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The weekend is basically here, but there’s still a lot happening in the wake of a tumultuous political and entertaining news week.
1. After several accusations of sexual assault in his past, Russell Simmons took to social media to claim his innocence on Thursday. Using the hashtag #NotMe he posted a message on Instagram saying, “Today, I begin to properly defend myself,” adding, “I will prove without any doubt that I am innocent of all rape charges.” The NYPD is currently investigating the allegations made against him. [US Weekly]
2. BET Networks has a new president. After 21 years in the job, Debra Lee announced that she would be stepping down and Scott M. Mills would take over as president. Lee will still serve as chairman and CEO of the Viacom-owned network but is stepping back from running the day-to-day operations.
3. Get ready for another great, thrilling show from Courtney Kemp! The creator of Starz’s Power is working on a new television series based off a 1974 blaxploitation TV movie about a Black woman CIA agent who transforms into whoever she needs to be to solve cases. Pitch actress, Kylie Bunbury, has been cast in the lead role. [Shadow and Act]
4. DC is heading to DC. The comic book company whose live action shows include The Flash and Arrow, will host host a series of events and panels in Washington, D.C. this January. One event for Mara Brock Akil’s Black Lightning will be at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. [Variety]
5. Deandre Harris may finally get the justice he deserves. Harris was attacked by a group of white supremacists at the August Charlottesville rally that killed one woman. Charges of felony assault against Alex Ramos and Jacob Goodwin are heading to a grand jury. The two men claim they acted in “self-defense” —luckily, camera footage captured the whole violent exchange. [CBS]
6. Charles Barkley may be turning a new leaf. The conservative, former NBA player went down to Alabama for the Doug Jones Congressional win and made a pledge to support Black women —the same women who voted in droves to put Jones in office. Barkley says he will give $1 million to Black Alabama women to fund startup costs for I.T. businesses. [WTVY]
7. The rising cost of medical care in this country has made people seek alternative ways to get the help they need. With that said, a new study has found that people are using Uber instead of ambulance trucks to get emergency treatment at hospitals. [The Mercury News]