Queen Latifah to Star in HBO Bessie Smith Biopic, Celeb Interest in LA Clippers Grows & More

by | May 1, 2014 at 4:09 PM | Black Entertainment, Can't Stop Watching, Grey's Anatomy, HBO

Queen Latifah (Photo: Cindy Ord/ Getty Images)

Here’s a couple of things to whet your appetite: Queen Latifah will show off her acting chops in an HBO biopic. And Donald Sterling continues to dominate the news as various outlets speculate on the Los Angeles Clippers’ future, which could include the likes of Oprah Winfrey or Magic Johnson. Plus there’s my watchlist and what’s hot (the legends joining Broadway’s “After Midnight”) and not (Beyonce stans–yikes!). Enjoy!

Queen Latifah will play the “Empress of the Blues.” The Oscar-nominated multitalented entertainer will star as Bessie Smith in a project backed by HBO, The Zanuck Company, Shelby Stone Productions and Queen Latifah’s Flavor Unit Entertainment, according to Shadow and Act. Production is expected to begin in mid-June in Atlanta. Dee Rees of “Pariah” fame will write and direct. Congrats to Latifah for doing this. I know it’s way early to tell, I mean cameras haven’t even started shooting, but I think she’ll earn an Emmy nod. Just a feeling I have. I like that she and Whoopi Goldberg are sharing the stories of early American entertainment pioneers like Bessie Smith and Moms Mabley. Born in 1894, Bessie was one of the highest paid black entertainers of her time. I used to get her and her contemporary Ma Rainey confused as a kid (the film’s reportedly casting for her part) and I think it’s cool that a whole new generation of youth will be introduced to this piece of American and music history. On another note, I always thought Queen Latifah favored Pearl Bailey and would like to see her star as the singer-actress as well. Read more about the Bessie Smith project here.

More Celebs Express Interest in LA Clippers. Aside from Oprah Winfrey and Floyd “Money” Mayweather, Sean Combs, Magic Johnson and several others have all expressed interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers. That’s if they can pry ownership from the hands of Donald Sterling. Though NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday that Sterling is banned for life and will work to push him to sell the team (actually at least three-quarters of the other NBA owners have to vote on the sale). As everyone has stated, Sterling’s litigious and is expected to fight the sale to the very end. “I was shocked by these statistics: Seventy-six percent of all NBA players are black but majority owners are just 2 percent. Two percent,” Chris Jansing, host of MSNBC’s “Jansing & Co.” recently said.  Chris, girl, I understand your shock but am not surprised. Quoting 2 percent actually sounds better than the reality: Michael Jordan is the only person of color who’s the majority owner of an NBA team. Sure, there are a few minority owners who are people of color (ex- Brooklyn Nets owner Shawn “Jay Z” Carter  only owned 0.1608 percent) but when it comes to principle ownership, MJ stands alone. SMH. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? Watch “Jansing & Co.’s” discussion here and watch the “Today” show discuss the notables interested in owning the LA Clippers below.

On my watchlist? What I’m tuning in to see and what I’ll catch up with XFINITY On Demand…
“Grey’s Anatomy”: Burke is Back! I haven’t watched an episode completely in ages. But Isaiah Washington returns as Dr. Preston Burke so I will see what’ll happen between him and Christina. It airs at 9 p.m. EST on ABC. Watch it here.

The Hot List: Who/What’s Hot, Not
HOT: Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight and Natalie Cole guest starring in Broadway’s “After Midnight” this summer (What’s already hot will become hotter!).
NOT: Beyonce stans allegedly threatening Alexsandra Wright, the mother of her father Mathew Knowles‘ only son Nixon Knowles (…).

HOT: Taraji P. Henson’s Vogue Italia spread (She looks smokin’!).
NOT: Floyd Mayweather allegedly announcing on Instagram that his ex had an abortion and also posting the sonogram image online (if true, dang!).

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.