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Taylor Swift And Janet Mock To Receive Huge GLAAD Honors For LGBTQ Advocacy Work

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The Vanguard Award that Taylor Swift is set to receive is presented to people who made a difference in promoting the acceptance of LGBTQ people.

What We Know:

  • Last year, the singer wrote an open letter, which Swift shared on social media, to Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander. In it, Swift urged the Republican senator to support the Equality Act in order to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • The Equality Act is an act to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in employment, housing, and other public accommodations. Swift created a petition on change.org and asked her fans to support the cause. She wrote in the petition, “our country’s lack of protection for its own citizens ensures that LGBTQ people must live in fear that their lives could be turned upside down by an employer or landlord who is homophobic or transphobic…The fact that, legally, some people are completely at the mercy of the hatred and bigotry of others is disgusting and unacceptable. Let’s show our pride by demanding that, on a national level, our laws truly treat all of our citizens equally.”
  • In June 2019, Swift released the single You Need To Calm Down” and in the lyrics she included “Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD?”
  • GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told People in a statement why Swift deserves the awards: “from boldly standing up against anti-LGBTQ elected officials to shining attention on the urgent need to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination through the Equality Act, Taylor Swift proudly uses her unique ability to influence pop culture to promote LGBTQ acceptance… In a time of political and cultural division, Taylor creates music that unites and calls on her massive fan following to speak up and call for change.”
  • Janet Mock will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award, which is often presented to an LGBTQ media professional who made a significant difference in promoting LGBTQ acceptance. Mock became the first transgender woman of color to write and direct a TV show episode. Last year during the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York, Mock and the cast of Pose received the award for Outstanding Drama Series.
  • Ellis said the reason why Mock is getting this award is because she is “a trailblazing force for diverse and inclusive storytelling who has raised the bar for LGBTQ representation in Hollywood… She tells stories that need to be told, including those of transgender people and people of color, in revolutionary and eye-opening ways that inspire and enrich…Her passion for inclusive storytelling, combined with her undeniable talents in writing, directing, and producing, will continue to create a Hollywood where voices and stories that have been left out of the conversation are placed front and center where they belong.”
  • In 2014, Mock released her first book, Redefining RealnessIn the memoir, Mock opened up about hardships she faced throughout her life growing up as an LGBTQ person in America.

Last year, Beyonce and Jay Z received the Vanguard for their ongoing support of the LGBTQ community.

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T.I.’s Daughter, Zonnique, Announces Pregnancy

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Former OMG Girlz singer, Zonnique Pullins, is pregnant – for real this time!

What we Know:

  • Zonnique Pullins and boyfriend Bandhunta Izzy, legally known as Israel James, are expecting their first child, and, according to Zonnique, it’s a girl! The two started dating after a mutual connection linked them, and they hit it off via Instagram.
  • The 24-year-old made quite the announcement following weeks of ongoing speculation in her Instagram comments. On her newest show, The Mix, on which she is one of the hosts, Zonnique surprised her step-father, rapper T.I., with the news that she is expecting. T.I., not taking it so well, ultimately showed his support for his eldest daughter’s new venture.
  • In addition to her announcement on the new foxsoul.tv show, Zonnique did an exclusive photoshoot and interview with People Magazine announcing the big news. According to her interview, the singer is about 5 months in and has had a fairly easy pregnancy thus far. Admitting that she initially wanted a boy, she says that she is now excited about having a girl. “I’m most excited about her being able to go with me everywhere, honestly. We can go get our nails and stuff done,” she states. She goes on to say, “Everybody probably thinks I’d be excited to dress her up and stuff, but she’ll probably be dressed like a little boy, knowing me. Big T-shirts, like how I am.”
  • Although her fan-base was shocked, they had already been somewhat suspicious. It just so happens that Zonnique has gotten these inquires of alleged pregnancy almost consistently for the past three years and have always denied them, including the most current ones. She expressed to her fans that if she were pregnant, it would be her news to tell the world and not theirs or their allegations. Initially denying the claims, after the truth was revealed, she reminisced, “Literally every year, probably for the past three years, this same rumor had come out. This time I actually am pregnant. It’s weird!”
  • Her mother, Tameka “Tiny” Harris, is as excited as ever to be an “O.G.”, as she would like to be called by her granddaughter. In a special appearance on The Mix, of which she is the executive producer, she shared her excitement for Zonnique’s bundle of joy. However, Tiny has quickly made it clear that she will not accept anything other than support for her baby’s baby. After taking her excitement to Instagram, someone made a comment saying, “Finally? Why not teach ya “baby” not to be another [BABY MAMA] but to be a WIFE.” Tiny was quick to shut down the hate.

 

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#TSRClapbackSeason: #Tiny doesn’t play about her babies! #Zonnique 📸: @iamjamesanthony

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

  • In a virtual interview on Thursday, Zonnique made it very clear that a wedding aisle is looking a bit too far ahead for her right now. “I feel like at my age, I don’t really want to get married right now. I feel like that’s an even bigger commitment. I hate to say that’s even a bigger commitment than a baby, but getting married just seems like so much. So right now, that’s not really what I want to do.”
  • The same doesn’t seem to apply to her loving and supportive boyfriend Bandhunta Izzy. Zonnique was quick to say, “My boyfriend is way more into the whole getting married topic but I told him, ‘I just don’t know about that yet!” The 23-year-old rapper is already a father of two children, a 3-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl, and was excited to find out, with Zonnique, that he will be expecting another girl. The Baltimore native has several posts on his Instagram alluding to making Zonnique his wife, however, it appears he is willing to wait till she is just as ready as he is.

Congratulations to the expecting parents! We look forward to meeting your beautiful baby girl.

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Honorees announced for 2nd Annual AAFCA TV Honors

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In the 2nd annual African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) TV Honors, many notable figures will be celebrated for their work, including Kenya Barris, Viola Davis, and Sterling K. Brown. The virtual edition will take place on  August 22.

What We Know

  • The African American Film Critics Association is the largest collection of Black film critics that grant distinct awards and honors to quality television and film.

“The creation of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) represents a united stance by film journalists of African descent and brings greater recognition to the work of writers, directors and actors of color in the powerful medium of film.”

– Melvin Van Peebles (American actor)

  • AAFCA event is a private celebration, and tickets are available for purchase. The virtual ceremony will honor the best in television “who continue to change the game, drive culture, and authentically portray our stories.”
  • This year’s AAFCA will be hosted by Aida Rodriguez and American comedian best known for appearance on Last Comic Standing. The African American Film Critics Association announced the recipients on Wednesday (Aug. 5.)
  • Kenya Barris will be honored as TV Icon for his work on Black-ish and #blackAF. Viola Davis will be honored as Best Actress for her work on ABC’s How To Get Away With Murder. Sterling K. Brown will be honored as Best Actor in his work on NBC’s This Is Us. A full honoree list can be found on Deadline.

A portion of the proceeds made from the private AAFCA event will be allocated to the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) COVID-19 Relief Fund.

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Lizzo Lands First-Look TV Deal with Amazon Studios

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“Truth Hurts” singer Lizzo signed a first-look television deal with Amazon Studios.

What We Know:

  • Under the deal, 3-time Grammy-winning Lizzo will work with Amazon Studios to develop and produce television projects that will air exclusively with Amazon Prime Video. The musician hinted that she already has some content ideas ready for production. “I’m so excited to partner with the amazing team at Amazon,” Lizzo said. “Thank you to Jen Salke and the rest of the team for making this dream come true. I can’t wait to get started and share my vision with the world.”
  • Jen Salke, head of Amazon Studios, shared the excitement for the deal was mutual. “Lizzo is one of the most exciting, creative, joyful artists in the industry, and it is such a pleasure to announce this new deal with her,” Salke said. “She has such a unique perspective and we’re so excited to hear her ideas for new content that our Prime Video customers are sure to love.”
  • Lizzo won her three Grammy Awards this year at the 2020 awards show for the hits on her debut platinum-selling album. To date, her music has reached over 4 billion global streams with hit songs like 5-times Platinum “Truth Hurts,” the 3-times Platinum “Good As Hell,” and the Platinum “Juice”. Her album CUZ I LOVE YOU was released in April of 2019 and debuted at #6 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. It then went to spend the next 24 consecutive weeks in the chart’s Top 10.
  • Lizzo starred in the feature film Hustlers and voiced a character in UglyDolls, but this marks her first major move in television. On her Instagram Story, Lizzo celebrated the big news with a short and impassioned message for her fans. “Let the empire begin,” she captioned the post.

 

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Hi, we just signed a first look TV deal with the one and only @lizzobeeating and yes, we are feelin’ good as hell! 😍

A post shared by Amazon Studios (@amazonstudios) on

There is currently no word on what type of projects Lizzo will be developing, but we look forward to seeing what the Grammy-winning musician can bring to television.

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