Today’s news is full of wild entertainment tidbits, including allegations that Disney’s live-action Aladdin is whitewashing characters and accusations that Lena Dunham isn’t really here for the Times Up movement.
Here’s everything you need to know:
– Disney’s live-action Aladdin is accusing the film of tanning White actors to play extras and bit parts. Actor Kaushal Odedra, a stand-in and extra on the film, says he was disturbed by the idea and was told by other extras that it was pretty normal. “I asked a Saudi cast member what he made of having these extras being tanned so heavily and he said it’s unfortunate, but this is how the industry works, and there’s no point complaining about it since it isn’t going to change. Also, if I’d wanted to discuss it, speaking to the almost entirely white crew seemed somewhat intimidating.” (The Times)
– Tessa Thompson has accused Lena Dunham of using the Times Up movement for a photo opp. Replying to a comment on Instagram, Thompson wrote, “Lena was not anywhere present in our group during the countless hours of work for the last two months. We hosted an open house for actresses for red carpet messaging and Lena presence was a surprise to us all.” Thompson has since apologized for her comments even though she really didn’t need to. (The Root)
– Kanye West has been avoiding the spotlight, but the rapper was recently in the news for a good deed. A Twitter user revealed that the rapper called a woman with cancer to rap to her, reportedly making the call a few days before the woman passed. (Vibe)
– Cassie has dropped the video for her single “Don’t Play It Safe,” which features production from Kaytranada. Discussing the track, Cassie said, “Kay and I have been working on this project for a while now. I look forward to everyone hearing what we have in store. He just gets me.” (The Fader)
– Grown-ish is off to an incredible start. The Yara Shahidi-led series is Freeform’s biggest comedy debut in five years and the network’s best debut overall in two years. (Shadow and Act)
– Nipsey Hussle is facing backlash after sharing an Instagram post with a homophobic caption. Sharing a photo of Black men and boys dressed in their Sunday best, Hussle wrote that the photo excluded ” hyper-violent” men as well as homosexual men and men who leave their families. Hussle faced backlash for assuming that only cisgender Black men can be strong in the Black community. (Vibe)
– The BAFTA’s have been accused of being too white and male after nominations were recently revealed. Twitter users noted the lack of diversity among nominees after a year of critically-acclaimed films from women and people of color. (Twitter)
– A Kansas lawmaker says cannabis should be illegal because Black people are genetically unable to handle its effects. State Rep. Steve Alford (R), who has probably never read a legitimate study on cannabis, said Saturday that Black pot users “responded the worst off to those drugs just because of their character makeup, their genetics and that.” (HuffPost)
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