Month: September 2017

Stephan James to star in Barry Jenkins’ “If Beale Street Could Talk”

Stephan James is on his way towards his biggest role yet.

The Selma and Race actor has been tapped to star in Barry Jenkins’ next film, If Beale Street Could Talk. The film, based on James Baldwin’s book of the same name, is, according to Shadow and Act, “a pregnant 19-year-old Harlem woman, named Tish, and her 22-year-old fiancé, Fonny. After he is falsely accused of raping another woman, she, her family and their lawyer work to prove his innocence.” James will play Fonny, and possibly, this could be his biggest role yet.

This will also be another passion project for Jenkins, who has wanted to adapt Beale Street for while, and he wrote the adaptation without the screen rights.

“I said, ‘Well, I’m going to just do exactly what I want to do. I love this book. I love this play. I’m going to write those things, and I’ll f***ing figure it out after,’” he said, as reported by Shadow and Act. “Yeah, I mean, here it is three years later. I still don’t have the rights to the book, as I shouldn’t. Mr. Baldwin’s only been adapted once. This would only be the second time. It’s a big deal. It’s a big responsibility. But because of the success of Moonlight in the marketplace, the estate has seen the film. And I think in that film they can see my intentions with Beale Street, so it’s on the horizon. I don’t have the rights, but it’s on the horizon.”

That was then, this is now: Gloria Karefa-Smart, Baldwin’s sister, has since given her blessing to Jenkins. “We are delighted to entrust Barry Jenkins with this adaptation,” she said. “Barry is a sublimely conscious and gifted filmmaker, whose Medicine for Melancholy impressed us so greatly that we had to work with him.”

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Hasbro tries its hand with ridiculous Bumblebee lawsuit

It doesn’t make sense for Hasbro to think that people would confuse the Transformer Bumblebee with the DC Superhero Girls toy (and long-established DC comic book character) Bumblebee. But here we are with a lawsuit.

According to the Geeks of Color via Comic Book Resources, Hasbro is suing DC over the usage of the name “Bumblebee,” claiming that their Transformers character could be confused on toy shelves with DC’s Bumblebee, a black teenage girl doll.

The lawsuit is the definition of “trying it.” Not only would people never confuse Hasbro’s Bumblebee with DC’s Bumblebee, but it DC’s Bumblebee came first! The character first debuted in 1977, while Hasbro’s Bumblebee debuted in 1983, several years later.

Furthermore, the lawsuit is insulting to girls of color, black girls in particular. The idea of needlessly going after one of the dolls on the shelf that actually does cater to girls of color is insidious, even more so if Hasbro actually wins the lawsuit. The representation on the toy shelves is spotty at best; now a huge company is telling girls—whether they realize it or not—that a doll that speaks to empowerment might not matter and could be at risk for going away. In a small, but powerful way, that can tell a kid that they don’t matter and that their dreams for becoming great in life doesn’t matter. Sure, it’s one doll and one decision by a company, but small things add up, and over time, the collective feeling from life can have a person feeling like they actually don’t matter. If it sounds like the butterfly effect, it’s because it is.

Hopefully Hasbro drops this redonk lawsuit. If not, hopefully the judge will clown the company from here to kingdom come.

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