Songs, Movies & Moments: August 2020

Gabrielle Union
Gabrielle Union

A Look at Entertainment

by T.J. Moore –
Terry Crews
Terry Crews

Gabrielle Union recently broke her silence regarding Terry Crews and his reaction to Union’s allegations against NBC’s America’s Got Talent executive team—allegations about her time on the set of the popular reality talent show. In a recent appearance on Spotify’s “Jemele Hill Is Unbothered,” Union wondered whether or not Crews threw her under the bus because he was concerned about his own job security.

“People hit me all day long and are like, ‘what’s happening?’ and the only thing I know for sure is that Terry Crews gets three checks from NBC,” Union said. “So I don’t know if being worried about job stability—which listen, we all know that if you speak up about racism and white supremacy, you absolutely can be shown the door. I don’t know if that’s the motivation.”

Despite his apologizing and walking back his comments, many found Crews’s initial reaction ironic, considering that Union was a vocal supporter of Crews when he came forward with allegations of sexual assault a few years ago.

“Not to say if I offer you solidarity I expect you to be the getaway driver during a bank robbery—that’s what he made it sound like in one of those series of tweets,” Union said. “If you saw something, say something. If you didn’t have my experience … you also have an option to say ‘I believe Gab, I just had a different experience.’ End of story. You don’t have to do a press tour where your sole objective is to discredit and malign me.”

Rapper Takeoff
Rapper Takeoff

Takeoff, a rapper from the popular hip-hop group Migos, has been named in a civil lawsuit, in which he is accused of raping a woman at a party, according to the Los Angeles Times. The plaintiff, who attended the June party as a guest of Migos deejay DJ Durel, alleges that earlier in the party, Takeoff offered her marijuana and struck up a conversation. During the exchange, she alleges that he made sexual advances which she declined. The two crossed paths later on at the party in a stairwell, which is when Takeoff allegedly followed her upstairs to a bedroom and raped her.

The plaintiff filed the report with the LAPD and underwent a medical examination on June 23, the day that the alleged assault took place. So far, there have been no criminal charges filed in connection with the complaint.

“She’s terrified,” Neama Rahmani, the plaintiff’s attorney, told the Times. “There’s a significant disparity in wealth and power. He’s a famous artist, he had security, there were weapons on the premises. She is someone who doesn’t have those resources and is also concerned about safety and retaliation. That adds an extra element in a case like this when he’s rich and powerful.”

Takeoff’s attorney, Drew Findling denied the allegations on behalf on the rapper.

“We have reviewed the allegations and have similarly done our own due diligence. What has become abundantly clear is that the allegations made against Takeoff are patently and provably false. The claims and statements made regarding this lawsuit indicate that the plaintiff’s representatives have not spoken with relevant witnesses or reviewed available evidence,” Finding said in a statement released to TMZ

Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana Photo: Chelsea Lauren

Actress Zoe Saldana recently opened up in reflection about her choice to play Nina Simone.

Saldana did an Instagram Live interview with Steven Canals, the co-creator and executive producer of FX’s pose. The two talked about their journeys as Afro-Latinos in entertainment, and also hit on complicated subjects like colorism within their community for the outlet, Bese.

But the conversation steered to the topic of Saldana’s portrayal of Simone in the 2016 biopic Nina, which was fought against by Simone’s fans and family. It was one of the first times that the social media age and issues regarding Black portrayals in Hollywood collided, providing discussion around the erasure of dark-skinned Black women in the media and how their legacies are whitewashed and downplayed. Saldana wore blackface and a wig that reflected a coarser hair texture in the movie. In the interview, Canals asked the actress if she had any revelations regarding her thought process in playing Simone. Saldana reflected that she had no place portraying the legendary singer.

“I should have never played Nina. I should have done everything in my power with the leverage that I had ten years ago, which was a different leverage, but it was leverage nonetheless. I should have tried everything in my power to cast a Black woman to play an exceptionally perfect Black woman,” she said.

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