter, it appears that Netflix was understandably wary of moving forward. It’s unclear whether the project will resume with another star and director.
After feuding for 13 years, comedienne and actress Mo’Nique and Lee Daniels have made amends. During a recent stand-up performance at the Mo’Nique and Friends: April Fools Day with The Queen Of Comedy event, Daniels issued Mo’Nique a public apology.
“I’m so sorry for hurting you in any what that I did,” Daniels told Mo’Nique with his arms around here. “She was my best friend! My best friend! Y’all think Precious was just… That was God working through both of us.”
The two fell out after Mo’Nique became vocal about not getting the pay raise she expected after winning an Oscar in 2010 for her role as Mary Lee Johnston in Precious. She said Daniels later told her that she had been blacklisted from Hollywood.
Now that they have made amends, Daniels has now offered Mo’Nique a role in Demon House, a horror film that tells the story of Latoya Ammons and her family, according to Deadline. The role originally went to Octavia Spencer, but she had to back out of it due to scheduling conflicts with another show.
And in other updates, Academy Award-winning actor Will Smith has accepted his decade-long ban by the Academy.
Smith responded on April 8 after the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts and Sciences board of governors decided to ban him from the Oscars and other ceremonies for the next 10 years after striking Chris Rock at this year’s event in March.