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Whoopi Goldberg Stuns in Oscars Photoshoot for Variety

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Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony-Award (EGOT) winner Whoopi Goldberg shines as the cover star for Variety’s pre-Oscar issue. In a Zoom call with writer Angelique Jackson, Goldberg reminisces on her first Oscar win in 1991 for Best Supporting Actress in Ghost. She proceeds to discuss all her accomplishments after the win.

What We Know:

  • In the discussion, Goldberg watched a clip from that year’s Academy Awards in which Denzel Washington hands her the award, and “breaks into a smile”. Goldberg listened intently to her acceptance speech and shared her takeaways. Some of them include how she felt about her outfit that night.

“I looked really good… My hair was cool. My dress was cute,” she said.

  • Goldberg recounted how her legendary award almost did not occur. Jerry Zucker, the film’s director, was uncertain about casting a comedian for the role of Oda Mae. Goldberg also claimed every Black woman in Hollywood, including Tina Turner and Patti Labelle, were considered. However, Patrick Swayze, the protagonist, demanded she received the casting. Swayze and Zucker even flew to Alabama, where she was filming The Long Walk Home with Sissy Spacek, so she could read with Swayze. Zucker was taken aback by their chemistry and selected her for the movie. She even contributed to the memorability of the movie. During the first table read, Goldberg suggested new lines, including the famous line “Molly, you in danger, girl.
  • Goldberg added she and Zucker didn’t imagine Ghost would be such a success. She stated they “weren’t sure what the hell” they were shooting. The film received five nominations: Best Supporting Actress, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture.
  • She mentioned her 1991 win was historic not only for her but also for Black people. That March night, she became the first Black woman to receive an Oscar in 50 years. Hattie McDaniel became the first Black person to win an Academy Award in any category in 1940. Like Goldberg, McDaniel won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Gone with the Wind. After McDaniel’s win and before Goldberg’s, only three Black people won Oscars: Sidney Poitier in 1964 for Best Actor in Lilies of the Field, Louis Gossett Jr. in 1983 for Best Supporting Actor in An Officer and a Gentleman, and Denzel Washington in 1990 for Best Actor in Glory. 
  • Goldberg also discussed another groundbreaking moment for her in the interview, hosting the 2002 Oscars. She felt honored to be the host when Halle Berry became the first Black woman to win Best Actress.

“It was kind of wonderful… I had a little tear in my eye, because I always wished it would be me. But you can’t always get what you want; sometimes you get what you need,” she declared.

  • Furthermore, Goldberg talked about Elizabeth Taylor’s mentorship. She recollected that Taylor gave her important advice on navigating Hollywood. Some of these included asking the studio for a present when signing on for a film. Additionally, Taylor told her it would be harder for folks to believe Goldberg could do anything because of her skin color. Taylor added that it would be “up and down”. She reminded Goldberg to “have a way to see where you were,” so she could be motivated during tough times. Goldberg took those words to heart and bought artwork for her “mile markers”.
  • Goldberg now has a similar relationship with Tiffany Haddish. The Girls Trip actress saw Goldberg as an idol after watching Jumpin’ Jack Flash in 1986. Goldberg and Haddish became close after Haddish appeared on The View in 2017. Afterward, they starred as a mother-daughter duo in Tyler Perry’s Nobody’s Fool. Haddish is appreciative of her conversations with Goldberg. She says the best advice she ever received from the legend was to  “listen and know your worth. And don’t be afraid to say no or walk away.” Haddish uses her friendship as motivation to improve her talent and eventually make it into the EGOT club.
  • In addition, the interview reveals some of Goldberg’s next steps. The actress is currently writing a script for a superhero film about an older Black woman. She will also reprise the role of Deloris Van Cartier in the Disney Plus movie Sister Act 3. Variety mentions more roles in the article.
  • Moreover, Goldberg serves on the Motion Picture Academy Board of Governors. It seems she may have impacted the diversity of nominations. At the 2021 Oscars, nine of the twenty acting nominees were people of color. This means all four acting categories could be won by a person of color.

The article wraps up by stating her trophies are milestones of her career. Jackson emphasizes that Goldberg’s legacy is not defined by the number of awards she’s gathered in her four-decade career. Goldberg told Jackson she is most proud of not fading away. The legendary actress says she’s still present and being authentically herself.

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Music

Family of James Brown Finally Settles 15-year Battle over His Estate

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The family feud over James Brown’s estate began after his death on Christmas Day in 2006.

What We Know:

  • Attorney David Black told the Associated Press the legal battle came to an end as family members reached a settlement on July 9. However, details of the settlement were not disclosed.
  • Brown’s estate, which is estimated to be worth anywhere between $5 million to more than $100 million, had been the face of lawsuits over the years. One of the litigations’ central figures includes the Godfather of Soul’s former partner Tomi Rae Hynie, who claimed she was Brown’s fourth and final wife. Because of this, she claims she deserved a portion of their estate.
  • However, the South Carolina Supreme Court declared Hynie never legally married Brown due to her previous marriage never being annulled. The Supreme Court also ordered a lower court to “promptly proceed with the probate of Brown’s estate in accordance with his estate plan.” Brown wanted his estate to provide scholarships to underprivileged children in South Carolina and Georgia.
  • This decision came after the South Carolina Supreme Court overturned a previous deal in 2013. A settlement plan from 2009 aimed to give nearly half of Brown’s estate to a charitable trust, a quarter to Hynie, and the rest to his adult children. The Supreme Court overturned this plan because then-Attorney General Henry McMaster ignored Brown’s desire for his money. Instead, McMaster hired a professional manager “who took control of Brown’s assets from the estate’s trustees to settle debts.”

Black News Alerts will provide more information on the Brown estate when details on the settlement are released.

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Whoopi Goldberg, Danielle Deadwyler to Appear in Film about Emmett Till’s Mother

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Till will highlight Mamie Till-Mobley’s fight to obtain justice for the murder of her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till.

What We Know:

  • In 1955, while visiting family in Mississippi, Emmett became a victim of a hate crime; Carolyn Bryant, a 21-year-old white woman, accused him of harassing her at a grocery store. Several days later, Carolyn’s relatives took Emmett, beat him, and lynched him.
  • While preparing for his funeral, Emmett’s mother Mamie insisted on an open casket to raise awareness on violence towards Black people in the South; Mamie’s actions are considered one of the catalysts for the civil rights movement. The movie chronicles this decision, as well as Mamie’s choice to permit Jet Magazine to publish David Jackson’s funeral photos.
  • Watchmen’s Danielle Deadwyler will portray Mamie. When discussing her new role, Danielle said she is “charged with humility and great will” to embody Mamie’s life during such an “integral moment of personal tragedy and political rebellion” and the civil rights movement. She further mentioned she will accurately represent Mamie’s love for her son. Danielle expressed gratitude for the women who will support her in this endeavor, such as director Chinonye Chukwu, and Whoopi Goldberg, who will play Emmett’s grandmother, Alma Carthan.
  • In addition to directing Till, Chinonye wrote the screenplay, which is partially based on Keith Beauchamp’s original research for his 2005 documentary The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till. The film is a follow-up to Chinonye’s Clemency, which stars Alfre Woodard. Chinonye also conveyed appreciation for the project. She said Till will tell a story of Mamie and Emmett’s humanities and their relationship. Alongside this, it will educate audiences on “the activist consciousness that grows within Mamie as she seeks justice for her son.”
  • Chinonye feels confident in her actresses’ skills. She called Danielle a “powerhouse of an actor,” and emphasized her joy in working with the “legendary” Whoopi. Principal photography will begin in Atlanta this September.

The news on Till was released just two days before what would have been Emmett’s 80th birthday.

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‘Insecure’ star Issa Rae marries Louis Diame in the South of France

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Issa Rae married her fiancé, Louis Diame, in a private ceremony in the South of France this weekend.

What We Know:

  • The “Insecure” star and co-creator, 36, confirmed the news Monday on her Instagram.

“A) Impromptu photo shoot in a custom @verawang dress. B) My girls came to help me, but they all coincidentally had on the same dress! They were sooooo embarrassed. C) Then I took a few flicks with Somebody’s Husband,” she joked.

  • In the photos, Rae posed in a custom, strapless Vera Wang gown along with a floor-length veil and a bouquet of neutral-colored roses. Her businessman husband, for his part, wore a red velvet suit by Dolce & Gabbana.  Rae also shared picture of her five bridesmaids in matching mauve dresses. Each of them held miniature versions of the bride’s rose bouquet.
  • The photos were geo-tagged at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, a French commune overlooking the Ligurian Sea.  Engagement rumors sparked in early 2019 when Rae wore a giant diamond ring on the cover of Essence. Reps for Rae wouldn’t comment on the relationship at the time, but her “Insecure” co-stars confirmed the news shortly after.
Congratulations to the newly weds!

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