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Gabrielle Union Is The New Face for Covet Fashion App

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Mobile styling app Covet Fashion has tapped Gabrielle Union as their newest host. For the next thirty days, the 43-year-old Being Mary Jane actress will act as the app’s featured star. During that time, users will have access to Gabrielle’s beauty tips and personal fashions, as well as a candid look inside her world, behind the scenes.

Gabrielle is one of only two hosts ever for Covet Fashion. Emma Roberts helped launch the app last month. Unlike other styling apps that highlight a single celebrity for their lifetime, Covet Fashion features a different host every month in an attempt to appeal to a larger and more diverse audience.

Gabrielle was chosen because she is a “style icon who is driven, intelligent and an inspiring role model who motivates women with both her forward-thinking and her chic style,” according to Blair Ethington, SVP for the app.

“I am absolutely thrilled to partner with Covet because it’s pioneering a new way to engage with my fans and share my passion for style while also giving them a glimpse into my very busy life,” said Union.

The Covet Fashion app can be download via Google Play and the App Store.

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Jada Pinkett Smith Expresses Gratitude to Cheryl Boone Isaacs and the Academy for “Quick Response” Amid Diversity Controversy

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Jada Pinkett Smith tweeted support to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ president Cheryl Boone Isaacs on Tuesday, January 19.

The outreach was in regards to the boycott uproar following the lack of diversity shown in this year’s nominations from the Academy. Pinkett Smith, took to Facebook on January 18 with a powerful message to the African American Community voicing her opinion stating to African Americans, “We must stand in our power.” At press time, the video had already reached 7 million views.

As a response to Pinkett Smith’s Facebook post and the growing number of others who have suggested to boycott the Oscars, the Academy’s President Cheryl Boone Isaacs responded with this message on Tuesday:

“While we celebrate [the nominees’] extraordinary achievements, I am both heartbroken and frustrated about the lack of inclusion,” she said in a statement. “This is a difficult but important conversation, and it’s time for big changes. The Academy is taking dramatic steps to alter the makeup of our membership. In the coming days and weeks we will conduct a review of our membership recruitment in order to bring about much-needed diversity in our 2016 class and beyond.”

 

Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith) posted two tweets;

In her first tweet, she posted, ” I would like to express my gratitude to the Academy, specifically Cheryl Boone Isaacs, (pt1)

In a follow-up tweet, she posted, “for such a quick response in regard to the issue at hand. I look forward to the future. (pt2)

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Acclaimed Filmmaker Spike Lee to Boycott Oscars

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Spike Lee at the premiere of his latest film, “Chi-Raq,” at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York.                                                                                                                                                                        Credit Charles Sykes/Invision, via Associated Press

Legendary Director Spike Lee will not attend the Oscars. The filmmaker is the latest in a long line of entertainment industry power houses to voice an opinion of the Academy Awards not recognizing people of color.

The outcry over African-American actors being snubbed from this year’s Oscars hopefuls has reached a breaking point, especially on social media where the hashtag, “Oscars So White” has brought more attention to the omission of black actors for the awards show.

On Monday, the director announced that he would not be attending the ceremony on Feb. 28.

Via Instagram, Lee asked how it was possible that there were no nominations for black actors for the second year running. After revealing that he nor his wife would attend the esteemed awards show, Lee added, “Dr. King said, “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it’s right.”

The Hollywood legend accepted an honorary Oscar in November for his collective body of work. He did offer these words in the post, “I would like to thank President Cheryl Boone Isaacs and the Board of Governors of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for awarding me an Honorary Oscar this past November. I am most appreciative. However my wife, Mrs. Tonya Lewis Lee and I will not be attending the Oscar ceremony this coming February. We cannot support it and mean no disrespect to my friends, host Chris Rock and Producer Reggie Hudlin, President Isaacs and The Academy.”

 

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Jada Pinkett Smith Speaks Out on Twitter regarding the Oscar Diversity Controversy

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Jada Pinkett Smith, wife of Will Smith, is not happy about the omission of diversity in this year’s upcoming 88th Academy Awards.

The Oscar Nominations have been a hot topic since their release on January 14.

Pinkett Smith (whose husband Will Smith could have been nominated for his lead role in Concussion but wasn’t) showed her distaste for this year’s all-white nominations by taking to Twitter to vent. The actress posted a series of tweets regarding the issue.

Jada Pinkett Smith (@jadapsmith)

In her first post, she stated, “At the Oscars…people of color are always welcomed to give out awards…even entertain” (pt.1)

In another post, she went on to say, “But we are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments. Should people of color refrain from participating all together? (pt 2)

Lastly, in the series she wrote, “People can only treat us in the way in which we allow. With much respect in the midst of deep disappointment. J” (pt 3)

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[Photo: Getty]
Celebrity Entertainment Lifestyle Star Style The Scoop

African American Film Marketplace: A Great Day in Black Hollywood (Report & Photos)

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The 22nd Edition of the festival runs from January 15-17, 2016

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*Los Angeles  – The 22rd African American Film Marketplace got underway on Friday, January 15, 2016 at the Harmony Gold Theater in Los Angeles. The festival continues until Sunday, January 17.

During the “A Great Day in Black Hollywood”, Opening Night ceremony, the BHERC paid tribute to Community Service Award Honoree LaRita Shelby, President’s Award Honoree Larry Chatman; and Lifetime Achievement Award Honorees, Ron Brewington, Julie Dash and Billy Woodberry. According to BHERC officials, “these five amazing, innovative and creative individuals have had remarkable and impactful careers that have touched the lives of individuals around the world through their work and commitment.”

The program included a welcome by John Forbes, Program Director for BHERC, William Allen Young (Code Black) served as the master of ceremonies for the evening.

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Vanessa Williams (Flash) introduced the lifetime honorees.

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Teenage Reporter Eshun Melvin and Vanessa Williams on Red Carpet

 

Korina Davis, a violinist student from California State University, Long Beach provided the music for the evening with renditions of pop music. The festival also featured students from Washington Preparatory and teacher Darryl MacCane were additional celebrities present on the Red Carpet.

Sandra J. Evers-Manly, President of the festival, said, “For the past 22 years, the African American Film Marketplace and S.E. Mainly Short Film Showcase has offered film lovers and professionals a rich program based on cultural quality and diversity, innovation, independence, and creativity. The success and national reputation of the Film Festival are firmly linked to these principles and goals.”

Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of Blacks in film and television.  For complete information about the Festival, please visit www.BHERC.org.

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LaRita Shelby, Community Service Award Recipient

 

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Vanessa Williams greeting one of the students from Washington Preparatory
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Vanessa Williams and Julie Dash

 

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Sandra J. Evers-Manly, Founder and President
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Black Actors Snubbed for Oscar Nominations

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Well the nominations are in…

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The Oscar nominations for the 88th annual awards were announced Thursday morning from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles. Academy President Cheryl Boone, Ang Lee, Guillermo del Toro and John Krasinski took the stage to announce the directors, actors, movies, and industry hopefuls who will be competing for the prestigious gold statuette.

“The Revenant” led this year’s class of Oscar nominees with 12 nominations, including Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Best Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Best Motion Picture. The next contender was the survivalist action adventure “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which earned 10 nominations, including Best Motion Picture and Best Director (George Miller). “The Martian” walked away with seven nominations, reported Bay News 9.

Onlookers were surprised, yet thrilled, to see Sylvester Stallone included in this year’s nominations for “Creed.” Although his cast mate, Michael B. Jordan and the film director, Ryan Coogler received no acknowledgement. “Straight Outta Compton” was nominated for Best Original Screenplay, but social media was quick to point out that minority talent was overlooked.

Not a single black actor was nominated for an award. Actors like Will Smith and Idris Elba, who were nominated for Golden Globes, were left off the Oscar nominees list. The internet quickly started trending for “Beasts of No Nation”, the Elba film that had been rumored to be an Oscar contender all season.

Several media outlets have predicted that #OscarsSoWhite might start trending again this year as a result of the Academy’s lack of minority participation.

Not including talented black actors has now become a trend and fans are outraged. We saw a similar situation last year when nominations were announced but excluded “Selma” director Ava DuVernay and actor David Oyelowo, who played the lead character for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It should be noted that Reginald Hudlin will produce the 88th Oscars and Chris Rock will serve as Host. So, technically speaking, there will be some diversity.

The awards ceremony will air Feb. 28.

 

Below is a list of the nominees in the top categories.

Best Motion Picture

  • Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Best Director

  • George Miller (“Mad Max Fury Road”)
  • Adam McKay (“The Big Short”)
  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“The Revenant”)
  • Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”)
  • Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”)

Best Actor

  • Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”)
  • Matt Damon (“The Martian”)
  • Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”)
  • Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”)

Best Actress

  • Cate Blanchett (“Carol”)
  • Brie Larson (“Room”)
  • Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”)
  • Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”)
  • Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)

Best Supporting Actor

  • Christian Bale (“The Big Short”)
  • Mark Ruffalo (“Spotlight”)
  • Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”)
  • Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”)
  • Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”)

Best Supporting Actress

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”)
  • Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”)
  • Rooney Mara (“Carol”)
  • Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”)
  • Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”)

Original Screenplay

  • Bridge of Spies (Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Cohen)
  • Ex Machina (Alex Garland)
  • Inside Out (Peter Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley)
  • Spotlight (Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy)
  • Straight Outta Compton (Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff)

Adapted Screenplay

  • The Big Short (Charles Randolph and Adam McKay)
  • Brooklyn (Nick Hornby)
  • Carol (Phyllis Nagy)
  • The Martian (Drew Goddard)
  • Room (Emma Donoghue)

Best Animated Feature

  • Anomalisa
  • Boy and the World
  • Inside Out
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • When Marnie Was There

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The 22nd Annual African American Film Marketplace announced

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(Hollywood, CA) – The Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center (BHERC) hosts the 22nd Annual African American Film Marketplace and S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase and Diversity Youth Film Festival January 15-17, 2016.  The event will kick off with BHERC’s A Great Day in Black Hollywood on Friday, January 15, 2016, at the Harmony Gold Theater, 7655 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90046. Trailblazer Director, Charles Burnett will receive the Ivan Dixon Award of Achievement for his distinguished career and in recognition of the 25th Anniversary for his award-winning film TO SLEEP WITH ANGER.

The Opening Night will also include Award recipients LaRita Shelby, Entertainer, Author and Media Professional – Community Service Award, Larry Chatman, Production Manager/Production Coordinator for Dr. Dre and Aftermath Entertainment – President’s Award, Ron Brewington, Host and Producer of ActorsE Chat, Billy Woodberry, Independent filmmaker, and Julie Dash, Producer/Writer/Director – Lifetime Achievement Award. Filmmakers for the 2016 festival will also be introduced during the opening night ceremony.

The S.E. Manly Short Film Showcase screenings will occur Saturday through Sunday, January 16 & 17, 2016, at Raleigh Studios, 5300 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, California 90038.  The Diversity Youth Film Festival kicks off the showcase on Saturday, January 16, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. with 20 films produced and directed by students from Washington Preparatory High School. Starting at 12:30 p.m. 50 short films including romance, drama & comedy, directed and produced by African-American filmmakers from around the nations will be shown.

On Saturday evening at 8:00 p.m., BHERC will screen the redigitized version of TO SLEEP WITH ANGER followed by a moderated discussion with Charles Burnett.

Founded in 1996 by Sandra Evers-Manly, the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center is a nonprofit, public benefit organization designed to advocate, educate, research, develop, and preserve the history and future of Blacks in film and television.

For more information visit http://www.bherc.org/

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Jussie Smollet to host AfroPoP

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20 Feb 2015, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Jussie Smollett from the hit show 'Empire' attends the Uptown Magazine Annual Pre-Oscar Gala in West Hollywood to honor director Lee Daniels. Pictured: Jussie Smollett --- Image by © Blayze/Splash News/Corbis

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Jussie Smollett is set to host the eighth season of the public television show AfroPop: The Ultimate Exchange. The “Empire” star will emcee the popular show about contemporary art, life, and culture. The show will premiere on Monday, January 18 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on WORLD Channel. New episodes premiere weekly through February 15. The five-week series takes viewers on a journey of hope through three continents and the Caribbean.

AfroPoP is produced by National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and co-presented by American Public Television (APT), which distributes the series to the full public television system.

Previous hosts of AfroPoP include Idris Elba, Anika Noni Rose, Wyatt Cenac, Gabourey Sidibe, Anthony Mackie, and Yaya DaCosta. “AfroPoP’s engaging, real-life tales add to the collection of rich Black stories that audiences are clamoring for and I wanted to be a part of bringing them to national attention,” said Smollett in a statement.

“Jussie is an immense talent with a huge heart and a global perspective on issues, making him the perfect choice as host of the series,” added NBPC Director of Programs and Acquisitions and AfroPoP Executive Producer Kay Shaw. “The range and diversity of the content presented appeared to have really resonated with him and he was an informed host, contributing his knowledge of the issues addressed in the documentaries.”

For details on AfroPoP, visit www.blackpublicmedia.org

Lifestyle The Scoop

Beverly Bond announces BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Africa

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Beverly Bond is bringing her women’s empowerment network to Africa. Bond, who is the founder, CEO and executive producer of BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, made the announcement.

According to a statement released by the organization, BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Africa will be a multifaceted digital, media, and lifestyle platform that will continue to elevate Black women and girls in Africa and beyond. Bond is currently working with several community-based organizations to spearhead outreach initiatives on the continent and is also collaborating with VIMN Africa/BET Africa to develop a Pan-African Black Girls Rock! Awards show to commemorate the ten-year anniversary of Black Girls Rock! in 2016.”

“The purpose of the Black Girls Rock! Africa platform is to recognize, support, and celebrate the diversity and dynamism of black women in Africa and the African Diaspora,” says Bond. “Black Girls Rock! Africa will tap into our growing international market by illuminating the vibrant cultures and valiant narratives of our African sisters who are (s)heroes and trailblazers.”

For 10 years, Black Girls Rock! showcased African-American women in a positive limelight. The organization has hosted many memorable events to empower black girls. The star-studded annual awards show is just one proof that Black Girls Rock! The organization is also instrumental in music, media, and digital technologies.

Bond made the big announcement at the 2015 BETX Africa “Genius Talks” where she and media mogul Khanyi Dhlomo sat down with TV and radio personality Nikiwe Bikitsha to discuss the importance of affirming platforms like Black Girls Rock!

Black Girls Rock is a non-profit organization established in 2006 to promote the arts for young women of color, enrich girls through leadership, education, and positive identity development and encourage dialogue and analysis of the ways women of color are portrayed in the media.

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AT&T Brings ASPiRE And UP Networks To U-verse And DIRECTV Platforms

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AT&T will now offer Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s ASPiRE, the network that entertains and celebrates urban influencers and African-American families, and UP, a network providing uplifting family programming. ASPiRE and UP are now available on the DIRECTV and U-verse platforms.

“We’re pleased to bring these great channels that serve family audiences and expand entertainment options on both our U-verse and DIRECTV platforms,” said Dan York, chief content officer at AT&T. “With these networks come a diverse array of voices and perspectives that build on the wide variety of programming we carry today.”

“This is a fantastic way for us to close out a very successful year and we salute AT&T for recognizing the value that ASPiRE brings to their customers with programming that is relatable, relevant and positive,” said Earvin “Magic” Johnson, chairman & CEO, ASPiRE. “We will continue to provide a real and authentic view of the African-American community.”

“As the leading brand in family entertainment, we are proud to work with AT&T and look forward to entertaining AT&T’s customers with our unique brand of quality family content,” said Charley Humbard, president & CEO of UP.

ASPiRE brings viewers reality programs, modern comedies, provocative documentaries, popular series and original shows from a groundbreaking new generation of content creators. Show highlights include the network’s popular original series “ABFF Independent,” a weekly show hosted by Grammy® Award-winning music producer, recording artist and actor David Banner. And be sure to catch “Changemakers,” an original reality series spotlighting African-American celebrities using their success to improve the lives of others. ASPiRE is also the home of HBCU (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) football and basketball games. Look for exclusive live coverage of regular season and championship games.

UP is passionate about bringing entertaining content that viewers can feel good about. UP brings premiere movies and original series filled with compelling stories. This holiday season, “Everything You Love About Christmas” returns featuring more than 50 days and 500 hours of holiday movies, specials and marathons. The network’s hit original series “Bringing Up Bates” returns for a 3rd season in January. The new original series starring the world’s foremost family-fixer, “Jo Frost: Nanny on Tour” will also hit TVs in January.

ASPiRE is now available on DIRECTV’s XTRA package (channel 381) and on AT&T U-verse (channels 158/1158). UP is currently available on DIRECTV (channel 338) and on U-verse (channels 369/1369).
ASPiRE is a television network that celebrates the groundbreaking achievements of African-Americans. ASPiRE offers a diverse programming mix of movies, series and specials featuring music, comedy, drama, faith/inspiration, theater/performing arts, lifestyle and news/information. The network was launched on June 27, 2012 by Magic Johnson Enterprises, which acts as a catalyst for driving unparalleled business results for its partners and fosters community/economic empowerment by making available high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities.

ASPiRE is available in 24 of the top 25 African-American markets including New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, D.C..

About UP
UP is television’s trusted entertainment brand dedicated to providing viewers with “feel good TV for you and your family.” UP uplifts viewers every day with premiere movies, original reality, dramatic and comedy series filled with compelling stories and characters with character. In keeping with its brand promise, UP’s pro-social initiative, “Uplift Someone,” inspires people to do simple, everyday acts of kindness. UP is widely available on cable systems and satellite providers across the United States. Based in Atlanta, UP is a division of UP Entertainment, LLC and partners with the ASPiRE network on sales, marketing and other operational services.

About Magic Johnson Enterprises
Magic Johnson Enterprises acts as a catalyst for driving unparalleled business results for its partners and fosters community/economic empowerment by making available high-quality entertainment, products and services that answer the demands of ethnically diverse urban communities.

For more information, visit http://magicjohnson.com/enterprises.

SOURCE AT&T Inc.