Is The New Rush Hour TV Series A Win Or Lost For Diversity?

As TV networks bring in the new season with new shows, CBS is hoping for a win with a TV adaptation of the popular and successful Rush Hour movie franchise. A large part of Rush Hour movies’ success comes from the dynamic chemistry between the characters played by Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan. Will Justin Hires (Detective Carter) and Jon Foo (Detective Lee) be able to fill these shoes? A few of us in the office watched the trailer and are concerned about how viewers will perceive Detective Lee’s character. Click here to watch trailer.

How Did News Channels Cover 4/20 ?

The answer might surprise you. Because each time weed enters the news cycle, members of the media can’t help but giggle the whole time they’re reporting on it by making snack and couch lounging jokes. Perhaps finally media starts to get over the knee jerk juvenile reaction and focus more on the economic, health and criminal justice consequences of the legalization. Jon Stewart dedicated the opening segment of his show to this very issue.

Watch video here.

Mike Epps Addresses Racial Stereotypes

Mike Epps partners with AOL Originals and takes it to the streets to address racial stereotypes. Titles like “Black People Love Fried Chicken” and “Asians Can’t Drive” give you an idea of where Epps is going with this. “Some racist jokes are based on truths and others on stereotypes. The show examines the source, and at the same time, we get a good laugh out of it,” say Epps. Click here to see the first five episodes.

Gone Too Soon

Laughter is an emotion we all share and crosses many boundaries including cultural ones.  Robin Williams touched hearts and funny bones around the world both on and off screen and instead of mourning the loss of a brilliant man, MMXLII would like to acknowledge the joy he has shared with us.  Rest In Peace.

What Would Black Jesus Do?

Aaron McGruder is not shy about tackling racial issues within his work. As the creator and head writer of the Boondocks series, he has shown a consistent knack for creating controversy through his content — from his feud with the BET Network after labeling them an evil empire to his claim that Ronald Reagan was responsible for funding the terrorist plot behind 9/11. However, his criticism to date will surely pail in comparison to the backlash he will receive for his new project, Black Jesus — set to air Thursday, August 7th on Adult Swim.

Read More

Dear White People…The Movie

It’s like Spike Lee’s School Daze for the “post-racial” era. But as we wait for the much talked about sequel to Lee’s groundbreaking film, we are certainly looking forward to seeing this. See the recently released trailer after the jump.

Read More

10 Comedians Who Aren’t White Dudes Who Should Replace Letterman

Dave Letterman is planning to retire from The Late Show in 2015 after 22 years as host, but people are already clamoring to find out who will replace the irascible list-maker.

While there are plenty of funny white men in the world, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon just got major job upgrades, and we’d like to see a few non-white dudes get a shot at The Late Show throne.

In the tradition of Letterman’s top 10 lists, here are our top 10 picks:

10. Retta

Retta, to my knowledge, has never hosted a show, so she’s low on this list. But Retta, to my knowledge, should host all shows because she is a perfect diamond human.

 

9. Aziz Ansari

Retta’s partner in treating oneself on Parks and Recreation has several things going to make him a strong contender for The Late Show seat. He’s a seasoned stand-up, he’s friends with Kanye West, and he’s deeply interested in the Internet and how digital life affects relationships, so he’d make for a plugged-in host.

8. Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer’s sketch show on Comedy Central, Inside Amy Schumer, is doing well, so it’s not like she needs a job—but there’s a closing interview segment on her show where she has candid talks with people she finds interesting, and she’s a skilled, highly entertaining interviewer.

7. Ellen Degeneres

Ellen probably doesn’t want to leave her talk show but she’s basically the closest thing we have to Johnny Carson anyways. She’s not the most exciting choice, but who could be mad about Ellen? I mean, she dances.

6. Sara Schaefer/ Nikki Glaser

Sarah Schaefer and Nikki Glaser are both talented standups, and they proved they have show-hosting chops on their solid but short-lived MTV show, Nikki and Sara Live. Schaefer and Glaser are also terrific podcast hosts (check outYou Had To Be There) and Schaefer won an Emmy for her work as Head Blogger for Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, so they’re a strong choice for a more digitally-savvy program.

5. Hannibal Buress

I don’t want him to leave Broad City, but imagine how great he’d be at The Late Show. Buress is a hilarious stand-up and writer whose low-key vibe would put guests at ease. He’s already played a sidekick on Adult Swim’s The Eric Andre Show, and proven that he can handle a live crowd with his regular hosting gig at The Knitting Factory. He could handle a bigger stage.

4. Eric Andre

Well, if his sidekick gets on our list, so does Eric Andre. Eric Andre is already comfortable interviewing fake guests on his show, so I’m sure he’d be fine with real guests. Pretty sure he’d look like this as he went to sit behind The Late Show desk for the first time:

3. Aisha Tyler

She’s already pulling double-duty as a show host (albeit on one ahow that is not worthy of her, The Talk, and one show that almost is, Whose Line Is It Anyways.) Tyler has plenty of industry experience as a host: She worked her way up from Talk Soup in 2001, and even filled in for Roger Ebert on At The Movies With Ebert and Roeper. She’s a seasoned vet, she’s funny, she has a gorgeous voice… the only downside would be considering what would happen to her Archer character.

2. W. Kamau Bell

W. Kamau Bell’s FXX show, Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, should’ve never been canceled. Bell is as smart as he is funny, and if he sat behind the desk at The Late Show, we’d get an intelligent host who wouldn’t shy away from topical humor and political discussions.

Here’s Bell interviewing Aisha Tyler. As you can see, they are both excellent conversationalists:

1. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

Ideally, these two would host everything and we would all be married to them. Peace and comedy would reign, and no one would wear crop tops.

[source]

How American Films Use Black Cops for Comic Relief

If you’re a black cop in an American movie, you’re a lot more likely to end upsquatting on a toilet with a bomb in it than sharing scars with the hottie from Internal Affairs. This isn’t anecdote; it’s research. A recent study from two criminal justice experts shows that for 40 years black police officers have most often been the punchlines of the American cop movie genre.

The researchers found that only 21 out of 112 police movies released from 1971 to 2011 had a black cop in a heroic role. And, in over half of those, black officers were there to give the audience laughs, rather than significantly advance the plot. Outside the movies, around one in five officers is black, say the authors.

lethal-weapon

The researchers took every film classified as a “cop movie” since the Clint Eastwood vehicle Dirty Harry (which they say defined the genre as we know it today), and culled all those that were specifically comedies, science-fiction, or anything that featured cops acting outside their jurisdictions. Then they sat down and watched over 240 hours of cinema, looking to see how the black and white main characters were portrayed, and using 40 criteria to classify on-screen actions into types.

Franklin Wilson, of Indiana State University, was one of the paper’s authors. He told Quartz: “Quite honestly, it’s eye-opening. You can watch a film and see one thing here or there, but when you watch 40 years’ worth of films, you can start seeing a pattern develop.”

In addition to the comic-relief stereotype, black cops were often portrayed as being caught between the black community and the police, Wilson said. There is a longstanding lack of trust between police and African Americans, stretching from colonial laws that allowed police to arrest blacks for being out after dark (ebook, pg. 22), to modern stop-and-frisk practices.

There’s lopsided justice inside the police force, as well: There have been black officers in America since 1802, but even up until 1962 many police departments required them to get a white officer’s permission before arresting a white suspect. In his book Policing America (pg. 364), author Ken Peak said this results in a so-called “double marginality”, where black officers feel ostracized both by the African-American community, and their fellow police.

The researchers say their next project is to see if the movie-world portrayal of black cops has any relationship to the way they’re perceived in the real world. If past efforts to connect media portrayals to society are any indication, they are up against a steep wall.

And if you’re wondering whether being a “hottie from Internal Affairs” is the typical fate of a female co-star, you won’t have to wonder for long: Wilson and his co-author’s next paper will give the same treatment to women in American cop movies.

‘SNL’ Adds Sasheer Zamata, First Black Female Cast Member in Years

Sasheer Zamata will be the latest young comedian to join “Saturday Night Live,” Variety has confirmed.

As first reported by Deadline, Zamata will make her debut as a featured player on “SNL” on Jan. 18, the latenight program’s first live show in the new year. Zamata is a University of Virginia alum and trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade.

The thesp will be “SNL’s” first black female cast member since the departure of Maya Rudolph in 2007. “SNL” and Lorne Michaels came under fire in late 2013 over the cast’s lack of diversity, and the series poked fun at its own controversy during its opening seg when Kerry Washington hosted “SNL” in November.

News broke at the end of the year that “SNL” was holding auditions specifically to find black female cast members to join the program in 2014.

[source]