Fingers Crossed for Davis, Henson and Washington

Source: TV Line

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Emmys 2015: Are Taraji P. Henson and Viola Davis About to Make History?

“Remember the historic whiteout that hit Hollywood on Jan. 15, 2015? We’re not talking about the weather, of course, but rather this year’s Oscar nominations — in which not a single person of color snagged one of the 20 major acting nominations.

For a study in opposites, you need look no further than the 2015 Emmy race for Lead Actress in a Drama Series — which is shaping up to be a groundbreaking contest between How to Get Away With Murder‘s Viola Davis andEmpire‘s Taraji P. Henson.

Just how historic are we talking? Since the inception of the category in 1953, no black woman has ever taken home the statuette. What’s more, two or more black women have never been nominated for the Lead Actress in a Drama division in the same year.

In fact, if Scandal‘s Kerry Washington lands her third consecutive nomination this year — and Henson and Davis aren’t unspeakably snubbed — half of this year’s nods in the category would go to African-American actresses… ”  (Complete article at the source.)

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Scandal Takes on Ferguson

Source: Vulture (Recap Season 4 Episode 14 ‘The Lawn Chair’)

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Scandal Recap: Justice for Brandon

” “Mother, mother. There’s too many of you crying. Brother, brother, brother. There’s far too many of you dying.” An instrumental of Marvin Gaye’s classic song “Mercy, Mercy Me” plays as the camera pans from Brandon Parker’s dead body to the Capitol building, visible from the scene of the tragedy. It was a juxtaposition of a symbol of freedom with proximity to an event showing the institutional oppression of American citizens. It was a kick in the chest.

It hit me in the core from start to finish because it picked at our collective open wound regarding race in America, specifically police brutality toward black lives. It presented it to us on an ugly platter and made strong statements that were not just bold, but necessary.

Pulled from the real events related to the murder of Michael Brown Jr. in Ferguson in August 2014, this episode of Scandal focused on the killing of black teenager Brandon Parker by a police officer. It tells the whole story, from the militarization of police in response to peaceful protesters to the media blackout caused by the attempts to silence members of the press. It includes the police department’s attempts to bury security tapes, as well as the highly unlikely narrative leading to the boy’s murder… ” (Complete article at the source.)

‘Aziz Ansari: Live at Madison Square Garden’ Premieres on Netflix March 6

Source: Netflix, YouTube (trailer), YouTube (clip)

Eyeroll-Face Palm: yes, audiences want diversity – no, there isn’t any – but there’s no solution?

Source: Deadline

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WGA Study: Most Jobs Go To White Guys in Their 40s

“The number of jobs for women, minority and older TV writers took a nose dive last year, according to a new study by the Writers Guild of America, West. “Women and minorities have actually lost ground as compared to their white male counterparts,” the study found, “both in terms of overall staff positions and in higher-level executive producer ranks.”

Minority writers saw a nearly 7% decline in employment last season…

…Ironically, it’s the guild’s own members – the showrunners and executive producers – who do most of the hiring. But it’s the networks, studios and production companies who hire the showrunners, and the report found that minorities held only 5.5% of those jobs during the 2013-14 season, down from 7.8% two years earlier, an overall decline of nearly 30%…

…This lack of diversity at the beginning of the hiring process almost assures a lack of diversity at the end of it, the report’s author told Deadline…

…Compared to their percentages in the general population, the report found that “minorities were underrepresented by a factor of nearly 7-to-1 among executive producers.”

… “The market by itself is not going to fix it; there are too many obstacles,” Hunt said. “It’s not going to correct itself. Something else is going to have to happen.”…

…research is beginning to confirm the common-sense notion that increasingly diverse audiences desire more diverse storytelling. When diverse voices are marginalized or missing altogether in the writers room, it is less likely that the stories told will hit the mark.”…  “(Complete article at the source.)

Over 125 Years Later, Journalist Nellie Bly Gets A TV Show

Source: Deadline

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Nellie Bly’s Historic Race Around The World Being Developed For Television

“It’s the best of journalism meets The Amazing Race meets Around the World in Eighty Days. Phineas Fogg, move aside. One of the most daring stories in history is that of investigative journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochrane (aka Nellie Bly) who in 1889 decided she would try to beat the fictional record in Jules Verne’s now classic story and go around the world less than 80 days.  At the same time, because competition is the name of the game in journalism, Cosmopolitan sent their own reporter Elizabeth Bisland, out to beat not only the 80-day fictional Phineas Fogg record but also try to one-up Bly who was working for Joseph Pulitzer’s New York Worldnewspaper.

Now that story, based on Matthew Goodman’s bestselling book, “Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World” is being developed for television by Zero Gravity Management’s Christine Holder and MarkHolder with producer Lloyd Levin (Boogie NightsUnited 93Watchmen) and Beatriz Levin…

… Beyond captivating the nation, the lives of both the well-respected journalist Bly and her competitor Bisland were forever changed by the journey. Bly ended up winning the race by four and a half days and set a world record. She had circumnavigated the globe in 72 days.”  (Complete article at the source.)

The Memoirs of Lynsey Addario, Photojournalist

Source: New York Times (book review)

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‘It’s What I Do,’ by Lynsey Addario

“The modern battlefield can induce a peculiar strain of skewed logic among those sent to chronicle it. Upon a landscape where it is often mortally dangerous simply to stand in one place, how much worse can it be to venture a little farther, to get a bit closer? And having assumed the added risk of getting closer, how then to leave before you’ve taken the perfect image, conducted one last interview? What makes such calculations especially tricky is that most modern battlefields have no recognizable boundaries or rules of conduct; they bear less resemblance to any traditional war movie than, say, to “Mad Max.”…

… As Addario points out, hitting it big in journalism often carries an element of luck, of being in the right place at the right time. For her, that came in the summer of 2000. Living in South Asia and eager to examine the role of women under the rule of the fundamentalist Taliban regime, Addario, under the cloak of a chador, spent several weeks insinuating herself into the lives of Afghan women, emerging with a remarkable portrait of a culture few outsiders had glimpsed. That portfolio might have received limited attention, until the United States went to war with the Taliban after the Sept. 11 attacks…

…The very best photographers develop an ineluctable bond with their subjects, an intimacy built on patience and trust; in the strongest photos here, such as her portraits of women rape victims in Congo, her ability to capture their strength and vulnerability is profoundly touching…

…In her uncommon ability to connect emotionally with her photographic subjects, Addario has been given entree into a world of sorrows and hardships that most would find too much to bear, and that require a certain amount of stoicism to withstand…” (Complete article at the source.)

Jennifer Lawrence Teams With Spielberg to Play Photojournalist Lynsay Addario

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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Jennifer Lawrence, Steven Spielberg to Adapt War Photographer’s Memoir

“Warner Bros. has won a bidding war for the movie rights to It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War, a memoir by Lynsey Addario.

Jennifer Lawrence is attached to star in a package that also includes director Steven Spielberg and producer Andrew Lazar.

Addario is a war photographer who has spent time in war zones ranging from Afghanistan to the Congo to Somalia. She is one of the few females in a predominantly male club and was also at one point kidnapped…”  (Complete article at the source.)