Oscars: Alejandro González Iñárritu Acceptance Speech – Best Film (Birdman)

Source: YouTube

“I want to dedicate this award for my fellow Mexicans, the ones who live in Mexico. I pray that we can find and build the government that we deserve. And the ones that live in this country, who are part of the latest generation of immigrants in this country, I just pray that they can be treated with the same dignity and respect of the ones who came before and built this incredible immigrant nation.”  Alejandro González Iñárritu Continue reading

Oscars: Patricia Arquette Acceptance Speech – Supporting Actress (Meryl Streep & JLo Respond)

Source: YouTube

patricia arquette oscars

meryl and jlo respond oscars

Oscars: John Legend and Common Acceptance Speech – Original Song

Source: YouTube

david oyelowo oscars


Oscars: John Legend and Common Perform ‘Glory’

Source: YouTube

Alfre Woodard’s Annual Pre-Oscars Dinner

Source: Hollywood Reporter

alfre woodards annual party 2015


Kerry Washington, Rosario Dawson, Viola Davis and Angela Bassett, among others, also offered words of wisdom during the intimate gathering. Sisterhood doesn’t get any better than this.

No backstabbing, rude remarks, catty comments or anything of the sort happened on Wednesday night at the Beverly Wilshire during Alfre Woodard’s annual pre-Oscars dinner — properly titled as the Oscar’s Sistahs Soiree — celebrating black women in entertainment. The event, in its sixth year, is all about support and sisterhood among Hollywood’s top actresses of color — like an exclusive sorority party, only much more hip and fashionable…

…worth listening to are the words from the actresses themselves on why Woodard’s bash is so special and so important in a town not known for authentic embraces, especially during a time when the challenges of being a woman in Hollywood have been so thoroughly examined — not to mention the challenges of being a woman of color in this town.

Alfre Woodard: “I’ve been in this town 40 years. Nobody has ever said, ‘I think we need to have more black women and brown women this year on TV and in feature films.’ Nobody has said that. We are here because we are brilliant at what we do and we are persistent and we don’t go away. If you locked these women in a trunk at the bottom of the ocean, they would find a way to make their presence known. … To know that the women who do what you do and have the experience you have are lifting each other up. They’re behind you, they’re supporting you. By having this event, I want them to know when they have that swag going down the carpet that there is this sisterhood behind their step.”

Kerry Washington:  “[This party] is about all of the things awards season is supposed to be about — celebrating excellence — but it also has a sense of immense sisterhood and sincerity and authenticity. You don’t always get that throughout the awards season — or even in life. This is a room full of nothing but love.”…

Zoe Saldana:  “There’s nothing we can’t do. I will never have any other attitude than that one. I was raised that way. That’s how I’ve gotten where I’ve gotten. If I thought every morning about all the reasons I should stay home then I would not be here. We will all have reasons that the world will be against us. We have to ignore those and focus on the ones that are for us.”…

Viola Davis: “Here’s the thing about being a woman of color and an actor of color: You get it. You understand that it’s going to be challenging so you find a way to navigate your way in this business and become an actor and the artist you are with what you’ve been given. But the challenge is that we’re not included in the narrative that lets us shine. That’s the only problem. If you’re the third girl from the left or the bus driver, and you’ve been in the business for 30 years, you know you can blow it out of the box. You’re just as good as anybody else, [but] you can’t show your talent being the bus driver in two scenes. That’s what we’ve been relegated as. We very rarely drive the narrative; that’s the challenge. So, it’s very important to get it out. It’s important to be in a safe place and let it out and to share.”  (Complete article at the source.)

Salma Hayek

Source: Net-a-porter  with video

salma hayek

The Heroine

Hollywood actress, activist, wife, mother – whichever role SALMA HAYEK PINAULT plays, she does it with unyielding passion. As she channels SS15’s muses in the season’s most dramatic dresses, she talks to LAURA CRAIK about feeling better than ever and why she will always find a way to achieve her dreams


…Hayek Pinault has five films out in 2015… Happy though she is about all of her releases, it is The Prophet that feels closest to Hayek Pinault’s heart, not least because in addition to voicing one of the characters, she produced the film. As one of the biggest-selling books in history (north of 100 million copies in over 40 languages since it was first published in 1923), adapting Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran’s iconic work was a passion project that consumed Hayek Pinault for four years.

“Can I tell you something?” she says. “I cannot find a distribution [company] in London. I can’t find distribution in many places. They think it’s too sophisticated for children. They say it’s too childish for adults. I’ll prove them wrong. Watch me. I’ll show it for free to every school. This is a labor of love. I’ll find a way.”…

…Amazing, talented people [stop finding work] at 32, 33 sometimes! Not so much in London, but in the US it’s crazy…

On the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations, though, Hayek Pinault is sanguine. “Last year, the Best Director category was won by Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón [for Gravity]. The Best Cinematography category was won by Mexican cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. This year, one of the Best Picture nominees isBirdman, by Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu. Lubezki is nominated again for Best Cinematography. We have come a long way. Some of the best talent in the filmmaking industry today is Mexican. When I started out, this was unheard of.”  (Complete article at the source.)

Dear Ms. Rhimes… (thoughts on ‘Scandal’)

shonda kerry

Shonda Rhimes is an awesome, wise, powerful woman who creates awesome, wise, powerful women characters.  I’m a big fan of her creation, Olivia Pope (and Kerry Washington), but darned I’m disappointed in the last four episodes of Scandal.

Not just that a woman had to be rescued yet again by the ubiquitous (in Hollywood) straight white male, but that OLIVIA POPE had to be rescued by them. DARN IT.

The great and wise and powerful Olivia was darned inept for FOUR shows while the straight white males tried to figure out how to rescue her (Fitz, Jake, Cyrus*, Huck, Stephen, etc).  NOT what I tune into the show for.  (*Okay, Cyrus isn’t straight, but white male applies.) Points for the one person in the war room that spoke sense being a woman.   Continue reading

The Blind Leading the Blind? (Congress is not diverse)

Source: Deadline

rep tony cardenas

California Pol Wants Hollywood Hauled Before Congress Over Diversity

“A California congressman who scolded Hollywood this week for what he calls a shocking “lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominees” now says he wants Capitol Hill to get involved.

“We could have hearings,” Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-San Fernando Valley) said in an exclusive interview with Deadline. “I would love to have hearings. It’s up to the majority party to decide if we’re going to have hearings, but I am looking forward to working with some of my colleagues to request a hearing.”…

…Asked if he thinks there’s a role for Congress to play in establishing an acceptable amount of diversity in movies, Cárdenas said: “I think it’s not up to Congress to dictate what the right amount of diversity is, but I think it’s Congress’ place to ask the question, to any industry, in talking about what’s going on out there. Is there a lack of preparation of the community to be ready to be involved in that industry? Is there a bias toward one community or another in any industry, or what have you? And Hollywood is no exception. When you have 20 nominations – 20 names on the nomination list of best actor, supporting actor and actress, etc., and there’s absolutely no representation of color whatsoever, I think that’s a subset of perhaps a bigger problem.”    (Complete article at the source.)

Marion Cotillard, ‘Two Days, One Night’ and How Film Has Depicted Women in the Workplace

Source: Vanity Fair

two days one night

Why Marion Cotillard’s Oscar Nomination Is a Landmark for Working Women

Two Days, One Night asks if women can have it all—but makes work, not romance, the most crucial element.

“… By nominating Cotillard for a best-actress Oscar for Two Days, One Night, the Academy validated not only the star but the character she plays, a rare on-screen depiction of a woman for whom work is tantamount to life. “If you don’t have a job, you are made to feel like an outcast from your community,” the film’s co-director, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, said in The Guardian last year. With the increasing number of women in the labor force –almost 60 percent of women now work, and 40 percent of American households have mothers as the sole or primary earners—the work place offers them as much of a sense of belonging as men. Yet women largely occupy lower positions than men, are paid less than them, and in some industries, are far outweighed by them; in Jean-Pierre Dardenne’s words, they “are more fragile and weak within the environment of work.” That women can value labor as much as men and yet be considered less valuable than them in that context is a paradox rarely explored on film…”  (Complete article at the source.)

Aerie Supports NEDA

Source: PR Newswire
Other: NEDA


Aerie Takes a Stance & Leads Fashion Industry by Supporting the National Eating Disorders Association

NEW YORKFeb. 19, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — In a trade known for promoting unrealistic airbrushed images, Aerie is taking a position as an industry leader for change by becoming a key sponsor of the National Eating Disorders Association(NEDA).

Aerie,the intimate apparel line, has partnered with NEDA as the lead sponsor of the non-profit’s ongoing national walks awareness program, NEDA Walk. Save a Life, which raises funds for advocacy and educational programs, spreads awareness about the seriousness of eating disorders and provides support for the local community. NEDA holds more than 65 walks each year in cities across the nation.

Aerie has already made a corporate commitment to body-positivity in its advertising and marketing materials by pledging to no longer retouch models in any way. The brand recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of its #aerieREAL campaign.

“We applaud Aerie for taking the lead in healthy body image through its #aerieREALand #LoveYourRealSelfie campaigns,” commented Lynn Grefe, president and CEO of NEDA.   Continue reading

OWN Special on 2015 Essence Black Women in Hollywood

Source: Essence

essence 2015 3

TV viewers can now get a peek inside the 2015 ESSENCE Black Women in Hollywood Awards, thanks to Oprah Winfrey.

OWN will air a primetime special on Saturday, February 21, at 10 p.m. ET, featuring highlights and exclusive interviews from ESSENCE’s Oscar-week event celebrating the achievements of Black women in front of and behind the camera. (Continued at the source.)

Essence 8th Annual Black Women in Hollywood: Red Carpet Interviews Live Stream Happening NOW

Livestream Link CLICK HERE:  Essence

essence live stream

‘Empire’ Continues to Set Records

Source: Entertainment Weekly (Feb 6), Entertainment Weekly (Feb 19)


Entertainment Weekly (Feb 6)

Fox’s ‘Empire’ just broke a 23-year ratings record (at least!)

“We’re starting to run out of ways to praise the ratings for Fox’s Empire… The 18-49 demo rating is impressive. The hip-hop drama is the strongest hour-long show this season. The ratings defy gravity by growing when the usual trend is almost always for a show to decline as its freshman season progresses.

But now there is this: Empire has broken a ratings record that stood for more than 23 years. According to Fox, Empire is the only primetime scripted series to grow in total viewers over each of its first five telecasts since at least 1991. This record has almost certainly stood for longer than that, but Nielsen revised its measuring system 23 years ago and so comparisons can only be properly calculated that far back…” (Continued at the source.)

Entertainment Weekly (Feb 19)

Empire ratings: Guess what just happened

If your guess was: “Empire’s ratings just defied all the laws of broadcast television to once again rise to a record number” … then you would be right.  Wednesday’s episode hit 12.9 million viewers and a huge 5.1 rating among adults 18-49. That’s up 6 percent from last week in the demo (which, of course, was a record rating too).

In total viewers, Empire has gone up every single week – six total – since its premiere… I asked one broadcast analyst for a historic comparison point to help put the latest gain into some kind of perspective… The rep replied: “…It has literally exceeded all Nielsen total viewer records to date.” In other words, after Empire broke that record a couple weeks ago where the hip-hop drama series posted more consecutive ratings gains than any other new broadcast show in at least 23 years, the rise of Empire has become unprecidented [sic]…  (Continued at the source.)

Constance Wu From “Fresh Off the Boat”

Source: NY Daily News

constance wu fresh off the boat

…“It’s great that ABC is making the show,” says Wu. But in the broader picture, she admits it’s hard not to notice that this is the first show with an Asian lead actress since Margaret Cho’s “All American Girl” in 1994.

“I was watching the Screen Actors Guild awards,” she says, “and they featured a clip from our show to illustrate diversity. I was delighted to see our show, of course, but our show hasn’t even aired yet. If they need to find something that hasn’t even come on the air to show diversity, that tells you how many Asian actors have had lead roles in the last 20 years.”…  Constance Wu

Care2 Petitions Against ‘Whitewashing’ People of Color

Source: Care2 

whitewashing asian characters

It’s Time for Hollywood to Stop Whitewashing Asian Characters

.”..According to the petition, a recent survey found that Asian characters made up only 4.4 percent of speaking roles in top-grossing Hollywood films in 2013…

…As Japanese manga and anime have become more popular, there have been other examples, like “Dragonball: Evolution” and “Speed Racer.”

“Animation and anime are these interesting contexts, because casting directors, producers and directors can say, ‘Well, the anime character is fictional and not a real live body … and to cast them as another race is OK,’” Ono explains. As a result, there are fewer opportunities for Asian and Asian-American actors who want a shot at a powerful role.

Racebending.com, an international grassroots organization founded to protest the whitewashing of film roles, makes a good point that even in an American film, a “totally American” cast shouldn’t necessarily be entirely white.

“Certainly changes will be made to the story in adaptations, such as setting a story in the United States instead of Japan,” Racebending.com states. “What disappoints us is that when these adaptations are reset to America, they do not reflect the diversity of the United States. Many people are of Asian descent but are also totally American… (Complete article with links to petitions at the source.)

More Raza Jaffrey? Yes, Please…

Source: Huffington Post Canada

raza jaffrey

20 Asian Actors Who Have Incredible Style

“We talk a lot about actors whose style we admire. From Benedict Cumberbatch and David Tennant to Charlie Hunnam and Jamie Dornan, there are many dudes who we are well familiar with on the big screen and on the red carpet. But we don’t see enough love for Asian actors, who by the way have a sense of fashion to rival Hollywood’s leading men. We’re here to fix that. Here are 20 Asian actors who have incredible style…”  (Continued at the source… includes Raza Jaffrey (above), great in Homeland.)

But Viola, When You’re Awesome, You’re Timeless – i.e., Eternally ‘Relevant’

Source: Entertainment Weekly

viola davis entertainment mag med

This week’s cover: Viola Davis explains how to get away with being awesome

“…Before she came to ABC, Davis was “doing eight days here, five days here” of work in film, despite having generated her second Oscar nomination for playing Aibileen Clark in The Help. Like most Hollywood actresses her age (and with her skin color), Davis realized that it didn’t matter if critics or award shows liked her work if there were studio executives who didn’t think she could ever open a film. “There’s the reality of being an actor, especially after two Academy Award nominations, and there’s the fantasy,” Davis explains. “People oversimplify it by saying, start a production company, get your own stuff going on … as if it’s that easy. I’ve had a production company for years. We have great projects coming up, but it’s been a battle, okay? At the same time, you have to stay relevant because you have to be bankable to the foreign market. So when How to Get Away with Murder came along, I had my a-ha moment. I knew it would have a great time slot, and I would be a lead in a TV show. I’d get to play a role that’s sexualized, messy, all those of things I never get to play. And at the same time, I can be relevant.” (Full article at the source.)

Eamon Farrell Talks About Homophobic Bullying and How His Little Brother Colin Defended Him

Source:  The Independent (IE)

colin farrell and eamon

Eamon Farrell: Little brother is watching you

His movie-star brother Colin gave a moving interview about him on Claire Byrne Live last month. Eamon Farrell tells Barry Egan about the bullying he received as a gay teenager in school, and how he hopes marriage equality will pass in Ireland because he wants his union with Steve Mannion to be as equal as any other person’s marriage

“… In 1992, Eamon Farrell completed a degree in psychology at University College, Galway, ostensibly to find out who he was. Who Eamon was, was a young man who had been through a lot – sometimes too much – in his life but came through it. He personified that Nietzsche quote of what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger…

…’The bullying started so early but I never let it get to me. It was always a struggle. So in the struggle and in the fight I found the strength to be who I was…’

He never told his parents what was happening to him at school. Coming home from school, he would hide his bloodied shirt and, more crucially, his emotions from his parents and his siblings. To hide that amount of psychological pain from his family from the age of eight to 15 – when he left Synge Street – Eamon Farrell must have been an actor on a par with his younger brother Colin.

Colin, he says, ‘protected me. Now he is eight years younger than me, but he acted the part of the big brother. Because I’m not aggressive at all, or violent at all – I hate fighting. But he would do that for me. Colin would protect me. If someone called me names on our road he would go out and kick the shit out of them…Honestly! The little size of him! He was a little terrier, but I. . .wasn’t…’ ”  (Complete article at the source.)

Colin Farrell’s November 2014 Letter in Ireland’s Sunday World

Source: Swide  (The link to the original letter in the Sunday World now leads to a 404 page)

Colin Farrell and his brother Eamon

Excerpt (full letter under the cut)

…It’s about giving our lesbian and gay sisters and brothers back a right that should never have been stolen from them in the first place. Speaking out in support of equality in all its forms is a moral necessity if we’re to have a society where peace, compassion and kindness become the ruling classes. Only love in action can stamp out the wilting toxicity of the intolerant among us. Only ink on paper can truly prove that the Irish people are who we’ve held ourselves proudly to be – a people who, in the majority, are deeply feeling and have a natural and abiding lean towards inclusion and fairness, heart and hospitality.

This referendum is a chance for us to arise. To wake up to the conviction that true love from the heart of one being to another cares not for the colour, nor the creed, nor the gender of who it chooses to share that path with.  We have a chance to effect a change that’s about recognising no one love is greater than another by virtue of tradition. We have a chance to simply tip our hats to love in all its kaleidoscopic and majestic forms…

That’s why this is personal to me. The fact that my brother had to leave Ireland to have his dream of being married become real is insane. INSANE. I can jump into my car now, drive four hours to Vegas from Los Angeles, get drunk and meet a woman and have Elvis marry us for $200. And yet in many states in America, if I were gay, I couldn’t marry…   (Complete letter under the cut.)     Continue reading

Colin Farrell Supports Ireland’s Upcoming Referendum to Legalize Same-sex Marriage

Source: YouTube

While civil partnerships between same-sex couples were recognized in Ireland in 2010, it gave them similar but not equal rights.  A referendum to legalize same-sex marriage will be held in May, 2015.