Lin-Manuel Miranda Among 300 BIPOC Artists to Sign Open Letter Demanding Change from the “White American Theater”

Lin-Manuel Mirandais addressing the “White American Theater.”

As protests and rallies against racial injustice and the killing of black lives continue throughout the world, the 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, singer, rapper, actor, producer, and playwright is bringing the theater world into the spotlight, to address systemic racism against black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC).

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

An open letter addressed to “White American Theater” and demanding change was published earlier this week. 

The letter was filled with ugly truths that those who’ve worked in the theater industry have experienced for decades. 

Among the 300 BIPOCs who signed the letter were Miranda,Viola DavisSandra OhUzo AdubaSterling K. BrownCynthia ErivoYahya Abdul-Mateen IIDanai GuriraAndre HollandConrad RicamoraTanya SarachoAnika Noni RoseJessica HagedornLeslie Odom Jr.,Katori Halland others.

The letter bluntly calls out the industry: “We see you. We have always seen you. We have watched you pretend not to see us.”

“We have watched you exploit us, shame us, diminish us, and exclude us. We see you. We have always seen you. And now you will see us.”

It continues to drag theater’s history of tokenism, white privilege, patriarchy, blatant racism, bias and hypocrisy: “We have watched you amplify our voices when we are heralded by the press, but refuse to defend our aesthetic when we are not, allowing our livelihoods to be destroyed by a monolithic and racist culture.”

“Join us in demanding change for BIPOC theater artists at http://weseeyouWAT.com. #WeSeeYou #TomorrowTherellBeMoreOfUs,” Miranda tweeted, sharing the letter and a petition with everyone.

The open letter comes as the protests following the killing of George Floyd and other black lives continue around the globe. It also comes when there seems to be a reckoning in all industries when it comes to racial inequality. 

Colman Domingo Signs First-Look Deal with AMC Studios

It’s a new deal for Colman Domingo

The 50-year-old Guatemalan American actor, playwright and television/stage director has signed a first-look deal with AMC Studios, the studio behind Domingo’s zombie drama series Fear the Walking Dead.

Colman Domingo,

Domingo made his debut as Victor Strand in a two-episode guest arc during the first season of Fear the Walking Dead, a spinoff from The Walking Dead.

He was made a series regular at the start of Season 2. He made his directorial debut on the show and has directed two episodes to date.

“From the moment AMC viewers first saw Colman Domingo as the mysterious and dynamic Victor Strand in season one of Fear The Walking Dead,they haven’t been able to look away, and neither have we,” said Sarah Barnett, President of AMC Networks Entertainment Group & AMC Studios. “He has become a core character of the series and, as anyone who knows him knows, his talents go far beyond that one character in that one show. He is a writer, producer and performer who can move effortlessly between film, television and the stage and we are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with this extraordinary talent and individual through this first-look deal with AMC Studios.”

Domingo is currently in production on the upcoming sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead and stars in A24’s Zolawhich premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He’s also had a recurring role on HBO’s Euphoria and will be seen in Jordan Peele’s spiritual sequel to the 1992 gothic horror film CandyMan, as well as opposite Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman in the Netflix film adaption of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,produced by Denzel Washington.

Domingo, 20-year veteran theater director, co-wrote the book for the Broadway musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and for the Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole  musical.

At AMC, he developed a series based on his play Dottwo years ago.

Domingo’s film acting credits also include Barry Jenkins’ If Beale Street Could TalkSelma, Lee Daniels’ The Butler,  Steven Spielberg’s LincolnFirst Matchand Spike Lee’s Miracle At St. AnaRed Hook Summerand Passing Strange

Colman Domingo to Star in MGM & Jordan Peele’s “Candyman” Reboot

Colman Domingo has landed a sweet (but scary) role…

The 49-year-old Afro-Latino actor has been castin MGMand Jordan Peele’s forthcoming reboot of the classic horror film Candyman, which has begun principal photography in Chicago. 

Colman Domingo

Domingo will star opposite Nathan Stewart-Jarrett,Yahya Abdul-Mateen IIand Teyonah Parrisin the film.

The film will be directed by Nia DaCostaand will be a spiritual sequel to Benard Rose’s 1992 gothic horror movie, which was originally based on Clive Barker’s short story The Forbidden

The film will be shot entirely in Chicago and feature various locations throughout the city, including the neighborhood where the legend began: the now-gentrified North Side where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood.

The original movie followed the urban legend of the titular character and starred Tony Toddas Candyman, a former slave turned artist who fell in love and with a white woman and fathered a child during the late 1800s. Because of this forbidden relationship, his lover’s father hired a lynch mob to kill him. He was smeared with honey and bees attacked him. He was burned to death and his ashes were scattered upon what became the present-day the Cabrini-Green housing project. The story of his death became an urban legend and by saying his name five times in the mirror, he comes and murders you. The horror became popular among the masses and spawned two sequels.

Universal Pictureswill distribute Candymanglobally with the U.S. release date set for June 12, 2020.

Tony andLawrence Olivier-nominated actor and playwright, Domingo is known for his role as Victor Strand on Fear the Walking DeadHe also appears on HBO’s EuphoriaHe can next be seen in A24’s ZolaNoah Hawley’s Lucy in the Skyand The God Committeealongside Kelsey Grammarand Julia Stiles. He is currently filming Ma Rainey’s Black Bottomwith Viola Davisand Chadwick Boseman.

YouTube Star Johanna Colón to Star in Amazon Studios’ “Troupe Zero”

Johanna Colón is zeroing in on a Hollywood career…

The 9-year-old Latina dancer and YouTube sensation has joined the cast of Amazon Studios Troupe Zero, which also stars Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, Mike Epps and Mckenna Grace.

Johanna Colón

A tutu-wearing Colon stole the show at her school’s dance recital at the age of 6, while performing to Aretha Franklin’s Respect, in a YouTube video that went viral.

The film is being directed by Bert & Bertie from a script by Beasts of the Southern Wild scribe Lucy Alibar. While no details have been released about the story, Todd Black, who produced Fences, the film which earned Davis the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, is producing the project for Amazon.

Colón previously had a small, guest-starring role in TBSThe Guest Book.

This time around, she plays a girls who never speaks but is a character known as Smash, a sidekick to another character named Hell-No. Smash is Hell No’s muscle, the lunch-stealing, bullying girl who joins a misfit Brownie troupe and then finds a sense of belonging.

ABC Renews Karla Souza’s “How to Get Away With Murder” for a Fifth Season

Karla Souza is still getting away with murder…

ABC has given a Season 5 pickup to its legal thriller drama How to Get Away With Murder, starring the 32-year-old actress.

Karla Souza

The renewal of the Shondaland drama was fully expected.

HTGAWM is the second longest-running Shondaland series, and it’s well received, earning lead star Viola Davis top awards including an Emmy.

Additionally, while a modest Live+Same Day performer (average 0.94 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 3.70 million viewers in Season 4, down by 28% and by 20%, respectively, compared to Season 3), it continues to be a big DVR gainer. Its Live+7 tally for Season 4 was 6.4 million viewers and a 2.0 in 18-49, ranking as ABC’s third highest-rated drama in the demo behind Grey’s Anatomy and The Good Doctor

Starring Davis, Souza, Billy Brown, Jack Falahee, Aja Naomi King, Matt McGorry, Conrad Ricamora, Charlie Weber and Liza WeilHow To Get Away With Murder revolves around the world of Middleton University Professor Annalise Keating (Davis). Murder, deception, fear and guilt bind her to her longtime associates and students. As the group struggles to move on following the death of one of their own, their past continues to haunt them.

How To Get Away With Murder is created and executive produced by Pete Nowalk, who also serves as showrunner.

Rodriguez to Star in New Regency’s Heist Thriller “Widows”

Michelle Rodriguez is turning to a life of crime…

The 38-year-old Puerto Rican and Dominican-American actress has joined the cast of New Regency’s heist thriller Widows from British helmer Steve McQueen.

Michelle Rodriguez

Rodriguez will join Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis, as well as Cynthia Erivo.

Gone Girl scribe Gillian Flynn co-wrote the script with McQueen, based on the 1983 British miniseries penned by Lynda LaPlante (Prime Suspect).

The story begins when four armed robbers are killed during a failed heist and their surviving widows join forces and resolve to pull off the next raid themselves.

Widows marks McQueen’s first feature since winning the Best Picture Oscar for 12 Years a Slave in 2014.

Rodriguez, who made a name for herself with roles in Universal Pictures’ hit Fast and Furious franchise, has starred in Avatar, Resident Evil and Resident Evil: Retribution. Her other credits include Girlfight, S.W.A.T. and Battle: Los Angeles.

Warner Bros. Releases New Trailer for Leto’s “Suicide Squad”

The Joker’s on Jared Leto

Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Suicide Squad, starring the 44-year-old part-Spanish actor/singer, as anticipation builds for the supervillain film.

Jared Leto in Suicide Squad

In addition to Leto as The Joker, the film also stars Will SmithMargot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Scott Eastwood, Cara Delevingne, Adam Beach and Karen Fukuhara.

Warner Bros. tweetedThank Squad. The wait is almost over,” along with the new clip, on its Twitter account for the film.

Suicide Squad opens in theaters on August 5.

New Trailer Released for Leto’s “Suicide Squad”

The Joke(r)’s on Jared Leto

The 44-year-old part-Spanish American actor/singer and his Suicide Squad co-stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Cara Delevingne took to the stage at the MTV Movie Awards to unveil the new trailer for the film.

Suicide Squad's Jared Leto as The Joker

Suicide Squad is the second (official) installment of the DC Extend Universe , following Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and, retroactively, Man of Steel.

The film sees a shady government spymaster assembling a team composed of the DC Universe’s worst criminals to take down an even greater evil. To keep them in line, the team members are implanted with “microbombs” in their heads set to go off if they try to flee or if they fail – the “succeed or die” requirement gives the squad its name.

The villainous good guys are led by Smith who plays DC villain Deadshot, Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Jay Hernandez as El Diablo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Killer Croc, and Cara Delevingne as The Enchantress.

The ensemble cast is rounded out by Leto as The Joker, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flagg, the military officer overseeing the team, Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, with Ike Barinholtz, and Scott Eastwood.

The film is written and directed by David Ayer and hits theaters August 5.

Nolasco’s “American Crime” to Premiere on January 6 on ABC

Elvis Nolasco is ringing in the New Year with a little Crime

ABC has slated John Ridley’s American Crime, starring the Dominican actor, to premiere on January 6.

Elvis Nolasco

The second season of the critically acclaimed series will return for a second season on a new night, Wednesday, where it will air in Nashville’s 10:00 pm time slot while the country music drama is on winter hiatus. 

American Crime‘s second season is set in the U.S. Midwest at two high schools, one public and one private.

The first season of the show, which followed a racially charged murder and the subsequent trial, aired in the Thursday 10 PM slot, succeeding How To Get Away With Murder, which has shorter (18-episode) seasons per star Viola Davis’ contract.

This season, the plan is to keep the Shondaland branding on the night intact with the latest Shonda Rhimes-produced drama, The Catch, following HTGAWM in the 10:00 pm hour.

In Season 2, issues of sexual orientation and socioeconomic disparity come to a boil when lurid photos of a high school boy are posted on social media following a school party. Circumstances become more complicated when the boy accuses two players on an elite private high school’s championship basketball team of drugging, assaulting and then posting the pictures of him online.

Many of the Season 1 cast members are back, including stars Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton, as well as co-stars Regina King — who won an Emmy for her role — Lili Taylor and Nolasco, who are joined by Trevor Jackson, Connor Jessup, Joey Pollari and Angelique Rivera.

Samuel Goldwyn Films Acquires North American Rights to Lopez’s “Lila and Eve”

Jennifer Lopez is a Goldwyn girl… of sorts.

Samuel Goldwyn Films has acquired the North American distribution rights to the 45-year-old Puerto Rican singer-actress and American Idol judge’s latest film Lila and Eve.

Jennifer Lopez

The Charles Stone III-directed drama, which co-stars Viola Davis, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Davis plays a grief stricken mother who, in the aftermath of her son’s drive by shooting murder, bonds with a woman (Lopez) who lost her daughter. Fed up with the futility of the justice system, they become vigilantes who go on a killing spree, working through the chain of drug dealers who killed the young man.

Shea Whigham, Julius Tennon, Chris Chalk and Andre Royo also star.

The film will be released later this year.