Donate Now





Eddie Murphy to Receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 2023 Golden Globes

Photo Courtesy of Netflix
Actor and comedian Eddie Murphy will receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 80th Golden Globes.

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced the news on Wednesday (Dec. 15).

“We’re honored to present this year’s Cecil B. DeMille Award to the iconic and highly esteemed Mr. Eddie Murphy,” HFPA President Helen Hoehne said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be celebrating the lasting impact on film and television that his career — in front of and behind the camera — has had through the decades.”

The 61-year-old performer will accept the award — which is given to honor “outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment,” according to the HFPA —Tuesday, Jan. 10, at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards Ceremony.

Hosted by comedian Jerrod Carmichael, the event will be televised live (5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET) on NBC and available for streaming on Peacock.

Murphy has previously been nominated six times for a Globe. His only win came in 2007 for his inspired and critically acclaimed performance as James (Jimmy) "Thunder" Early in the movie musical "Dreamgirls."

Ava Du Vernay, Oscar-nominated director and box-office superstar, Gets Her Own Flavor of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Oscar-nominated director Ava Du Vernay is getting her own
ice cream flavor from Ben & Jerry's.

Ava Du Vernay is already the highest-grossing Black female director in American box office history, but she may have found another way to get her work in front of even more audiences.

The "Queen Sugar" executive producer has teamed up with popular ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's for her own signature snack.

"Lights! Caramel! Action! will begin shipping across the country in January 2023.

DuVernay said she worked with the company's food scientists to create a flavor with all the ingredients she personally loves. She is hoping that the result — a mixture of vanilla ice cream with salted caramel swirls, graham cracker swirls and gobs of chocolate chip cookie dough — will prove popular with fans and help raise money for her non-profit ARRAY Alliance.

"Ice cream is a simple joy of life. A comfort food that I've turned to on many days - making sunny ones brighter and dark ones sweeter," DuVernay said in a statement announcing the partnership. "Partnering with Ben & Jerry's, a company that I've long admired for their commitment to social justice, has been a thrill ride."

She added, "Beyond being downright delicious, proceeds from Lights! Caramel! Action! will help ARRAY Alliance further its non-profit mission of inclusion and belonging in the film and TV industries. A worthy and delicious endeavor."

Lights! Caramel! Action! is available in both ice cream and non-dairy versions.

DuVernay's mission with the Peabody Award-winning multi-platform arts and social impact collective ARRAY Alliance she founded in 2011 is to amplify and elevate the work of artists of color and women directors, create inclusive film sets, provide grants, mentorship and education for people from underrepresented communities who want to work in the film industry.

"Framing this up as a new flavor for the first Black woman to be a featured partner on our pints doesn't do Ava justice," Matthew McCarthy, Ben & Jerry's CEO, said. "We are humbled by this partnership, impressed by her work sharing not only the struggle but the joy in the justice, and we are inspired by her commitment and vision."

The full-time addition to Ben & Jerry's flavor lineup will be featured across the United States at its franchised Scoop Shops as well as on shelves in pints at a retail price of $6.49.

DuVernay is the first African American woman to be nominated for an Academy Award as a director in any feature category. She is currently writing, directing and producing the narrative film adaptation of Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson's bestseller "Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent."

Travis Scott Joins DJ Screw Biopic as Executive Producer

Courtesy of DeMo Sherman and University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
The Sony biopic set to chronicle the life of Houston music legend DJ Screw has a new producer.

The studio announced that Travis Scott, another Bayou City native, will executive-produce the project — tentatively titled "All Screwed Up" —first publicized in 2020.

Deadline broke the news, which comes just days before the 22nd anniversary of the death of the pioneer behind the "chopped and screwed" sound that came to define Houston hip-hop in the latter part of the 20th Century.

“When I went up to the LA office with my bro Earl, and the entire Cactus Jack team was there. Trav and I talked over an hour about how epic this could be… bouncing ideas,” Isaac Yowman, who will direct the movie, said. “The love for Screw was mutual, and he told me I had his full support. We’re both raised in Mo. City so this means that much more to have him be a part.”

The film is being developed by Columbia Pictures, a subsidiary of Sony, and has the blessing of the deceased star's family.

"Continuing the legacy of my brother is most important," DJ Screw’s sister Michelle Wheeler said. "The process honestly has been exciting. I’m like wow, we’re really about to make a movie. Nearly a dozen film directors and producers had approached us over the years, but this was the first time I actually felt fully comfortable. I’m very thankful for Sony and Travis being on this journey with us, helping keep my brother Screw’s legacy going.”

Born Robert Earl Davis Jr., DJ Screw invented his signature “chopped and screwed” sound by spinning two copies of a record to “chop” in new rhythms and having local rappers freestyle over the tracks and slow down the recordings of the session on tape.

As the leader of Houston's iconic Screwed Up Click rap collective, and through the release of over 350 mixtapes he became a pivotal figure on the regional level during his life and his legacy continues to spread his innovations nationally and globally, as well as beyond the genres of rap and hip-hop.

He died at the age of 29 on Nov. 16, 2000, of a codeine overdose in addition to mixed drug intoxication, in his recording studio.

Snoop Dogg Biopic in Development at Universal Pictures

Courtesy Death Row Pictures 

Snoop Dogg is ready for his close-up.

Universal Pictures announced that the gangster-rapper from Long Beach, CA, turned unlikely lifestyle guru and renaissance man, is getting his own biopic.

The studio behind 2015’s Oscar-nominated “Straight Outta Compton” about legendary hip-hop group NWA — which grossed over $200 million and is considered of the most successful musical biopics ever — shared the news on Wednesday (Nov. 10).

"What's his name? Snoop Dooogggyyy Doooooggg," Universal Pictures tweeted. "That's right, we're partnering with the Dogg Father himself @SnoopDogg to bring his legendary life-story to the big screen."

The revelation was followed by a statement from the 51-year-old rapper, born Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr, confirming the collaboration.

“I waited a long time to put this project together because I wanted to choose the right director, the perfect writer, and the greatest movie company I could partner with that could understand the legacy that I’m trying to portray on screen, and the memory I’m trying to leave behind,” Snoop said. “It was the perfect marriage. It was holy matrimony, not holy macaroni.”

With a script by Joe Robert Cole, who co-wrote the two “Black Panther” films, and directed by Allen Hughes (“Menace II Society”), the film will be the first project under his newly formed Death Row Pictures imprint. He will also serve as a producer on the film along with Sara Ramaker.

“Snoop Dogg is one of the most internationally beloved figures in Hip Hop. There’s just something about his energy that brings people of all walks of life together. Snoop Dogg, not just the artist, but the man and his brand, has transcended generations with his connection and appeal to audiences." Hughes added, “His story is so authentic and utterly inspiring, and to have the opportunity to tell his story allows me to go back to the hood 30 years after Menace II Society, and say more now than I could then.”

The film will have an abundance of material to draw from.

A key player on the West Coast rap scene after his discovery by Dr. Dre in 1992 which led to him being featured on the former NWA members classic solo debut album “The Chronic,” Snoop Dogg has sold more than 35 million albums worldwide.

He has appeared on television and in the movies and managed a successful career as a brand ambassador and lifetime guru, even partnering up with style icon Martha Stewart along the way.

His career has not been without controversy, however, including one that threatened to end his career before it began.

In 1993, the year his now classic debut album “Doggystyle” entered the charts, he was charged with first-degree murder for the shooting of Philip Woldermariam, a rival gang member.

Represented by legal wunderkind Johnnie Cochran, who helped secure OJ Simpson’s not guilty verdict the year before, it was determined that Snoop’s bodyguard pulled the trigger in the fatal shooting.

The drama was documented in the most popular single from “Doggystyle,” “Murder Was the Case.” The song, nor the short film that accompanied it, proved favorable for him at trial. They did help the album become the fastest-selling hip-hop album ever at the time. "Doggystyle" sold over 11 million copies worldwide.

Watch: Will Smith Releases Teaser for Runaway Slave Movie 'Emancipation'

Will Smith is having a relatively rough year for a guy who won his first Academy Award in March.

Of course, slapping the host of the show about to fete you is probably not the best way to get on the good side of karma.

While Chris Rock famously declined to press charges for the incident, Smith did get a 10-year ban from attending the ceremony. He also was grilled mercilessly by the internet and went into hiding when he should have been celebrating the apex of his acting career. 

Things are finally looking up for the actor, who apologized to Rock for the assault on the comedian in what the latter referred to as a "hostage video,” however.

Smith's first post-slap project, “Emancipation,” is generating positive buzz. Following a recent screening his performance as Peter — the real-life runaway slave depicted in the "Whipped Peter" series of photos in Harper's Weekly in 1863 that served as a searing indictment on slavery — was compelling enough for Apple to give it a December release.

The feature will be released to theaters in a limited release on Dec. 2, before making its debut on Apple TV+ a week later — making it eligible for this year's Oscar nominations.

That doesn't guarantee, of course, that Smith will remotely add another best actor trophy to his case remotely next year. If the word-on-the-street is to be believed, though, the movie and the powerful performance that drives it might be the most important of his career.

"I had the pleasure of watching the film #Emancipation and can’t begin to tell how powerful this is for OUR community and OUR history," NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson posted on Twitter following the screening. "It’s a story of adversity, of resilience, of love, and of triumph. Thank you Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith for sharing your gifts!"

Watch the teaser for the movie below:

Keke Palmer, SZA Featured Prominently on Prestigious TIME100 Next List

Courtesy Time

Time magazine revealed its annual list of the most influential people in the world today, and It Girl Keke Palmer, along with R&B powerhouse SZA, was front-and-center

The dynamic duo was picked — along with actor Sydney Sweeney and conservationist Farwiza Farhan — to be one of the four worldwide cover persons for the TIME100 Next list.

It showcases 100 emerging leaders from around the world, shaping the future and defining the next generation of leadership, by having their peers pen a few words on why they deserve the recognition.

Calling her one of the most talented human beings I've ever met, rapper-turned-actor Queen Latifah did the honors for Palmer, writing:

Watching Keke evolve as a young woman has been a joy. She is the epitome of grace, poise, and honesty. To watch her grow as an artist, taking on a range of challenging roles—­including her stunning performances in Akeelah and the Bee, Pimp, and the critically acclaimed 2022 blockbuster Nope—has been inspiring to me as a fellow actor. Not to mention, the girl can sing! But then again, this young champion has been inspiring adults for many, many years. Keke is the future, and I can’t wait to see the things that she will do as she continues on her journey.

Fellow Grammy winner Lizzo feted SZA:

When she dropped CTRL, her debut studio album, it was a cultural f-cking reset. She changed the world! The authenticity in her craft—the way she’s able to tell her story and the way she uses melody—is extraordinary. No one can replicate that. When she’s onstage, she’s timeless. She’s someone who’s the real deal, and I think that she’s well on her way to being regarded as one of the greatest songwriters and singers of all time. All she needs is that pen and that voice and her story, and she’s going to be with us for a long time.

Other notable names on the list included Jonathan Majors ("The Harder They Fall"), Lashana Lynch ("The Woman King"), Yahya Abdul-Mateen II ("Aquaman"), Ncuti Gatwa ("Doctor Who"), TikTok influencer Khaby Lame and NBA star Ja Morant.

"Real change requires urgency and the determination to respond with speed to global challenges such as the climate crisis," Time editor-in-chief and CEO Edward Felsenthal wrote of the rising stars and changemakers on the 2022 list. "The leaders featured on this year's TIME100 Next list have demonstrated that spirit. They are shaping our world—and demanding we join them."

To see the complete list click here.

Questlove Executive Producing Documentary on Legendary Detroit Music Producer J Dilla

Photo Courtesy Brian "B+" Cross

After winning an Oscar for his directorial debut earlier this year at the 94th Academy Awards, Questlove is finally ready to dabble in film again.

This time the roots drummer — whose hit Hulu film about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival "Summer of Soul" was named Best Documentary Feature — won't be behind the camera.

His production company Two One Five Entertainment announced he will serve as an executive producer on a documentary about legendary hip-hop producer J Dilla.

"Dilla Time," which is based on Dan Charnas' book "Dilla Time: The Life and Afterlife of J Dilla, The Hip-Hop Producer Who Reinvented Rhythm," promises to share new insights into one of the art form's most influential and mysterious figureheads.

For Questlove, who once called Dilla “the music god that music gods and music experts and music lovers worship,” it is a labor of love.

“Explaining musical genius is my mission,” he said in a statement. “To be able to tell the world about the musician that had the most influence on me is a dream come true. Not just on me, but on an entire generation of musicians that everyone knows and loves. J Dilla was our teacher. And what he taught us was how to feel rhythm in a way we had never felt before. I’m so honored to be a part of bringing his story to the world through this documentary.”

The documentary will be part biography, part musicology, and part musical meditation, according to the announcement. It will also examine the impact the Detroit native had on modern pop music through his innovative drum machine work.

Dilla collaborated with some of hip-hop's most lauded acts before his death at the age of 32 from a rare blood disease: including Questlove, Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest, Common, Erykah Badu, and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few, as well as major producers such as Ye, Dr. Dre and Pharrell.

R&B Singer and Broadway Veteran, Marva Hicks Taha, Dead at 66

Marva Hicks Taha
Broadway veteran, actress and R&B singer Mava Hicks Taha — who duetted with pop music legends Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, and whose credits on the Great White Way include "Motown" and "The Lion King" has died.

A statement released by her husband Akwasi Taha and the rest of the family Sunday revealed that she passed away at the age of 66 on Friday (Sept. 16) in New York City.

"It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of our dear Marva Hicks Taha," the declaration read. "Our beloved wife, family member and friend will be greatly missed and remains marvelous in our hearts forever. The love she had for her husband, family, friends and entertainment community knew no bounds."

It continued, "We have been deeply touched by the incredible outpouring of love. Thank you for your compassion and prayers. Memorial arrangements will be announced in the coming days." –

Taha's career on the screen, stage and behind the microphone spanned four decades.

The Virginia native was a fixture in the theater community. In addition to her work on Broadway in musicals such as "Caroline or Change," and "Lena Horne, The Lady at Her Music," she starred in many off-Broadway and regional theater productions nationwide.

Most recently the three-time Helen Hayes Award winner — which recognizes excellence in professional theater in the Washington, D.C., area — starred in an April 2022 performance of "Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous" at Atlanta's Alliance Theater.

In addition to her theater career, Taha was an accomplished musician.

After signing with Polydor Records in the late eighties she notched a Top 10 Billboard R&B charts single in 1991 with "Never Been in Love Before" off her debut album "Marva Hicks."

While the singles that followed did not fare as well, Taha continued to be an in-demand backup singer, providing vocals for a diverse array of music superstars over the years including Jackson, Wonder, Whitney Houston, James Ingram and Michael McDonald.

Off the stage, her immense talents as an actress translated well to both the small and big screen.

Her film and television credits include "Mad About You," "Star Trek," "One Life to Live," and "LA Law," among many others. Taha also lent her voice and talents to many nonprofit organizations including the Ronald McDonald House.

Watch: First Look at British Actress, Naomi Ackie, as Whitney Houston in ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ Biopic

"The Voice" may be gone but her musical legacy lives on and thanks to Sony a new generation is set to be exposed to the story behind the rise and fall of one of America's most prolific and acclaimed singers.

On Thursday, the studio released the first trailer for its upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."

In the two-minute clip from the fully-authorized biographical drama, viewers get their first glimpse at British actress Naomi Ackie's ( "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker") portrayal of the music legend who the movie's synopsis says went "From New Jersey choir girl to one of the best-selling and most awarded recording artists of all time."

Only time will tell if the movie, slated for release on Dec. 21, will be a gift to fans of the departed diva, but the outlook is promising considering the film's pedigree.

Anthony McCarten, who wrote the hit 2018 Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," penned the script. While the man who signed and mentored Houston throughout her music career, super-producer Clive Davis, portrayed by master character actor Stanley Tucci in the film, is producing.

Watch the trailer below for a first look at Ackie in the iconic role:

Watch: Halle Bailey as Ariel in First Teaser for Live-Action 'The Little Mermaid' Movie

Over the weekend the world finally got a sneak peek at Disney’s controversial live-action adaptation of “The Little Mermaid,” starring Black R&B singer and actress Halle Bailey as Ariel.

A teaser trailer for the adaptation of the animated Disney classic was released Friday at Disney's D23 expo and already has more than 104 million (more than those of any other tease for a live action Disney adaption) views globally according to reporting from Variety.

It has also drawn praise from celebrities, parents and the original voice cast for Bailey —who has faced criticism of "blackwashing" since taking on the iconic role of the fictional red-headed mermaid who dreams of a life above the waves.

Following the premiere, Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in the original 1989 animated film praised Bailey on Instagram writing, "Halle, you were absolutely amazing! I'm SO proud of you and your beautiful performance as Ariel."

The 60-year-old actress added that she had a great time celebrating the achievement with Bailey, 22, at D23 and shared some words of adulation for the film's director Rob Marshall as well.

She added, "Thank you for creating such a stunning film!!!"

The clip gives fans a brief look at the underwater world Marshall has created for the film and Bailey in action as Ariel — red hair and all — as she hits the beginning notes to bring to "Part of Your World."

Watch the teaser below:

Will Smith Addresses Oscar's Slap in Emotional Apology Video

Screengrab: Will Smith/YouTube
Less than a week after Chris Rock finally addressed the incident, and four months after delivering the slap that shocked the cinema world, Will Smith posted a video to YouTube Friday to apologize again for striking the comedian during the live TV broadcast of the Academy Awards ceremony.

“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the complexities and nuances of what happened in that moment,” Smith, who earned his first Oscar for "King Richard" moments after striding onto the stage and delivering a backhand to Rock, following a G. I. Jane joke at the expense of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith who has been candid over the years about her struggles with the hair-loss triggering condition alopecia.

He continued, “I’m not gonna try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect of insults.”

Smith had previously posted an apology on Instagram hours after the incident. The video message, however, strove to answer questions about his motivations for his bad behavior as well as extend apologies to the comedian's family.

"It's been a minute," the opening credits of the video read. "Over the last few months, I've been doing a lot of thinking and personal work. You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer."

Among those answers were two that fans, television talking heads and entertainment rags had been speculating on for some time. Did his wife have anything to do with the attack, and why did he not apologize on stage when he accepted his award?

“I made a choice on my own, from my own experiences from my history with Chris. Jada had nothing to do with it," Smith said, making it clear that he was to blame for any actions he took that night. As for why he didn't immediately apologize to Rock during his acceptance speech for best actor, the Grammy winner said, "I was fogged out by that point. It’s all fuzzy."

Seemingly holding back tears, Smith went on to offer apologies to Rock's mother, Rose, and brother Tony, as well as musician Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, who picked up his best documentary Oscar for Summer of Soul in the awkward moments following the slap.

The star also acknowledged that his apology, though sincere, might be too late.

"I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out," he said. "So, I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."

Rock has been tight-lipped concerning the subject in public. His first comments came over the weekend while headlining stand-up shows in New York and New Jersey.

“Yeah, that s—t hurt, motherf—ker, but I shook that s—t off and went to work the next day,” Rock said.

He added, “I’m not a victim, motherf—ker. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”

Watch the full apology video embedded below.

Jamie Foxx, Snoop Dogg Join Forces to Slay Vampires in 'Day Shift'

They say religion is the opiate of the masses. That may be true, but if so, entertainment is not far behind, and movies are perhaps its most effective delivery method.

There are likely several reasons "Top Gun: Maverick" clocked a billion dollars at the box office 36 years after the original, but one of them is surely the collective need for a break from reality.

In a world where global warming, class wars, political unrest and a persistent pandemic have made life — less than optimal— sometimes 120 minutes in a fantasy world is the perfect prescription for the new-millennium blues.

With that in mind, the mad doctors at Netflix may have stumbled onto this summer's best remedy for that ailment with their latest offer.

Combining the talents of two of hip-hop and R&Bs finest, "Day Shift" is a modern-day take on the vampire genre that looks better than it has any right to be if the final cut lives up to the action-packed trailer.

Rap legend Snoop Dogg and Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx, who has also been nominated for eight Grammys for his musical contribution and won one, portray unionized vampire hunters in the tale. It's a twist that Starbucks' corporate is sure to hate but it provides context for the motivation of Foxx's character, who has fallen out of favor with the union and is doing jobs on the side when not cleaning pools to make ends meet. The duo is joined by Dave Franco in a role that plays to his talents as a straight-man and comic relief.

Netflix boasts the film is “from the people who taught John Wick how to kick ass" in the trailer, and the movie does have strong ties to the highly praised action trilogy.

Director JJ Perry was a second unit director and stunt coordinator whose previous credits include the John Wick franchise, and the movie was adapted from an original script by Tyler Tice that has been revised by Shay Hatten ("John Wick: Chapter 3- Parabellum" and "John Wick: Chapter 4").

Check out the synopsis below and watch the official trailer.

Day Shift tells the story of longtime vampire hunter Bud Jablonski (Jamie Foxx), a man whose relationship with his wife (Meagan Good) and daughter (Zion Broadnax) is somewhat strained because of his secret line of work. While Bud’s family generally goes with the story that he works as a pool cleaner, in reality, he’s one of the many vampire hunters operating around the world to take out the blood-sucking ghouls for sizable bounties. Unlike Bud, who somehow managed to get himself booted from the union in the past, hunters like Big John Elliott (Snoop Dogg) count on their membership to get paid and stay involved in the larger fight against evil.

Patrick Adams, legendary disco producer, has died at age 72

Photo Credit: Red Bull Music Academy
Prolific music producer Patrick Adams, the driving force behind countless disco hits who helped shape the evolution of hip-hop, passed away Wednesday at the age of 72.

Adam's daughter Joi Sanchez announced the composer's death in a social media post.

"My father passed away earlier today at on his sleep at the golden age of 72 after living a life of music," she wrote. "Forever grateful for what I learned from him? Who I became because of who he was. I’m amazing because he was literally legendary."

A musical renaissance man, Adams earned 32 gold and platinum records during a career that began in the 1960s and spanned decades and genres.

Born in 1950, the New York City native got an early start in music. Already an accomplished songwriter, instrumentalist and budding engineer — he joined the Harlem band the Sparks as a 16-year-old. The group was signed to Curb/MGM and played shows with acts like the Commodores and Jerry Butler.

By 1970 Adams had been hired as the vice president of A&R for New York-based Perception/Today Records, after discovering and signing the teenage R&B trio Black Ivory in 1968. The group's first single, powered by the vocals of lead singer Leroy Burgess, peaked at No. 38 on Billboard's R&B chart in 1971.

His success as a manager was quickly eclipsed by his highly coveted work as a producer. Adams eventually started his own production company focused on dance — Patrick Adams Productions Music and went on to produce and arrange music for some of the biggest disco, R&B and hip-hop acts of the 70s and 80s.

Gladys Knight, Candi Staton, Keith Sweat, Salt-N-Pepa, Eric B & Rakim, Loleatta Holloway, Sister Sledge and Eddie Kendricks, are just a few of the artists and icons who the arranger and composer elevated with his work. His songs have been heavily sampled by some of hip-hop's greatest rappers including Kanye West, Nas and Wu-Tang Clan.

In 2017 Red Bull Music Academy honored his work and its impact on the music industry with a celebration in New York that worked to shed more light on his then mostly overlooked legacy.

“You can tell a Nile Rodgers record a million miles away because it has an imprint that emanates from his guitar,” he told Red Bull Music Academy. “In my case I tried to avoid that. I didn’t want my records to sound the same. Whether that was a positive thing or a negative thing, I don’t know. But at the same time there is a signature in my music—sometimes it’s harmonic, and sometimes it’s just in the quirkiness of things. And sometimes you just don’t hear it until somebody points it out to you and asks, ‘Oh, he did that record too?’”

Jada Pinkett Smith Finally Opens Up About Assault That Got Husband Will Banned From Oscars

Jada Pinkett Smith addresses her husband's assault of Chris Rock
on the latest episode of "Red Table Talk."
Over two months after actor Will Smith seemingly had a flashback to his Oscar-nominated role as Muhammad Ali, taking to the stage mid-segment to deliver a blow to host Chris Rock, his wife is finally speaking out about the incident, which was sparked by a joke about her hair.

Actress and singer Jada Pinkett Smith, best known for her roles in "The Matrix" series of movies and "Girls Trip", used the opening seconds of "Red Table Talk" to address the March 27 assault on the comedian by her husband.

"Now, about Oscar night, my deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity
to heal, talk this out, and reconcile," Pinkett Smith said, referring to the drama that played out after Smith took a bald joke by Rock as a character made famous by Demi Moore as a sleight toward his wife, who suffers from alopecia areata and was sporting a short shorn hairdo.

She added, "The state of the world today, we need them both, and we all actually need one another more than ever. Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that’s keep figuring out this thing called life together."

The drama began when Rock said "Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it," referring to the 1997 film in which Demi Moore sported a buzzcut, during his monologue. Smith walked briskly on the stage and delivered a hard slap that shook the comedian before returning to his seat and yelling, "Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth."

Celebrity-watchers had been waiting to hear from Pinkett Smith since the "slap seen around the world." Smith, who avoided charges and later returned to the stage to win his first Academy Award for his portrayal of tennis family patriarch Richard Williams in the movie "King Richard," was later banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years.

Previously, Pinkett Smith had shared an Instagram post, many deduced was about the dustup, which said, "This is a season for healing and I’m here for it," but her comments to open the fifth season of her popular Facebook Watch advice show, hosted along with her daughter Willow and mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, was her first time to address the matter directly.

Pinkett Smith followed up the statement with a show addressing alopecia. Her guests included the mother of 12-year-old, Rio Allred, a girl who was bullied over her hair loss and died by suicide just weeks before the melee at the Oscars, and a physician who explained the different types of the disorder.

Kevin Hart Launches Global Multi-Platform Company HARTBEAT With $100 Million Investment

HARTBEAT’s Chief Content Officer Bryan Smiley, Chairman Kevin Hart, CEO Thai Randolph and Chief Distribution Officer Jeff Clanagan.

Kevin Hart is laughing all the way to the bank.

The stand-up comedian turned movie star has proven he has what it takes to shine in the business world as well.

Tuesday, he announced, thanks to a $100 million investment from private equity firm Abry Partners, the expansion of his already formidable media empire.

The new venture, born of a merger of his two current production companies, Laugh Out Loud and HartBeat Productions, will simply be called HARTBEAT.

'"The creation of HARTBEAT and our capital raise with Abry represent a new era in comedy," said Hart in a statement released by the company about the deal. 

"This all started out with a mission to keep the world laughing together, and I'm so proud our teams have delivered on that, putting in the hard work to build the most innovative and inclusive comedic storytelling company."

The new company is reportedly valued at over $650 million. Abry's minority stake in it equates to about 15%. Hart will act as chairman. The existing leadership team from both entities will continue to oversee day-to-day operations. Thai Randolph, who had been the chief operating officer of both Laugh Out Loud and HartBeat Productions, was named chief executive.

HARTBEAT will use the investment to grow existing brands, produce new content and grow its team.

"At HARTBEAT, we're building an end-to-end entertainment enterprise that creates, markets and distributes the most culturally relevant IP and experiences in comedy and beyond. The merger and capital raise help us further scale and invest in the future of comedic entertainment, creating more high demand content and experiences at the intersection of comedy and culture," Randolph stated.

Abry Partners partner Nicolas Massard will be joining the HARTBEAT board as part of the deal. NBCUniversal's streaming service Peacock, which took an equity stake in Laugh Out Loud in 2020, will remain a shareholder.

The company has 60 projects in various stages of development across various platforms, and in addition to a first-look deal with Peacock, boasts several other strategic multi-year partnerships. HARTBEAT has a film deal with Netflix, a partnership with SiriusXM, and a deal with Audible in partnership with multimedia star Charlamagne Tha God.

Upcoming projects for the company include "Me Time," a Netflix movie starring Mark Wahlberg and Regina Hall, "Storytown" on HBOMax and an Apple TV+ documentary, "#1 on the Call Sheet."

Will Smith Gets 10-Year Oscars' Ban for Slapping Chris Rock

The slap heard, and seen, around much of the world, continues to have new ramifications for embattled Oscar winner Will Smith. 

Friday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' board of governors handed the actor a 10-year ban from attending the ceremony. It was the first punitive action taken by anybody, including the Los Angeles Police Department, against the star.

Smith, 53, walked onstage and struck Rock during the March 27 ceremony for telling a bald joke about the rapper-turned-actor's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss on the scalp and elsewhere.
Rock, 57, was approached by officers from the LAPD after the slap. He declined to press charges, and moments later Smith returned to the stage to accept his first Oscar, on his third nomination, for his performance as the father of tennis icons Serena and Venus William in the biopic about his life, "King Richard."

By the following day, Smith had left a long and seemingly heartfelt apology on Instagram.

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally," the post read.
"I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness."
It continued, "I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress."

While Rock has remained mum on the subject, refusing to talk about the incident, the apology proved lacking to the Academy which said in a letter sent by President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, the organization decided "for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards."

"This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith's behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests and restoring trust in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted," the statement continued. 

Smith's response to the judgment was swift and simple. 

"I accept and respect the Academy's decision," he told Page Six Friday.

Accepting his punishment without a fight was not enough to end the drama for Smith, who can still be nominated for his work. Over the weekend, several prominent entertainment voices were speaking out in favor of more severe punishment. 

Harry Lennix, an actor known for his bit roles in movies like "Ray" and "Justice League," as well as a plethora of roles across his career on the stage and television screen, went so far as to write a guest column for Variety urging Smith to voluntarily return his Oscar statuette for best actor.

"At this point, the only person who can redeem the integrity of the Oscars is Smith himself," Lennix, 53, wrote, adding, "Smith's brutality stripped the entire evening of its prestige."

"The stain on the Motion Picture Academy cannot be easily remediated. The only hope for a justifiable grace must involve Smith voluntarily returning his award for best actor," he added.

Will Smith Wins First Oscar After Slapping Chris Rock

A screengrab of the slap from the Oscars' live broadcast.

Diddy Says Beef Between the Duo Has Already Been Squashed

What did the five fingers say to the face?

Comedian Chris Rock, 57, found out that times may have changed, but the answer to the old punchline remains the same.

While performing a comedy bit during the Oscars Sunday night, the Grammy winner made a joke about actress Jada Pinkett Smith, which did not go over well with her Oscar-nominated husband Will.

Seconds later, the 53-year-old rapper-turned-actor charged the stage and delivered a stinging rebuke — in the form of a pimp-slap during the live broadcast.

Following the altercation, clearly stunned, Rock said, “Will Smith just smacked the s—t out of me."

Smith, who had returned to his seat, yelled at Rock to"Keep my wife's name out your f—ing mouth!
Celebrities in the audience as well as those following along at home seemed not to know how to react at first, but the dawning realization that the slap was real and not a bit between the two usually amicable celebrities set in fast. 
So, what got the artist formerly known as The Fresh Prince all riled up?

Until Smith makes his thoughts known on the subject, one can only speculate. The incident, however, did take place moments after Rock joked about his wife looking like “G.I. Jane.” 

“Jada, I love ya. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” Rock said. The joke was an obvious one but probably one best left out of the routine, considering that Pinkett Smith has spoken openly about having alopecia (a hair-loss condition) and the physical and mental stress it has caused in her life.

Regardless of why it happened, it seems that the two have managed to squash the beef. Rock refused to file a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department. Shortly after the dustup, Smith won the best actor Oscar for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’ father in “King Richard," and Sean “Diddy” Combs confirmed to Page Six  Sunday night at the Vanity Fair Oscar party that the duo had already made amends.

“That’s not a problem. That’s over. I can confirm that,” Diddy, 52, said.

"It’s all love,” he added. “They’re brothers.”
Smith, who apologized to everyone except Rock, in his speech following his first-ever Oscar win, definitely seemed to be over it. He celebrated the night away, dancing and singing along to some of his biggest hits as a musician.