Lots of chattering going on today surrounding black entertainment news. The good, the bad and the ugly includes “Scandal” star Columbus Short’s arrest, “The Real” getting a return date and a planned novel centered around the “Gone with the Wind” Mammy character. Get the deets below.
Columbus Short arrested, charged with felony following brawl. When I read this news, admittedly, I had a Florida Evan’s (“Good Times”) moment, where I exclaimed, “Damn, damn, damn!” Really, Columbus?! You’re a gladiator–you’re supposed to be keeping folks out of jail, not ending up in there! Columbus was arrested, charged and released Wednesday after posting $50,000 bail. I shared via TMZ earlier this week that on March 15, the 31-year-old actor sucker-punched a guy who made unsavory remarks about his wife. When TMZ first reported this, I remember thinking, this sounds a little too familiar. Where have I heard this before? Turns out Columbus “was charged Feb. 14 with misdemeanor spousal battery and has pleaded not guilty in that case. A judge ordered him to stay away from his wife, Tuere Short, at a March 5 court hearing,” the Associated Press reports. Ah! Earlier this year, Mrs. Short dismissed a divorce petition she filed last year. Unfortunately, that’s not it. Columbus “was charged with felony battery in June 2010 and pleaded no contest to the reduced charge of disturbing the peace in February 2011,” the AP continues. Dang, man! [SIDEBAR: One of my sisters just reminded me via IM that we weren't there and don't know if things happened as reported. She has a point.] Wonder if this will affect his role as Harrison Wright, right-hand to fixer Olivia Pope, on ABC’s “Scandal”? He was spotted on the set yesterday but I guess it depends on whether he’ll get jailtime. I know one thing, I’ll be tuning in to watch “Scandal” tonight. It airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST. Watch past episodes here.
“The Real” returns Sept. 15. Congrats to the ladies of this daytime talk show! Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Tamera Mowry-Housley, Jeannie Mai and Adrienne Bailon host the hour-long show that will air on local FOX stations, with a rebroadcast in primetime on BET, according to the show’s site and BET.com. “The Real” proved very successful during its six-week test run last summer. I like that there’s a bit more diversity popping up on the airwaves–and I’m not just talking about race and creed. ABC’s “The View” has struggled to draw in a younger audience and apparently has ditched the idea of having a permanent co-host under 40. CBS’s “The Talk” seems to do a better job, appearing more youthful with 30-something host Sara Gilbert (my favorite of the co-hosts) and the unpredictable antics of Sheryl Underwood and Sharon Osborne. What would be really groundbreaking? If there was a show where people, particularly black Americans, could really be themselves without worrying about judgment from other races and particularly their own. Everyone doesn’t have the same religious and/or spiritual practices nor do they have the same outlook on relationships or definition of success yet black Americans are often portrayed myopically regarding those topics. Honey, our realities are so not that! Fingers crossed for more progressive television programming.
“Gone with the Wind” prequel planned around Mammy character. Hmm… You know that Public Enemy song titled “Can’t Truss It”– yeah, that immediately came to mind when I first heard about this project. According to the New York Times, “the completed book, ‘Ruth’s Journey,’ is the fictional telling of the life of one of the novel’s central characters, a house servant called Mammy who otherwise remains nameless.” The book’s author, Donald McCaig, intends to right the wrongs the 1937 Pulitzer Prize winner “Gone with the Wind” committed such as portraying its black characters one-dimensionally. I can see how this can be perceived as a commendable effort, giving Mammy a story beyond caring for the O’Hara clan. But this still gets a major side-eye from me. And the funny thing is, I know “Gone with the Wind” pretty much by heart. I watched it with my parents at a very young age and can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it since. Aside from its shallow portrayal of its black characters, the film was jazzed up completely compared to the novel, glamorizing Scarlett O’Hara, making Twelve Oaks unrealistically more ostentatious (no way that staircase could fit in that size house) and placating slavery (I understood at age 7 that nobody would be that damn chill as a slave). The latter is one of the reasons for my stance on this latest project. Look, I understand that slavery is an ugly (and extremely profitable) part of American history and there are countless stories that could and should be told (would love to see a new film on Harriet Tubman or even Haitian hero Toussaint Louverture). However, it seems that when it comes to the mass referencing of black peoples’ history, defeat, victimhood and neediness takes precedence over the countless stories of strength, courage and wisdom (yes, I just straight jacked India.Arie’s song title). It just doesn’t make sense. And given the success of “12 Years a Slave,” it wouldn’t surprise me if “Ruth’s Journey” is made into a film. *sigh*
On my watchlist? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand…
“Scandal”: Well, we know what’s up with Columbus Short, let’s see what’s happening with his character Harrison Wright and the other gladiators. It airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. EST on ABC. Watch it here.
The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: Ice Cube’s “Barbershop 3″ gets the greenlight (I liked the first one and the second was OK. Hopefully this one will be good.).
NOT: This here thing with Columbus Short (It just ain’t natural, I say!)
HOT: Angela Bassett reportedly returning to “American Horror Story” for its fourth season (Many loved her in “American Horror Story: Coven.”)
NOT: Chief Keef possibly involved in a North Chicago shooting (this one right here…)
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.