Two weeks after Leslie Jones' controversial segment on slavery, I was very worried about the season finale of "Saturday Night Live." With the frenzy surrounding what happened between Solange, Jay Z and Beyoncé in that elevator, I was sure a sketch was coming.
Across Twitter, gossip sites and even mainstream media, Solange has been the butt of jokes that pathologize her as violent, angry and unstable. Knowing SNL's history reinforcing stereotypes of black women, there were a lot of ways this could have gone wrong, but I was pleasantly surprised. For me, it was a breath of fresh air for "SNL" – which for 39 years has too often relied on degrading stereotypes – to write a sketch about Solange, Jay Z and Beyoncé that managed to feel fresh and unexpected.
It was great to see Maya Rudolph show up Saturday to play Beyoncé, but it was also a harsh reminder that after she left, it was six years before "SNL" hired another black female cast member. Hiring Sasheer Zamata, along with writers LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, was a long-overdue first step toward addressing the lack of diversity on-screen, as well as the show's continued stereotypical portrayals of African-American women. Having someone to competently play first lady Michelle Obama and Olivia Pope from "Scandal" was an important acknowledgment of the tremendous role African-American women play in American culture.
Since retiring from the NFL, Terry Crews has traded in his helmet and cleats to pursue an acting career while also becoming the ultimate family man and fitness enthusiast. Over the past several years, omnipresent Terry has been seen almost everywhere, whether as the pecs-popping pitchman for Old Spice, portraying the overworked dad on "Everybody Hates Chris," a tough guy in "The Expendables" film series, the loveable goofball in "White Chicks," Will McAvoy's bodyguard on HBO's "The Newsroom," or randy congressman Herbert Love in "Arrested Development."
Already in 2014, Terry has appeared in Tyler Perry's "The Single Mom's Club," and in "Draft Day" opposite Kevin Costner. And later this year, he will be starring with Sly Stallone in "Reach Me," and reprising the role of Hale Caesar in the "The Expendables 3."
Terry is currently a series regular on the Golden Globe Award-winning TV sitcom "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," playing Sgt. Terry Jeffords, whose ripped exterior belies a sensitive and beleaguered interior. Crews also just added author to his resume with the release of his first book, "Manhood." And it was recently announced that starting this fall he will be serving as host of the game show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"
A hologram of Michael Jackson performed during last night's Billboard Music Awards. Welcome to the future of posthumous music.
In a similar style to Tupac Shakur's performance at Coachella in 2012, the King of Pop's hologram definitely bore an uncanny resemblance to the singer, but it didn't look like the Michael Jackson from five years ago. Jackson-Gram hologram performed the new hit "Slave to the Rhythm" off of Jackson's posthumous album "Xscape" – which debuted last week at No. 1 in 50 countries.
Jackson's hologram was dressed in red pants and a gold jacket with military-like designs on the shoulders. During the performance the hologram hit several of Jackson's signature moves as it was flanked by dancers and special effects.
Top Ten DVD List for May 20, 2014
"Secrets of the Third Reich"
Part and parcel of the "American Dream" is a deep desire to purchase that picture-perfect house in suburbia surrounded by the proverbial white picket fence. For generations, African Americans were frustrated in their pursuit of home ownership by de facto and de jure discrimination as reflected in everything from segregation to exclusionary zoning to racial covenants in deeds to the "white only" mortgage provisions of the G.I. Bill to the unwritten laws in Sundown Towns where African Americans weren't allowed to reside after sunset.
Consequently, most minorities ended up cooped in overcrowded, dilapidated tenements and projects in the nation's inner-cities. Then, during the Clinton Administration, Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, which mandated that banks finally extend mortgages to blacks and whites alike.
Sadly, racism reared its ugly head anyway in the form of the subprime mortgages issued predominantly to people of color, regardless of their income. And when the housing bubble burst in 2008, African-Americans started taking it on the chin again.
Over the past several days, the topic of Jay Z and Solange Knowles fighting in an elevator has ruled the Internet. Most people have wondered what provoked Knowles to attack Jay Z. Other people commended Jay Z for doing what was right and not retaliating against her with a few kicks and punches of his own.
But one media personality believes that any man, including Jay Z, should be able to hit a woman back during a fight.
Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of "The View," doesn't have any double standards when it comes to violence. During Tuesday's episode of the ABC talk show, Goldberg said Jay Z had every right to defend himself and hit Solange back.
For movies opening May 16, 2014
BIG BUDGET FILMS
"Godzilla" (PG-13 for intense violence and scenes off destruction) Epic eco-adventure finds the legendary monster reborn and rising to restore balance in the titanic force of nature while humanity stands defenseless. Ensemble includes Bryan Cranston, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Sally Hawkins, David Strathairn, Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche and Ken Watanabe.
"Million Dollar Arm" (PG for mild epithets and suggestive content) Fact-based drama recounting how sports agent J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) traveled all the way to India to recruit some of the Subcontinent's top cricket pitchers to play major league baseball back in the U.S. Featuring Bill Paxton, Alan Arkin, Aasif Mandvi, Lake Bell and Suraj Sharma. (In English and Hindi with subtitles)