Absolutely brilliant. Television and film producer/directors and R20 friends Deondray Gossett and Quincy LeNear were among the 34 gay and straight couples married live last night during the 56th Grammy Awards television broadcast.
Queen Latifah officiated and Madonna also performed during the ceremony during Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ song "Same Love". Macklemore and Lewis won four Grammy Awards including Best New Artist.
Gossett and LeNear have been together for 18 years and are also producing partners. The GLAAD Media Award winning producers are best known for the cable series The DL Chronicles and the Youtube hit The Chadwick Journals. The duo has also produced MTV's Americas Best Dance Crew ABC Family's Dance Off.
Behind-the-scenes photos of Quincy and Deondray and watch video of the performance WHEN YOU JUMP ...
Yaasss! The fabulous Ms. Jenifer Lewis will star and executive produce in "Ventura Boulevard" to be directed by Debbie Allen and produced by Nathan H. Williams, reports IndieWire's Shadow and Act.
[The script is] penned by Mark Alton Brown and Dee LaDuke, the same writing team behind Lewis' cult classic Jackie’s Back!. The 1999 comedy directed by Robert Townsend chronicles the life and career of an R&B diva, who, after several years of toiling away in obscurity, decides to organize a comeback.
Ventura Boulevard is described as a darkly comedic homage to the 1950 Billy Wilder classic Sunset Boulevard, starring Lewis as a self-deluded queen of 1970’s blaxpoitation movies who uses her guile, money and sex to manipulate a young white scriptwriter into creating her comeback part.
"I am taking things into my own hands by producing Ventura Boulevard," said Jenifer Lewis, who promises a film that touches on hot social issues, like aging, race and deception. "The Hollywood establishment isn’t going to finance a movie about a middle aged African-American diva who deceives and beds a young white man."
"It's a comedy classic in the making," director Maurice Jamal told R20 after the news was announced Friday. Jamal directed the 2006 drama Dirty Laundry which featured Lewis, Rockmond Dunbar and Loretta Devine. That project was also produced by Nathan H. Williams.
"It is going to be amazing," Williams told R20. "And, as Jenifer said yesterday, Ms. Debbie Allen is already going surgical on the script and production. Hope y'all are ready!"
Allen is currently directing episodes of several television series including Shonda Rhimes' Grey's Anatomy and Scandal. Allen will become the second Black female director of the hit series that stars the amazing Kerry Washington. Middle of Nowhere director Ava DuVernay directed a critically-acclaimed and highly-watched episode of the popular series earlier this season.
I am soooo here for Ms. Jenifer Lewis. Bravo and congratulations to Lewis, Debbie Allen, Nathan Hale Williams—"Haaay"—and the entire Ventura Blvd team. Watch the trailer to the cult classic Jackie's Back! and Lewis' brilliant advice to aspiring actors at the premiere of Baggage ClaimAFTER THE JUMP ...
There is an update to the case of the 18-year-old Connecticut football star accused of fatally stabbing a 27-year-old man that he was sexually involved with. Tarence Mitchell was released from jail in mid December after his family posted the $1 million bond and remains on house arrest. Tarence Mitchell appeared in court again on Friday, January 17.
The captain of the Bloomfield High School football team says he was sexually manipulated and harassed since he was 16-years-old by Ronald Taylor—who allegedly threatened to tell Mitchell's Facebook friends and mother when the teen attempted to cut it off, according to court documents. Police said Mitchell has confessed to the crime—and said that he chased Taylor after a verbal argument and then stabbed him "five times with a steak knife."
Mitchell's attorney wants to plead the case down to manslaughter, reports Hartford's CBS 3.
As he entered the courtroom Friday, Mitchell had no comment for Eyewitness News. The victim's family also had no comment for Eyewitness News. Police said they had nothing new to report on Friday. Mitchell will be back in court Feb. 7. He's working toward completing his high school requirements.
The judge granted the victim's family's request to return his car, where the deadly fight began to Taylor's mother.
Outside court, Rueckert commented about the possibility of trying to plead the case down to manslaughter. "This type of case, it's much too early for those kind of discussions without having the discovery, and the autopsy, police reports," Rueckert said.
"Mitchell told police that the two had a sexual relationship and that Taylor gave him marijuana and alcohol over the last two years, according to court papers," reported the Hartford Courant. "Police also report the victim was previously stabbed by another male teen in the summer of 2012 who is younger than Mitchell. Taylor said the teen [had] slept over at [his] house the night before."
Bulging biceps? Check! Abs of steel? Check! Tribal tattoos? Check. Thighs that can crack a walnut? Yassss!
English rugby super-hotness Tom Varndell test drove his new Circuit Boy 2014 look during the recent Aviva Premiership match between the London Wasps and Northampton Saints. More spornotastic images WHEN YOU JUMP ...
12 Years a Slave co-star Lupita Nyong'o picked up the "Best Supporting Actress" award at the 2014 Critics’ Choice Awards on Thursday evening ... only hours after being nominated for an Academy Award.
The Kenyan actress—wearing a custom white silk crepe bandeau Calvin Klein dress—delivered an emotional acceptance speech. "Being a part of 12 Years a Slave has been one of the most profound experiences of my life," she said. "I could not be standing here had it not been for Solomon Northup and his love and passion for freedom and of course, the incredible, incredible Steve McQueen."
12 Years a Slave also won "Best Picture" and "Best Adapted Screenplay" in addition to "Best Supporting Actress."
Change that you can believe. President Barack Obama has nominated a distinguished Black lesbian attorney to serve as a federal judge.
Staci Michelle Yandle was nominated yesterday to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. If confirmed by the Senate, Yandle would become the first Black judge "ever on that court and the first openly gay judge in the 7th Circuit, which covers Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin," notes Politico.
Yandle follows Deborah Batts, the groundbreaking Black lesbian jurist whom President Bill Clinton nominated to the Southern District of New York in 1994. Batts became the first ever openly LGBT federal judge.
Obama nominated Yandle on Thursday as part of a group of four nominees. The nomination packet also included Salvador Mendoza, Jr., currently a county judge in Washington state, as the Administration's choice for the Eastern District of that state. Mendoza would become the first Latino judge in that position.
Yandle has served as a solo practitioner focusing on civil litigation in southern Illinois since 2007, according to a biography provided by the White House. She received her law degree in 1987 from Vanderbilt University and her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois in 1983. Yandle also previously served on the Illinois Gaming Board and on the Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
This is not the first time that Obama has nominated a Black openly LGBT person to the federal judiciary. In November 2012, Obama nominated William Thomas to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio initially recommended Thomas but later stalled the nomination. Thomas' nomination was not resubmitted this year.
Obama has nominated more Black, Latino and LGBT judges than any previous president, according to the White House. History was made when the Senate confirmed U. S. District Court Judge Pamela Chen to become the first openly gay, Asian-American judge on the federal bench in 2013. Chen serves on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Obama also nominated U. S. District Court Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro as the first out Latina on the federal bench in 2012. Quiñones was confirmed to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 2013.
With 32 states and two territories criminalizing exposure to and/or transmission of HIV, the United States leads the world with "thousands of prosecutions," according to the United Nations-backed Global Commission on HIV and the Law. Some states penalize people for having sex without revealing their serostatus—regardless of whether a condom was used, the person's viral load was undetectable or if the virus was transmitted.
"There is already a huge stigma associated with being HIV positive—and these laws do not encourage people to get tested and seek treatment," says Robert Suttle, assistant director of the Sero Project, the Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization fighting HIV criminalization laws nationwide.
Suttle discovered that he was HIV positive while trying to enlist in the Air Force. Later, following the end of a contentious relationship, a former partner filed charges that Suttle never revealed his serostatus—which Suttle says is not true. He was sentenced to six months in prison under the Louisiana law that criminalizes HIV exposure and subsequently was required to register as a sex offender.
"One of my concerns around the many HIV-criminalization laws is around interpretation," saysKimberly A. Parker, Ph.D., assistant professor of health studies at Texas Woman's University. "Were they on treatment? Did they use condoms? Did they actually disclose? The implication is that whatever you do, you will be criminalized."
"Criminalization also has a significant impact on a person's ability to seek treatment," says Suttle. "Many people are not aware that they are HIV positive—and that is especially true among Black people and Black gay men." Notably, African Americans make up some 56 percent of "late testers" diagnosed with AIDS within one year of learning they have HIV. "Sometimes we could be prosecuted for something that we didn't know we had," Suttle adds.
I'll be appearing this afternoon on Philadelphia's WURD 900AM at 525ET on The Nick Taliafero Show. We'll discuss the growing scandal in the administration of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, police brutality and President Obama's nomination to a top post at the Department of Justice.
Listen to HERE. The call in number is 866-361-0900.