Snow in Vegas, Jail time for Jussie?, Rookie Knock Out in Jersey

Put on your mittens and just get happy, its just another Vegas day! 

Image result for snow in las vegas

Forget the Bikini clad bodies around the pool and make yourself a snowball, your friends in Minnesota will be jealous.   Fabulous Las Vegas is gonna get its second dusting of  snow this week.  If your in town for the week I’m sure it sucks to hear its unseasonable.     Some of the resorts will expand their soup menus.   Scarfs and mittens advised.

Bars in Chicago for Jussie? 

Image result for jussie smollett crying

The Chicago Police Department, is charging Empire actor Jussie Smollett with felony charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly filing a false report.  A Cook Country Grand Jury met yesterday.  A false report is a class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years in jail.   A bail hearing is tentatively scheduled for 1:30 p.m today.

The rookie took Teresa down in Jersey 

Image result for real housewives of new jersey

Everybody is afraid of the Queen.  The housewives tip toe around Nene in Atlanta, Vanderpump in Beverly Hills, don’t want to anger the queen, you may not be heard from again!

How so nevah,  From the moment, rookie housewife Jackie Goldschneider met Teresa Giudice in New Jersey ,she wasn’t intimidated. Which put her firmly in the cross hairs of the Queen.  In last nights Part one (of three) of the Reunion. Jackie body-slammed and dragged Teresa who reminded everyone “That this was her show!” A one point she lost control and grabbed bossman Andy Cohen cards.  Jackie had the last word when Teresa threaten her.   “You gonna throw something at me? Aren’t you on probation?

Housewife Delicious




Empire’s Jussie Smollett: Did he pay for attack?


Lee Daniel’s “Empire” Still too Gay for some African Americans

The  Academy Award nominated director producer has long pushed the envelope in his films, from Monsters Ball and Precious to the Paperboy. Mr Daniel convinced Oprah Winfrey to playing a wife who cheated on her devoted husband in The Butler.

In an resent interview with Bevy Smith “Bevelations” on Sirius Xm, Daniels said his harshest criticism comes from the African American community.

People were outraged when Halle Berry’s character had sex with a white man in Monsters Ball.

On Empire, Jussie Smollett’s character (Jamal Lyon) has always been gay,his initial  love interest was (Michael Sanchez) Rafeal De La Fuente.

A few weeks ago, fans were introduced to (D-major) Tobias Truvillion . On the show,he plays an artistic director of an awards show.  His character is also on the DL, D-major) always seen with beautiful women.  In one scene he grabs a surprised Jamel and kisses him, a love scene follows.

 The Kiss blew up Black Twitter, it also generated criticism. There are some who believe the show has a gay agenda.

Empire is Fox’s highest rated show.


 Get ready for the envelope to be pushed again.

Lee Daniels “Star”

The new series looks inside a girl group

Starring Queen Latifah and Bengamin Bratt    

MoNique is Now Playing Hollywood’s Game


Monique and Sidney Hicks 


Anyone who had followed Mo’Nique’s career knows she is outspoken. The actress/comedienne career is based on her brassyness . In 2009, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Precious.   In her acceptance speech, she seemed to thank everyone but Hollywood.

She opened with “I would like to thank the Academy for showing that it can be about the performance and not the politics.”

Politics:  Performers often forget their spouses in their acceptance speeches.  Studios, agencies, directors are almost never left out of those speeches.   Because it is politics… Before a project is green lighted its politics.   Its politics before the performance. Mo’Nique ruffed industry feathers by not campaigning for the Oscar.  For decades the Studios would send actors to campaign for the gold statuette.  Not only did she not campaign, she didn’t acknowledge the studio,producers or the director Lee Daniels during her award speech.

Is Mo’Nique being blackballed by Hollywood? Is she being punished?

She’s been absent from the big screen since 2010.

Has Monique become Hollywood player?

She certainly has.   In 2013, Monique performed in BlackBird, the film originally opened Feb,2014, the film went nowhere.    Fast Forward to February 2015 After years of what happen to?   Monique is on ABC,TMZ, E, CNN.    This film is personal…….

Monique and her husband Sidney Hicks  are the executive producers of “BlackBird”  The Movie is due to open next month.  This is her money.   Last month,  RLJ Entertainment created by  Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) agreed to distribute the movie.  Follow the news, she has indeed learned the game and the politics.

February 24,2015


February 25,2015

Sheryl Lee Ralph on Mo’Nique being ‘blackballed’: ‘This is a setup for a comeback

February 27,2015

Mo’Nique Said She Was Paid $50,000 for ‘Precious’ + Responds to Lee Daniels “Play the Game” Advice (Video)

March 1,2015

Blackballed’ Mo’Nique made ‘unreasonable demands’: Lee Daniels

March 2,2015

Mo’Nique said she was supposed to play Cookie on ‘Empire’ but execs said this about her

March 3,2015

Mo’Nique addresses controversial remarks of being ‘blackballed’ in Hollywood

March 6,2015

Mo’Nique Still Loves Lee Daniels Enough To Want To Work With Him

As of today, Monique has been in the news for nine days.  She has been interviewed by ABC and cable news outlets.  She has attached herself to the hottest show in Hollywood “Empire”    She is indeed playing an old Hollywood game, by creating a buzz.  I believe Lee Daniels and co are assisting her.  They could be silent and the story would die.

The challenge is  maintaining the buzz for the film after the season finale of Empire which ends in three weeks, three week shy of Blackbirds opening.

Blackbird Poster Art


Dont hate the player, Hate the game.  A few years ago, she errored. It wont happen again.

Fox’s “EMPIRE” is Huge

By CityFella,

When I initially saw the trailer in the movie theater, I thought it was for a was for a highly stylized movie.   A movie, I might add, that I wouldn’t see, there was too much hype and you know what the say about the brightest light.

Well, as for the hype believe it.


Empire’s audience has increased every week since the premiere.  In the sweet spot(viewers 18-49) Empire is killing um.

To put this in prospective, typically a show peaks after two or three weeks and then it settles.  Some show’s like “Seinfeld” and “All in the Family” audience grew very slowly and it took them a few years to break into the top 10.In total viewers, Empire has gone up every single week – six total – since its premiere. Among adults 18-49, the series has risen five out of six weeks.

Empire has exceeded all Nielsen total viewer records to date.  The series has posted more consecutive ratings gains than any other new broadcast show, the rise of Empire has become unprecedented.

The music from Empire is making big waves on I-Tunes.  Another first:  The music from the show is available on I-Tunes once the show airs.

And believe this,  With in a year, every network will have similar program in for the 2016.

 Terrence Howard and Taraji P Henson

The tragedy behind Fox’s ‘Empire’: Lee Daniels’s father beat him for being gay

By: Justin Moyer/Washington Post

For a network that has struggled to draw eyeballs, Fox’s “Empire” — a Terrence Howard-helmed drama about a music mogul and his, well, empire — is a blockbuster that booked 10 million viewers in its premiere earlier this month and reliably lights up the Twittersphere.

For openly gay, African American creator Lee Daniels, “Empire” is politics — and psychotherapy.

Of course, no filmmaker, no matter how well known, needs an excuse to make what Daniels called  “black Dynaty”  Still, though Daniels was nominated for Best Director for “Precious” (2009), he was snubbed for “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” in 2013 — and has complained about being confused with Tyler Perry/ . If putting his name in the title of a movie starring Oprah Winfrey didn’t help his profile, a primetime, hour-long drama on broadcast television can’t hurt.

But this past weekend, Daniels said that “Empire” — in which Howard struggles to accept the sexual orientation of his gay son — is about exposing homophobia in the black community.

“What we’re trying to do is to give people the opportunity to see that what they’re doing is painful,” Daniels said, as  the Associated Press reported.

Indeed, in one of the scenes from the pilot, Howard’s character stuffs his son in a trash can after finding him wearing high heels.

“I’m glad that I can show the African-American community that this is what you’re doing to your son, this is what you’re doing to your nephew, this is what you’re doing to the kid down the street,” Howard said of the scene.

The confrontation was raw, but it was real.

“Right now we’re seeing people enjoy the culture of America, the culture of the world,” Daniels said. “We’re showing real life now.”

For Daniels, however, the scene was also real life then. Growing up black and gay in Philadelphia, the director, 55, didn’t have it easy. In fact, the dad-stuffs-gay-son-in-trashcan scene is real.

The heels. The trash can. The dad. All of it. Daniels’s father, a police officer killed on the job in the 1970s, literally kicked his son to the curb when he found Daniels in Daniels’s mother’s red pumps.

“When I was 5, my earliest memory was walking down the stairs in my mother’s red high heel shoes, and my dad — he’s a cop — is down playing cards with the boys and it was not pretty — at all,”he told Ebony last year. “He put me in a trash can and he said that I would never be nothing. He said, ‘You already have it bad, boy, cause you’re Black — now you’re a f–got too.’”

This wasn’t the only time his father expressed his frustration with his son non-verbally.

“When I came out it was because I loathed my dad so much — I couldn’t understand how you could, with an extension cord, beat a 45-pound kid just because he’s aware of his femininity,” he told  Out. comparing his plight to that of the illiterate teen mother in his 2009 film. “For me it really created a world where I understood ‘Precious,’ where you learn the power of the imagination. And that’s how it began for me.”

Even as the producer of the Oscar-winning film “Monster’s Ball” (2000), Daniels felt judged by his long-dead dad.

“It’s always when things are really good for me that I feel I’m not worthy of it,” he said. “ … You feel like, ‘I’m nothing.’ It was what my father told me I was.”

Last year, Daniels told Arsenio Hall that he now forgives his father.

“He was embarrassed, I think,” Daniels said of his father. “And I didn’t understand why he was so hard on me about being gay. … I didn’t realize until after I did ‘The Butler’ that at that time he was a second-class citizen.” He added: “He wasn’t a man. And so when he saw that I was gay he thought that that was even — ‘Oh my God, this kid, what is this kid going to encounter?’”

Daniels said he thought his father would change his views were he alive today. And on “Empire,” sexuality is sometimes played for laughs — as in a scene from Wednesday’s episode in which Howard’s onscreen son warns him away from the bedroom where he and his boyfriend make “gay love.”

But for Daniels, the struggle continues.

“Homophobia is rampant in the African American community, and men are on the DL,” he said, as the Huffington Post reported. “They don’t come out, because your priest says, your pastor says, mama says, your next-door neighbor says, your homie says, your brother says, your boss says [that homosexuality is wrong]. And they are killing African American women. They are killing our women. So I wanted to blow the lid off more on homophobia in my community.”

Latino Hollywood (Rising Stars)

As the song goes, it’s been a long time coming.december cover

Although Hollywood had a handful of Latino stars during the silent era, and a few more during the 30’s and 40’s, they were mostly relegated to playing bad guys and bad girls. It wasn’t until the mid-eighties that Latino filmmakers began to turn the tide by focusing on stories that Hollywood had no interest in funding, and therefore were produced independently.

This afforded the filmmakers the freedom to cast Latino actors in substantial roles which allowed the actors to get noticed and subsequently obtain more work; a few of which would go on to become international stars. Among these films were Gregory Nava’s Oscar nominated El Norte (1985); Cheech Marin’s Born in East L.A. (1987); and Ramon Menendez’s Stand and Deliver (1988). Most of them were critically acclaimed and moderately successful at the box office. This prompted Universal to “greenlight” Luis Valdez’s La Bamba which was premiered in 1987 and went on to reign as the highest grossing Latino-themed film ($52,678,820 in gross receipts) until 2001, when Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids took that title.

But not even the success of La Bamba was enough to get Hollywood to fund more Latino-themed movies. What they did typically greenlight were films like The Perez Family where Latinos were played in “brown face” with clichéd and cartoonish portrayals. When these films flopped at the box office, the studios proclaimed that Latinos do not support “their own films,” so the funding dried up.

Moving Up

But in recent years, Latino stars have achieved considerable success. This can be traced back to Jennifer Lopez when she was cast in the title role of Selena in 1996. Once again, it was director Gregory Nava casting an “unproven talent” in a lead, as he had done for El Norte. He not only cast Lopez, a relative unknown at that time, in the lead role, but made history by making her the first Latina to get paid a million dollars. Since then, she has reportedly commanded upwards of $15 million dollars per film, coming only second to Cameron Diaz (who though of Cuban descent has not been cast as a Latina.) According to Forbes Magazine in 2008, Diaz was the highest paid actress in Hollywood making $25 million per film.

Since the million dollar pay-out in 1996, the number of Latino stars has steadily increased with the emergence of talents like Jessica Alba, Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria Parker, George Lopez, Salma Hayek, Benicio del Toro, Eva Mendez, Edward James Olmos, and America Ferrera. Spanish-speaking stars from other countries have also gained fame and fortune, like Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Antonio Banderas, and Gael Garcia Bernal. They are making it possible for Latinos to feel proud of who they are and opening doors for others to move up.

There is no denying the impact of one of these ambassadors. After George Lopez debuting his sitcom George Lopez in 2002, it became the first Latino-themed and Latino-produced sitcom to run six seasons and then go into syndication. Most importantly, in a time when the media has once again turned “Mexican” into a bad word, Lopez wears the label proudly. In fact, it has been the catalyst to his success. With award-winning comedy shows like George Lopez: Talk, Dark and Chicano (the highest rated HBO special in five years); El Mas Chingon; and America’s Mexican, Lopez has become one of the top five highest-grossing comedians in the world.

His mainstream appeal was solidified when he co-hosted the Emmys in 2005, and became the host of the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in 2006. Lopez also received the Artist of the Year and Humanitarian Award by Harvard University and the Liberty Award by the American Way. And he is taking no breathers. His show Lopez Tonight is the longest running late night talk show hosted by a Latino; he has a production company along with wife Ann Lopez which recently announced the development of the Speedy Gonzalez animated film; and he was recently immortalized as the first Mexican American in Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum in Hollywood.

Eva Longoria Parker is a self-described “American of Mexican descent.” Recognized around the world as Gabrielle Solis of Desperate Housewives, Longoria Parker uses this platform to give back to her community. In addition to her acting career, she is one of the producers of the ALMA Awards, and an entrepreneur with her two Beso restaurants. She has several lucrative deals as the face of L’Oreal, Sports Bebe, Hanes and others. But most importantly, she has been recognized for her dedication to social causes with The Hollywood Reporter’s Philanthropist of the Year award in 2009. She works with several charities including PADRES Contra El Cancer and Eva’s Heroes, which she co founded.

Defining moments are important because they create bricks to help solidify the Latino Hollywood foundation. 2003 was an Oscar defining moment, when there were an unprecedented nine Latinos nominated for an Oscar. Three Latino films were nominated: Salma Hayek’s Frida; Pedro Almodovar’s Talk to Her ;and Carlos and Alfonso Cuaron’s Y Tu Mama Tambien and El Crimen del Padro Amaro in the Foreign Language Film category.

Three years later, in 2006, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences would go on to nominate seventeen Latinos for an Oscar, another benchmark to try and surpass. But 2010 was notable for another reason, the absence of any U.S. Latino talent nominated. All the Oscar nominations went to actors from Mexico or Spain.

Claiming Our Share

In 1985, Latinos were 7.5 percent of the total U.S. population. However, on television Latinos were less than one percent of the characters with only four series regulars on primetime: Edward James Olmos and Sandra Santiago in Miami Vice; and René Enriquez and Trinidad Silva in Steven Bocho’s Hill Street Blues. Meanwhile, that same year there were twenty-one African-Americans in series roles, three of which were title roles: The Cosby Show, Benson and Webster.

Now twenty-five years later, the landscape looks a lot browner. As of April 2010, there were thirty-eight Latino series regulars, with America Ferrera having the distinction of playing the only title role in Ugly Betty. However, we continue to trail our African American counterparts in television screen time and the number of executive producers (“show runners”) on TV series. We have gone from no Latino show runners in the 80’s to a handful of successful and talented executive producers currently working. Some of the more prominent ones include René Echeverria (Castle, Medium); Peter Murrieta (Wizards of Waverly Place, Greetings from Tucson); Salma Hayek (Ugly Betty) and among them a Hollywood producing powerhouse, Roberto Orci.

Orci is one of the executive producers/creators of the Emmy nominated television sci-fi thriller Fringe along with his producing partner Alex Kurtzman and director J.J. Abrams. In addition, Orci is producing the remake of the Hawaii Five-O TV series. He is also coming off a banner year in 2009, having produced two of the highest grossing films—Star Trek and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen , as well as The Proposal—together grossing close to a billion dollars domestically. Currently, he is working on a total of 16 films in different stages of production. One of them, Cowboys and Aliens, is being co-producing with Steven Spielberg.

Man with a Mission

In the mid-90’s, comedian Jeff Valdez made it his mission to teach Hollywood that young Latinos watched mostly English language TV. He had an ulterior motive, since he was raising money for SiTV, an English language network which would be targeting these young Latinos. Fifteen years later, there are now believers. The bilingual network landscape has grown. In addition to SiTV, MTV launched MTVtres; NBC/Universal has mun2; and LATV Network also has some bilingual content.

Additionally, according to Nielsen Wire, Latinos between the ages of 12 and 34 are the largest film going audience in the U.S., representing an overwhelming 28% of today’s heavy moviegoers. For example, Latino audiences contributed 46% of the gross receipts of $72.5 million to Universal’s Fast and Furious. And with regard to the 800 million DVD units sold in the U.S. last year, Hispanic households are 24% more likely to purchase them compared to the average American household. In fact, almost 79% of Hispanic moviegoers bought at least one DVD in 2008.

After decades of being ignored, this sector of the market, referred to as the New Generation Latinos, is regarded in the corporate realm as the “hottest” and fastest-growing segment of American consumers.

“Hollywood has been around 100 years and there still isn’t one person that looks like me who can greenlight a feature,” says outspoken independent filmmaker Franc.Reyes. He has raised the funds to independently produce three of his films, Empire, Ilegal Tender and The Ministers.

“Hollywood has never funded anything I’ve done,” he proclaims. “Latino [money] power has to get behind Latino art.” He gives the example of Spike Lee, the director of the film Malcolm X ,who when the studio refused to give him money to finish his film, approached Oprah, Bill Cosby, Janet Jackson and Michael Jordan. Who can Latinos approach to help fund their projects? Good question…

“With the Latino community growing faster than the U.S. Census can measure, Hollywood and independent investors need look no further for the next financial sweet spot,” Reyes told a group of journalist, marketers and ad agency executives attending the New Generation Latino Consortium on April 5, 2009. “The American Latino film community is primed for success on every level — creative, social and financial.”

El Futuro

Moctesuma Esparza, the veteran producer whose credits include The Milagro Beanfield War, Selena, and the HBO movie Walkout, is not a man to wait for Hollywood to change. He’s been banging on the door for decades and he has gotten in a few times. But now he doesn’t just want in.

In 2008, Esparza founded and became Chairman and CEO of Maya Entertainment, a vertically integrated, full-service motion picture production and distribution company targeting the growing entertainment interests of Latinos living in the U.S. Esparza is looking to establish Maya Entertainment as a force in Hollywood, and to provide major opportunities for Latino filmmakers. The distribution arm of his company is especially crucial since it’s the lack of distribution where Latinos films meet their demise.

Hollywood has not escaped change and is going through its own metamorphosis. According to Reyes, independent filmmakers are no longer waiting for studios to distribute their films, they are cutting deals directly with exhibitors like the Regals and AMCs. Portals of sorts are being created where exhibitors will provide between 500 to 1000 screens to indie filmmakers – cutting out the middle man. Reyes is currently putting together a slate of films to present directly to the exhibitors, because as he sees it, studios are going to be making the films they’ve been making for over 100 years, and it’s not Latino films.

Other film and distribution avenues are being explored by (former Telemundo CEO) Jim McNamera’s Panamax Films and Lionsgate, an independent film and television distribution company in North America. They are taking the international co-production route to making Latino-themed films. Their first film, Ladron Que Roba Ladron, was directed and written by Joe Menendez and Jo Jo Henrickson, respectively, and stars well-known telenovela actors. The film was made for $2 million and went on to gross $4 million domestically and another $1,679,505 in Mexico and $1,183,330 in Latin America (where it was distributed by Televisa) for a grand total of $6,875,089 worldwide.

This has prompted a co-venture by Lionsgate, Panamax and Televisa to continue their collaboration. One of their films which is currently awaiting a release date is entitled From Prada to Nada and stars Alexa Vega (Spy Kids); Wilmer Valderrama (That 70s Show); Oscar nominee Adriana Barraza (Babel) and Kuno Becker (Goal). U.S. filmmaker Angel Garcia directed from a script written Luis Alfaro, the well-known Chicano playwright, and Fina Torres (Woman on Top).

So the futuro is bright. But even if it was a long time coming, it remains to be seen whether it will be a long time gone…

Bel Hernandez/ Latino Magazine