Plus: Vanessa Williams returns to the Miss America pageant, Ava DuVernay expands the reach of her AFFRM distribution company, Freddie Gray's family reaches a settlement with the city, Taraji P. Henson to present at the Primetime Emmys and more!
Serena Williams on Competing Against Venus: 'It's Going Against Your Best Friend'
A little friendly competition between siblings never hurt anyone, right? Tennis superstar sisters Venus and Serena Williams went head to head last night at the U.S. Open, and the younger Williams took the crown. Serena beat Venus in a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 match, advancing her to the final two matches. At a new conference following the match, Serena praised her older sis. "It's a really great moment," she said. "She's the toughest player I've ever played and the best person I know. It's going against your best friend, and at the same time, going against the greatest competitor for me in women's tennis." [CNN]
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Ava DuVernay Expands Reach of her AFFRM Distribution Company
Ava DuVernay has always been an outspoken advocate for Black filmmakers, but now, the Selma director is expanding her reach. DuVernay announced that her film distribution company, the African-Americans Film Festival Releasing Movement, which typically caters to Black filmmakers, would be expanding its reach to release movies from female directors as well as directors of color. [The Wrap]
Freddie Gray's Family Reaches Settlement with City
Five months after Freddie Gray died of injuries he sustained while in police custody, the 25-year-old's family has reached a $6.4 million settlement with the city. The settlement, which is one of the largest in police-related death cases, comes just days before a judge will determine whether the trial of the six officers charged in Gray's death will be held outside of Baltimore city limits. [Yahoo]
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Vanessa Williams to Judge Miss America Competition
Vanessa Williams is preparing to make her triumphant return to the Miss America Pageant. William's 1984 Miss America victory was flanked by scandal after nude photos of her were released, but 31 years later, she will be returning to the pageant as a judge. We'll be excited to see her back in the beauty pageant spotlight! [TV Line]
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Dennis Haysbert to Star in New Drama 'Undercover'
Dennis Haysbert is stepping out of his Allstate shoes and into something a little more dramatic. Haysbert has just signed on to star in the BBC's new drama, Undercover, where he will play a wrongly imprisoned inmate on death row. Keep an eye out for the drama sometime next year. [Digital Spy]
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Taraji P. Henson, Terrence Howard to Present at Emmys
The Primetime Emmys are about to get some Empire flair. The Television Academy announced that Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard would be two of the presenters at this month's Emmys Awards. LL Cool J will also be making an on-stage appearance at the show. Catch the Emmys Sunday, Sept. 20 on Fox. [Variety]