Mo’Nique sues Netflix for pay discrimination

MO’NIQUE IS suing Netflix for pay discrimination after the streaming service offered to pay her $500,000 for a one-hour comedy special, while other comedians were given multi-million dollar contracts.

The Oscar-winning actress alleges that the streaming service discriminated against her on the grounds of her race and gender.

In an Instagram post, the comedian confirmed the news of the legal action.

She wrote: “I can confirm that today I filed a pay discrimination lawsuit against Netflix. I had a choice to make: I could accept what I felt was pay discrimination or I could stand up for those who came before me and those who will come after me.”

“The terms of Netflix’s offer to Mo’Nique were discriminatory based on her gender and race/color,” CNN reported the suit states.

It adds that when compared to the deals signed by comedians including Chris Rock, Amy Schumer and Ellen DeGeneres, “the offer tried to perpetuate the drastic pay gap experience by black women”.

“When the talent was not a black woman, Netflix offered to pay, and did pay, astronomically more than it pays to black women like it offered to Mo’Nique,” NBC News reported the suit states.

Netflix denies the allegations.

A Netflix spokesperson told NBC News: “We care deeply about inclusion, equity, and diversity and take any accusations of discrimination very seriously.

“We believe our opening offer to Mo’Nique was fair — which is why we will be fighting this lawsuit.”

Last year Mo’Nique urged her supporters to boycott Netflix over the amount she was offered for the comedy special.

As well as focusing on her pay dispute with Netflix, the filing also accuses the company of being “plagued by a lack of racial diversity within senior leadership”. SOURCE : https://www.voice-online.co.uk/entertainment/tv/2019/11/17/monique-sues-netflix-for-pay-discrimination/

Where are the dark-skinned black women in JD Sports latest Christmas advert?

IT’S OFFICIALLY that time of the year. Classic Christmas songs are playing on loop in every shop and restaurant we enter. Xmas deals on our favourite online shopping sites are aplenty, and we’re beginning to see the roll out of highly anticipated Christmas adverts – arguably the biggest sign that our favourite holiday of the year is approaching.

Traditionally, the Christmas advert has always created a sense of belonging. Whether playing on the importance of family, friendship or childhood, we are often drawn into brands capitalist web, as adverts tug at our hearts and purse strings.

One of the most recent Christmas adverts to make its debut was from streetwear retail company JD Sports. While their Christmas adverts never exactly evoke a sentimental feeling, they do have the ability to engage with social audiences, often gathering a who’s who of British urban culture to front their festive campaigns – and they kept that theme going for 2019.

From Stefflon Don to Maya Jama, Anne-Marie and Mabel, the JD team gathered their famous friends to feature in their latest Christmas offering, but there was a severe lack of representation of dark-skinned black women – something which often remains the same when the festive season is in full swing.

The 40 second advert featured dark-skinned black men including Michael Dapaah, Bugzy Malone and Wilifred Zaha, but black women weren’t afforded such representation – well, beyond the one dark-skinned backing dancer behind Mabel.

In today’s society, black people are far more vocal about the lack of diversity exhibited in public spaces then ever before. We’re far less likely to mindlessly watch these images on our screens and accept them for what they are, and instead, we’re noticing these abnormalities and calling it for what it is.

While we are beginning to see more representation of black women in the media, examples like this prove that we are barely acknowledged in the boardrooms of some of the biggest retailers, who also cater to the very people their advertising campaigns ignore.

In the rollout of Christmas adverts so far, from Lidl and TKMaxx to Boots, whiteness has still been placed at the centre of it all. The least that can be expected is that a streetwear company which plays largely off of black culture, could incorporate black women into their creative concepts – especially with the amount of options out there.

From Leomie Anderson and Dina Asher-Smith to Nadia Rose and Ms Banks, there are a plethora of dark-skinned black women in positions of prominence and influence who would have made a great fit for this advert and provided representation for little black girls which is sorely needed.

As a streetwear brand, the exclusion of dark-skinned black women shares an even more worrying message, at a time where everything from our style to our hair is replicated, repackaged and sold to “mainstream” audiences, without our inclusion.

Streetwear brands will often have white and racially ambiguous women rocking baby hairs and bamboo earrings, plastered across their stores nationally, but won’t include the very women who created this aesthetic.

The invisibility of black women is important to acknowledge because we are key to the urban British culture that brands feed into and capitalise on.

The influence of advertising can alter what consumers think and feel. For most black women, they aren’t thought of at all, and if those like myself aren’t in positions to speak about it on a large platform, then who is?

As people up and down the country watch Christmas adverts whilst seeing themselves reflected in any and every festive scenario conjured up, I want dark-skinned black women to know our attributes and aesthetic is not just for consumption when posed on a lighter hue.

We must continue to call out these atrocities and not feel a need to pacify them. We deserve to be represented and to see ourselves not just in the mix, but standing front and centre alongside our dark-skinned male counterparts. SOURCE : https://www.voice-online.co.uk/opinion/2019/11/11/where-are-the-dark-skinned-black-women-in-jd-sports-latest-christmas-advert/

Grammys To Honor Dr. Dre For Trailblazing Production Work

Dr. Dre, who has produced hits for Eminem, Tupac, Snoop Dogg and more, will be honored by the Recording Academy for his trailblazing production work.

The Recording Academy announced Friday that its Producers & Engineers Wing will pay tribute the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer on Jan. 22 at Village Studios in Los Angeles. The event takes place four days before the 2020 Grammys.

Dre has won six Grammys, three of which he took home as a producer or engineer. Born in Compton, he broke out on the music scene as a co-founding member of N.W.A., producing some of the group’s groundbreaking 1988 debut album, “Straight Outta Compton.”

He went on to produce his own hits and multiplatinum albums, along with crafting music for Eminem, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, Eve, Jay-Z, Nas, Busta Rhymes, Xzibit, the Game, Anderson .Paak and many more.

He also found success outside of rap, producing Top 10 pop hits for Gwen Stefani, Michel’le and Mary J. Blige, helping the R&B queen top the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time with “Family Affair.”

Dre founded Beats Electronics in 2008 with Jimmy Iovine and six years later they launched a streaming subscription service, Beats Music. Apple acquired both in a $3 billion deal in 2014.
SOURCE : https://blackamericaweb.com/2019/11/01/grammys-to-honor-dr-dre-for-trailblazing-production-work/

Queen Latifah receives Harvard black culture award

Music artist and actress Queen Latifah was among the honorees recognized by Harvard University for their contributions to black history and culture.

Harvard awarded the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal to Queen Latifah and six other recipients on Tuesday, according to the Cambridge, Massachusetts, school’s Hutchins Center for African and African American Research.

Other honorees include poet and educator Elizabeth Alexander, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution Lonnie Bunch III, poet Rita Dove, co-founder of Black Entertainment Television Sheila Johnson, artist Kerry James Marshall and Robert Smith, founder, chairman and chief executive of Vista Equity Partners.

The award is named after Du Bois, a scholar, writer, editor, and civil rights pioneer who became the first black student to earn a doctorate from Harvard in 1895. source : https://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/queen-latifah-receive-harvard-black-culture-award-66436394

Whitney Houston, Notorious B.I.G. nominated for Rock And Roll Hall of Fame

Hip-hop legend The Notorious B.I.G and music icon Whitney Houston have been included amongst the latest group of musicians to be nominated for induction into the esteemed Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

According to NPR, this week The 2020 class was announced this week and joining Biggie and Houston on that list are The Dave Matthews Band, Pat Benatar, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Judas Priest, MC5, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy.

NYC to rename streets to honor Notorious B.I.G. and Wu-Tang Clan

In order to be eligible for admittance to the Rock Hall, artists and bands must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years ago.

Nine of this year’s nominees are first-timers on the ballot. Many of them are acts that came of age in the 1990s while others are considered legacy artists who have yet to be included on the Rock Hall’s roster.

Whitney Houston hologram tour slated to go worldwide in 2020

The pool of voters includes artists, historians, journalists and members of the music industry, and fans will also have an opportunity to vote on the Hall of Fame’s website. Biggie Smalls has often been lauded as one of the best rappers in hip-hop history which makes him a fan favorite. If inducted, he would be only the second solo rapper to ever be entered into the Hall of Fame after Tupac landed a spot in 2017.

The official list of 2020 inductees will be announced in January and the ceremony for honorees will take place in Cleveland on May 2.SOURCE :https://thegrio.com/2019/10/15/whitney-houston-notorious-b-i-g-nominated-for-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame/