Coming to America 2 Will Make You Pee Yourself Laughing, Wesley Snipes Promises
Wesley Snipes teased movie-goers are “going to have to wear a diaper” when they see Coming 2 America, because it is so funny.
Wesley Snipes has revealed new details about the highly-anticipated sequel to Coming to America, doubling down on co-star Eddie Murphy’s recent claim that the Coming 2 America is “funnier than the first one.”
“You’re going to have to wear a diaper!” Snipes told ET, “You’re going to have to put something or some pad underneath because you’re going to just leak all over yourself. I am telling you.” The actor went on to explain that there were multiple times when the cast broke character on set because of laughter, noting, “And there was some funny people on this particular production. A lot of talented people… and a lot of the older, or the original cast, has rejoined. So very interesting things you’re going to see with this one.”
Snipes also opened up about how he landed the role of General Izzi — the older brother of Vanessa Bell Calloway’s Imani Izzi — in Coming 2 America. “I think it was myself, Eriq La Salle, and I want to say Mario Van Peebles were the finalist in getting that role — and I didn’t get it,” he recalled. “I remember [being] in my bathroom, in front of the mirror, and the Denzel Washington tear running down my face. So sad. I thought my career was over. How could I lose that opportunity to work with Eddie Murphy?”
Ultimately for Snipes, the role came back around, and he jumped at the opportunity to join the Coming to America family. “When I saw all of them, and I was on the set, and I walked in and I saw the production design, I was like, ‘This is why I do this,'” Snipes added, “‘This is why I’m in this business right here.'”
Coming 2 America is being directed by Craig Brewer and stars Murphy as Akeem/Randy, Arsenio Hall as Semmi, Jermaine Fowler as Lavelle, Leslie Jones as Lavelle’s mother, Tracy Morgan as Reem, James Earl Jones as Jaffe Joffer, and Louie Anderson as Maurice. The film is scheduled to hit theaters on Dec. 18, 2020.
Venessa Bell Calloway, Ed Harris, Clancy Brown and More Fight Racism Through TEARS: The Event Against Racism & Stereotyping
The Man/Kind Project, Inc., a non-profit organization whose mission is to fight racism and intolerance by uniting cultures through awareness and empathy, is set to present TEARS: THE EVENT AGAINST RACISM & STEREOTYPING, a Global Online Event unifying our voices in the spirit of empathy, tolerance and understanding.
TEARS will feature a dynamic group of passionate artists and activists, with a growing list of celebrities including Ed Harris, Clancy Brown, Anne-Marie Johnson, Amy Hill, Michael Dorn, Beverly Johnson, Alan Rosenberg, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Christopher B. Duncan, and many others, who are candid and unvarnished in their personal revelations and observations.
Video: TEARS: The Event Against Racism and Stereotyping
Participants will deliver powerful testimonies and introspections during this critical time, weaponizing empathy and inviting the viewers to share their voices in the fight against bigotry.
TEARS hopes to unlock secrets and inspire more people to come forward and share personal experiences as we take the fight against racism to a new level. The special, which will be directed by Gev Miron, will also include a virtual performance of the iconic song “Stand By Me,” by Freda Payne and The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles.
TEARS will premiere on Friday, August 28, 2020, 6 PM PST, which marks the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
The special will stream live on https://www.themankindproject.org
The Man/Kind Project, Inc. Founder Richard Stellar commented, “We are all a part of this righteous battle. No matter what your culture or heritage, we all share a common thread of oppression. It unifies us and makes us stronger as we fight against it. That will become evident when you hear the voices of our participants. I was actually shocked by some of their revelations.”
Actor/activist/Vice-President of The Man/Kind Project, Inc. Anne-Marie Johnson added: “During the 2016 election, too many Americans believed the poisonous rhetoric of the election cycle played on a 24-hour loop. Now, as our society decays, many continue to remain silent. Blaming the police is easy. Blaming ourselves is not. That silence, that discomfort we have with ‘making waves’ is partly to blame. We must speak out. No more excuses. Time is running out.”
A GoFundMe campaign to help underwrite future campaigns to fight against racism and intolerance has been set up here.
ABOUT THE MAN/KIND PROJECT, INC.
The Man/Kind Project, Inc. is a 501©3) non-profit California corporation whose mission is to fight racism and intolerance by uniting cultures. All donations are tax-deductible.
The Man/Kind Project, Inc. was founded by award-winning journalist and activist Richard Stellar, who along with Anne-Marie Johnson, were leaders in the successful campaign to maintain and ensure long-term care for the motion picture and television industry. They went on to champion the causes of and amplify the voices of Holocaust survivors, fight successfully against HB610 that would have decimated nutritional and after-school programs for inner-city children, and with actor/activist George Takei created the event Hero: Chiune Sugihara that honored the legacy of a Japanese diplomat who saved thousand of Polish Jews during WW2. Currently, The Man/Kind Project is feeding the homeless through their viral #CovidKindness campaign, where they are in the street delivering food and personal care items directly to the homeless. For more information regarding The Man/Kind Project, Inc., please visit: www.themankindproject.org
From “Coming To America” to “Saints & Sinners”
Saints & Sinners: Season Five Renewal and Movie Announced by Bounce TV
There will be lots more drama at a certain Baptist church in a small-ish Georgia town. Bounce TV has renewed the Saints & Sinners TV show for a fifth season. In addition, the cable channel has ordered a standalone movie.
Set against the backdrop of a large southern church, Saints & Sinners centers around the pursuit of power, intertwined with greed, deception, corruption, compromising sexual affairs, and murder. The dramatic series stars Vanessa Bell Calloway, Clifton Powell, Tray Chaney, Keith Robinson, J.D. Williams, Donna Biscoe, Jasmine Burke, Dawn Halfkenny, and Karon Joseph Riley.
Bounce announced the fifth season renewal earlier today and noted that it would debut sometime in Spring 2021. All previous seasons have had eight episodes apiece and season four finished airing in August 2019. In season five, viewers will find Mayor Ella Johnson (Calloway) bracing for the ride of her life when a father comes to town seeking revenge for his son’s murder. A long-kept secret will be revealed that threatens to take down the entire town.
Before season five begins, the cable channel plans to air a standalone movie. That will be released in the first quarter of 2021. No further details have been announced thus far.
Calloway posted about the news on Instagram.
What do you think? Do you like the Saints & Sinners TV show? Will you be tuning in for the fifth season? Are you looking forward to the movie on Bounce TV?
Tina Knowles Lawson will be joined by Vanessa Bell-Calloway, Lynn Whitfield, and Beverly Johnson
Tina Knowles attend the Eddie Murphy X ARTUS Gallery Exhibition Opening Night at East Angel Gallery on February 20, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images)
Tina Knowles Lawson is about to get real on the upcoming episode of OWN’s Girlfriends Check In.
The Queen Mother will be joined by her real-life homies, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Lynn Whitfield, and Beverly Johnson, on a special “Sexy, Sixties, and Savage” episode of the reality show.
theGrio has an exclusive sneak peek of Saturday’s episode that features Whitfield and Knowles-Lawson hosting an evening with their fun and fabulous girlfriends.
It’s nonstop conversation and antics when the ladies take on every topic from sex to family to activism. The ladies make it clear and show you that they are still in the game. Whitfield shares one of her favorite go-to beauty items, while Johnson gives up the tea on the many private uses for avocado oil. Knowles-Lawson shows her fashion savvy when she surprises the ladies with a custom T-shirt made just for them.
The ladies share how special it is to have daughters and talk about what life’s like as a sexy grandma, while Knowles-Lawson shares an emotional and touching moment about how her daughters were there for her at one of her lowest moments. Whitfield is excited at Calloway’s suggestion that she and Greenleaf’s “Lady Mae” might need to have a First Lady reunion, until Calloway reminds her that her First Lady role is that of a killer.
Later, Johnson announces she and her beau just got engaged! The ladies are elated and happy to know that love still reigns, and are delightfully shocked to learn that one of them learned all about sex from a call girl! It’s an evening of fun, family, friendship, and sisterhood.
Check out the exclusive sneak peek:
#WHILEWEBREATHE PRODUCERS ON PURPOSEFUL STORYTELLING AMIDST RACIAL TENSIONS
In the wake of George Floyd’s killing, theater makers are moving swiftly to address police brutality and systematic racism.
Brian Moreland (Blue) and Arvind Ethan David (Jagged Little Pill) created #WhileWeBreathe: A Night of Creative Protest, an online event to benefit organizations committed to social justice. The live show will premiere short works written and directed by people of color and will feature performances from Lynn Whitfield (Greenleaf), Vanessa Bell Calloway (Coming to America), Bryan Terrell Clark (Hamilton), and Ty Jones (The Great Society), among others.
“Shortly after the killing of George Floyd, I sent an email to the theatre owners and lead producers of all the shows on Broadway,” says Moreland of the show’s origin. “I wrote, ‘Hey, listen, I need you guys to speak up.’ The person who immediately responded was Arvind. He called me and said, ‘I think we can do more than just a statement. We can do something and put all of our voices to use.’” Together, Moreland, who is African American, and David, an immigrant of Indian origin, are focused on how the theater community can work to produce impactful stories that will help fight racism at its core.
Moreland and David spoke to Broadway Direct about their hope for the event’s impact.
Black people have been unjustly murdered by the hands of police for decades. In your opinion, why was Mr. Floyd’s death the catalyst for change?
Brian Moreland: Floyd’s killing was an amalgamation of everything that has transpired. It is the culmination of every single injustice that has happened to marginalized communities. We were all sitting in our homes, quarantined and isolated, with no outlets to express our feelings.
Arvind Ethan David: There’s a saying: “When the tide goes out, you see who isn’t wearing shorts.” I think COVID-19 is the tide going out on America, and the structural flaws created by 400 years of institutionalized racism is not having shorts. People of color have always known that, but this time white people were at home with nothing to do but watch their televisions, and suddenly they can’t avoid this anymore.
Brian, you said that you urged your colleagues to speak out. Why was it important to you?
Moreland: I needed them to support and to stand up and help us fight, because that’s the only way we actually change things, is we do it together. The community of theater, the community of Broadway, that word community, is really important to me. It’s a sense of unity, of pride, of coming together. We do it for our animals. We do it for diseases that affect our community. But we were not doing it for Black and Brown communities that were being affected this way. I needed their support. I’m a member of this community and I love it and I need you to love me back.
How did you curate the writers for this event?
Moreland: There were people we already had in mind, who, through casual conversation, we knew were feeling a certain way. It was very collaborative in that way of making sure people’s spirits were moving in the right directions and they had a desire to express [themselves].
David: We hope that there is a world in which this isn’t a one-off, and there are ways to continue it and keep the work going.
You call #WhileWeBreathe “a night of creative protest.” What do you hope viewers will take from it?
Moreland: I hope that people of color, and people who have experienced [injustices], believe that we have gotten it right. I hope the families of people who have been directly impacted by the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Eric Garner, etc., believe we got it right with telling their stories and experience. I hope our [white] allies walk away with sympathy and understanding and a new way to move through this world to help and support us.
David: Stories are an empathy-delivering system, and are the way you get to take someone who would not necessarily have empathy for your situation and have them experience it in an emotional narrative form. I think that this material will do that for the broadest audience possible.
This event is raising funds for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Bail Project, and other organizations. How do you envision the relationship between this event and its beneficiaries?
David: What we wanted to do here was not just to randomly give money. We wanted to align ourselves in a long-term way with a series of organizations that we could not just do a one-night thing for, but continue to perform an objective. I reached out to the Legal Defense Fund and had a long conversation with them. They said, “Yes. … We love what you’re doing.” Interestingly, one of the things about the Legal Defense Fund is that because they are a pretty historic organization, they actually have more visibility and more support amongst older people, [so] they’re keen on attracting the youth. They said, “Well, maybe your work can help expand in that way.” It was one of the things that made us decide to make this free, but with a donate function, as opposed to behind a paywall.
Moreland: I think about, when crisis strikes, the first responders who are on the ground, they only have about a week or two weeks to really act. Within that period, you’re trying to get the greatest amount of change that you can, and that change comes in a variety of ways. The first way could be a statement. The next way could be a promise. The third one could be, “Great. We’re going to commit to sitting down to renegotiate, sit around to add something.” But you have this window of opportunity to actually make sure we can affect that change so it doesn’t just become a moment, but it becomes a lifetime of impactful change, systemic change.
#WhileWeBreathe: A Night of Creative Protest will premiere Wednesday, July 29, at 9 p.m. ET on WhileWeBreathe.com and YouTube Live.
Carrie Ann Inaba to Host the American Cancer Society’s Share The Light – a Virtual Live Streaming Event
The American Cancer Society presents Share The Light – a virtual live streaming event hosted by Carrie Ann Inaba, moderator of CBS’s daytime series The Talk and judge for ABC’s Dancing with the Stars.
On Thursday, July 16 at 7 p.m. ET, this magical event will gather celebrities and friends to celebrate the spirit of cancer survivors and bring vital attention to the unique needs of the cancer community during this unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.
“I know the cancer journey intimately,” said Share The Light celebrity co-host Carrie Ann Inaba. “Both of my parents have had devastating later stage cancer diagnoses and I understand what it’s like to care for and watch those you love fight for their lives. That’s why this night and the work of the American Cancer Society is so important. And I couldn’t be happier to join them in the fight for a world without cancer.”
Shannen Doherty Moderates Panel of Survivors
In her first public event since announcing her breast cancer had returned, beloved actress Shannen Doherty is sitting down with others who have battled cancer for an intimate conversation about life, strength, and what it means to be a cancer survivor.“When I found out earlier this year that my breast cancer returned, it devastated me,” said survivor and Share The Light roundtable moderator Shannen Doherty. “But like so many survivors that pick themselves up, I am grateful and soaking up the opportunity to keep fighting and using my voice and my journey to inspire others to just keep going.”
Celebrity Performances & Guests
Musical performances will include Grammy award winning performers Vince Gill and Kirk Franklin along with vocal powerhouse Pia Toscano, T-Pain, and the Super Bowl Celebration of Gospel NFL Players Choir.
The Share The Light live virtual streaming event will also feature appearances by celebrity survivors, caregivers and American Cancer Society supporters and friends, including:
Special guest and musical legend Ms. Patti LaBelle, sportscaster Erin Andrews, actress Vanessa Bell Calloway, Telemundo host Stephanie “Chiquibaby” Himonidis, survivor and jewelry designer Simone I. Smith, Young & the Restless actress Sharon Case, NFL Super Bowl winning siblings Jaylen and Sammy Watkins, along with many more who have gathered to Share The Light for cancer survivors and the American Cancer Society.
Cancer Patients Are More Vulnerable than Ever
COVID-19 has upended our lives and uniquely challenged cancer survivors. Despite COVID-19, cancer hasn’t stopped. In fact, in 2020, more than 1.8 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. 1 in 3 Americans will get cancer in their lifetime. This is especially true for Black and Latino communities who navigate vast health disparities and worse cancer outcomes. The American Cancer Society’s groundbreaking research, education, and prevention measures have helped lower the risks of cancer, but those measures are at risk.
“Because of COVID-19, cancer patients are more vulnerable than ever,” said American Cancer Society Chief Executive Officer Gary Reedy. “They are not only especially vulnerable to contracting coronavirus, but nearly 80% of cancer patients in active treatment have seen their screening and vital treatments delayed due to coronavirus. The American Cancer Society must remain strong so that we can continue with the services, research, and advocacy that save lives. The Share The Light campaign, along with support from our friends, is helping ensure we do just that. Through the Share The Light campaign, ACS will celebrate the spirit of survivors – and those who care for them. And at the same time raise vital donations to help ensure the American Cancer Society has what it needs to continue its lifesaving vision of a world without cancer.”
The American Cancer Society invites members of the press to share this story with their audiences – and to tune in for this special evening. Learn more about this campaign and how to help at www.cancer.org/sharethelight.
Tressa Azarel Smallwood Talks Partnership with BET Her & Shooting Successfully in the Time of Covid
“Baby Blue” and “Everything is Fine” will be the first two films to premiere in the BET Her Presents franchise on July 25th.
BET HER in partnership with producer Tressa Azarel Smallwood of MegaMind Media announces the green light of four female-centric original short films, directed by prominent African American women primarily known for being in front of the camera. Veteran Hollywood stars Kim Fields (“Living Single”), Victoria Rowell (“The Young and the Restless”), Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Moesha”) and Vanessa Bell Calloway (“Coming to America” ) dive into location shooting in Maryland’s Prince George’s County. These 20-minute dramatic short films focus on topics vital to today’s Black families, ranging from mental health to breast cancer awareness. The films will live under the BET HER “Her Stories” franchise — a platform to empower the next generation of Black women filmmakers. Through a curated selection of original movies and documentaries. “Her Stories” provides women filmmakers a platform to tell authentic stories that celebrate, inspire and support Black women narratives.
How Vanessa Bell Calloway and Children Celebrated Tony Calloway’s 60th Birthday in LA (Photo)
American entertainer, Vanessa Bell Calloway, celebrated in grand style as she commemorated her spouse, Anthony Calloway’s big day on his milestone birthday!
Vanessa Bell Calloway and her lovely family enjoyed a sweet celebration as the family’s patriarch, Anthony Calloway, turned 60.
To celebrate Anthony’s big day, the family went all out as they “brought Greece home.” The Grecian themed event had Vanessa and her daughters rocking colorful Greek-style outfits.
Vanessa and Anthony Calloway celebrated in style during their 30th anniversary. It was a fun-filled day for the Calloways as they decided to renew their vows.
On Instagram, Vanessa’s grown daughter, Ashley, shared a heartwarming image from the celebration as everyone looked radiant. In their LA home, a tall hedge was the backdrop while the Calloways flaunted their graceful outfits in the garden.
The celebrant stood tall and dashing in a white shirt and a pair of black pants. He completed his look with a straw hat while carrying a cute poodle on one arm.
Vanessa Bell Calloway, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Kim Fields & Kim Fields To Direct Shorts Produced by Tressa Azarel Smallwood For BET Her Initiative
“Even though I’ve licensed films to BET previously, being chosen to produce these crucial initiatives with all African-American women is such an honor,” said Smallwood.
“BET Her is dedicated to telling stories that support and celebrate Black women in front of and behind the camera as well as bringing awareness to important issues directly affecting the Black community,” said Lorisa Bates, VP Content Strategy, Co-Productions, and Multiplatform. “We are proud to be the platform for these powerful stories and of the work that our female talent has put into these projects that are ever so timely.”
See the project descriptions below.
Title Baby Blue
Director: Kim Fields;
Written by Nakia Stephens
Cast: Shaquita Smith and Traci Braxton
“Baby Blue” drops us into the world of a first-time mother who after giving birth to her son, spirals from mild post-partum depression into severe post-partum psychosis. While she gets support with the baby, we see the heart-wrenching consequences of her not getting support for her mental well-being.
Title: A Long Look in the Mirror
Director: Vanessa Bell Calloway
Written by Deshawn Plair and Sade Oyinade
Cast: Golden Brooks
It tells the story of a broken mother-daughter relationship that is tested to the limits after the youth-obsessed mother receives a cancer diagnosis and struggles to cope with the disease.
Title: Like, Comment, Subscribe
Director: Sheryl Lee Ralph
Written by Shateka Johnson
Cast: Jasmine Luv and Victoria Rowell.
It follows a wedding vlogger and bride-to-be herself as she chronicles her journey after she is diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer. Through her journey, we will see the ups, the downs, and the love shared with her fiancé.
Title: Everything is Fine
Director: Victoria Rowell
Written by Dez White,
Cast: Charmin Lee, Malachi Malik, Vernon Davis
It shows the charmed life of an affluent Black family that seem to have it all but faces a challenge with their estranged son who struggles to hold onto reality with the confidential help of his younger sister.
Baby Blue and Everything is Fine are slated to air on BET Her Networks July 25.