Mariah Carey Urges Fans to #CallOutYourSenator” in Campaign to Save Anti-Voter Supression ‘For the People Act’

Mariah Carey is encouraging you to help stop voter suppression efforts…

The 52-year-old half-Venezuelan American singer has joined several stars, including John Legend and Common, to urge their fans to #calloutyoursenator in a viral campaign to save the anti-voter suppression For the People Act.

Mariah Carey

Carey and the other stars have joined the Twitter campaign urging a bipartisan group of four U.S. senators to vote in favor of the bill that has already passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and is pending, but imperiled, in the U.S. Senate.

“No matter our color, party, or zip code, our voices and our votes count. @senatorsinema @joemanchinWV @senatortimscott @senrobportman can make that happen,” tweeted Common referring to a group of, respectively, two democrat and two republican senators who could serve as the pivotal votes in favor of the bill. “If you live in AZ, WV, SC or OH #CallOutYourSenators. Tell them VOTE YES on the #ForThePeopleAct.”

Carey, Legend, Evanescence‘s Amy Lee and actors Kerry WashingtonLeonardo DiCaprio and comedians Sarah Silverman and Billy Eichner have also joined the campaign to salvage a bill that enjoys support from nearly all the Democrats in the Senate, but is in danger of falling short due to democratic holdouts Machin and Sinema.

As former president Donald Trump and a number of his Republican allies continue to spread the unfounded “Big Lie” alleging massive voter suppression in the 2020 election — which election integrity experts said was actually the most secure vote in the nation’s history — the Senate is stalled on passing the bill that would, among other things, outlaw partisan gerrymandering of congressional districts, overhaul campaign finance laws, make federal campaign spending more transparent and protect early voting while requiring states to adopt Automatic Voter Registration.

According to a recent survey, 67 percent of Americans are in favor of the bill, which has effectively been put on ice due to West Virginia democrat Sen. Manchin’s stated refusal to vote for it, which means it will fall short of the 50 votes necessary to break a filibuster; fellow democrat Arizona Sen. Sinema has also said she would not support the bill known as “S 1.”

Experts say passage in the Senate is vital to combat the hundreds of bills introduced (and passed) in Republican-led states so far this year that aim to gut early, vote-by-mail and no-excuse voting, repealing automatic voter registration and limit the powers of local officials to oversee elections, among other actions that critics say would heavily impact, young and Black voters.

PBS to Air Sergio Mendes’ Documentary “Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration”

Sergio Mendes is celebrating with friends on the small screen…

PBS will air the documentary Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration, about the 80-year-old acclaimed Brazilian musician.

Sergio Mendes

The film, which will premiere as part of special programming on PBS stations this June, is derived from the feature documentary Sergio Mendes: In The Key Of Joy by filmmaker John Scheinfeld.

Mendes, who exploded onto the scene in the 1960s with his group, Brasil ’66, played a big role in popularizing Brazilian music around the world, and at the same time created his own genre by fusing Brazilian music with American pop.

The three-time Grammy winner has made 35 albums, including Timeless, produced by will.i.am. Hit singles include “Mas Que Nada”, “The Look of Love”, “Scarborough Fair”, “Night and Day”, “Never Gonna Let You Go” and his famous rendition of “Fool on the Hill”.

In 2012, his “Real in Rio” from the animated film Rio was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Original Song.

In Sergio Mendes & Friends: A Celebration, he is joined onscreen by friends and collaborators including Herb Alpert, Common, Lani Hall (lead singer of Brasil ’66), Quincy Jones, John Legend, Gracinha Mendes (Sergio’s lead singer since 1971 and his wife of 46 years), Jerry Moss, Carlos Saldhana and will.i.am.

“I am really looking forward to sharing my life and musical journey through the decades from Brasil ’66 through present day with PBS viewers across the nation,” said Mendes. “I hope viewers will have a joyful and uplifting experience.”

“Sergio’s warmth, humor and appreciation of life through all the senses made me feel a strong connection with him and I want others to feel the same way,” added director Scheinfeld. “His life is an exceptional blend of encounters, spontaneity and serendipity and makes him an irresistible subject for a film.”

The deal was negotiated by WNED PBS and the film’s distributor Brainstorm Media.

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Take Part in Virtual Birthday Fundraiser for Harry Belafonte

Lin-Manuel Miranda is helping celebrate a living legend…

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, composer, director, producer, author and playwright will honor Harry Belafonte, who will turn 94 years old on March 1, during a virtual birthday concert.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda is among a cadre of friends and famous fans that will gather this Sunday for a virtual event that will feature performances, video tributes and testimonials by civil rights and racial justice leaders, politicians, artists, athletes and more. It will serve as a fundraiser for Belafonte’s Gathering for Justice organization and is sponsored in part by the Hope and Robert F. Smith family.

Belafonte founded the organization in 2005 after seeing a news story of a 5-year-old Black girl who was cuffed and arrested in her Florida classroom for “being unruly.” Since then, the organization’s mission is to build a movement to end child incarceration while working to eliminate racial inequities.

Titled The Gathering for Harry, the event will feature Common, Danny Glover, Alfre Woodard, Chuck D, Bernie and Jane Sanders, Stacey Abrams, Aloe Blacc, Tamika D. Mallory, Rev. Al Sharpton, Jackie Cruz, Aja Monet, Mysonne the General, Diane Nash, Carmen Perez-Jordan, DJ Carisma, Bryan Stevenson, Bernadette Peters, Christopher Jackson, Tony Shalhoub and more.

As of February 23, event organizers announced that Jay-Z was confirmed to appear to accept a Gatekeeper of Truth Award. Also new to the list are Tiffany Haddish, Usher, Miranda, Charlamagne Tha God, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Susan Sarandon, Pete Buttigieg and others.

The virtual party will be held Sunday, February 28, at 7:00 pm ET.

More information about how to take part in the event can be found here.

Fat Joe to Appear on the Upcoming “MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon”

Fat Joe’s got hart… And, he’s ready to share it with the world.

The 50-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American rapper, whose real name Joseph Antonio Cartagena, will take part in the MDA Kevin Hart Kids Telethon, the upcoming two-hour special hosted by Hart that reimagines the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual variety show fundraiser.

Fat-Joe

Fat Joe joins a lineup of talent additions that includes Don Cheadle, Common, Cindy Crawford, Whitney Cummings, Stephen Curry, Zachary Levi and Kelly Rowland.

The special, which will benefit the MDA and Help From the Hart Charity, streams live on Saturday from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET on Hart’s LOL Network and its digital platforms YouTube and Pluto TV, as well as on TikTok, Triller and Twitch.

SiriusXM will air an encore of the show on its Laugh Out Loud Radio channel on October 26 at 4:00 pm ET and again the next day at 10:00 am ET.

The telethon will feature entertainment, comedy, musical performances and MDA’s Let’s Play For a Cure gaming elements, a gaming stream hosted by Zedd running simultaneously. A Telethon Showcase to celebrate the members of the neuromuscular community and hosted by Nancy O’Dell and Jann Carl will follow the two-hour main show. It will stream on the MDA’s Facebook page.

As a warmup, an MDA-hosted online auction on CharityBuzz featuring items from Serena Williams, Curry and others launches Friday at mda.org/telethon.

The latest talent additions to the lineup join previously announced guests including Garcelle Beauvais, Aloe Blacc, Jack Black, Usain Bolt, Bryan Cranston, Adam Devine, Josh Gad, Liz Gillies, Aldis Hodge, Edwin Hodge, Michael B. Jordan, DJ Khaled, Daniel Levy, Loni Love, Leslie Mann, Jillian Mercado, Robin Thicke, Gabrielle Union Wade and John David Washington.

Jonathan Krisel is directing.

 

Eva Longoria to Speak on Opening Night of the Democratic National Convention

Eva Longoria is taking the national stage once again…

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress, former Desperate Housewives star and activist has been added to the lineup of speakers for this week’s Democratic National Convention.

Eva Longoria

Longoria, who gave a spirited speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, joins a lineup of new additions to the roster that includes three other Hollywood figures who’ve long been active in party politics: Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Longoria, who also appeared at the 2012 DNC and later served on the Presidential Inaugural Committee, will appear on Monday. Ross will speak on Tuesday, Washington on Wednesday and Louis-Dreyfus on Thursday.

Monday’s lineup includes Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former First Lady Michelle Obama. The convention will run from 9:00 – 11:00 pm ET each night.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will speak on Tuesday.

The convention also will feature performances from Leon Bridges, The Chicks, Common, Billie Eilish, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Billy Porter, Maggie Rogers, Prince Royce and Stephen Stills.

In addition to the lineup of speakers, Democrats plan to feature testimonials from everyday Americans who will appear from locations across the country.

Convention organizers also announced that the keynote address, traditionally delivered by one up-and-coming party figure, will instead feature 17 different speakers.

Quibi to Stream All-Star Remake of “The Princess Bride” Featuring Jenna Ortega

It’s a royal moment for Jenna Ortega

Starting Monday, Quibi will stream an all-star remake of The Princess Bride filmed by actors at home while in quarantine, including the 17-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American actress.

Jenna Ortega

In addition to Ortega, the re-creation will feature an A-list cast that includes couples Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner,Common and Tiffany HaddishNeil Patrick Harris and David Burtka and Chris Pine and Annabelle Wallis, along with Hugh JackmanJennifer GarnerElijah Wood, Jon HammBeanie FeldsteinLucas HedgesJack BlackDavid OyelowoKeegan-Michael KeyPatton OswaltJosh GadAndy SerkisDiego LunaTaika Waititi and Zazie Beetz and more.

Directed by Jason Reitman, the project will see Common playing the heroic Westley (originated by Cary Elwes), Haddish as Princess Buttercup (first played by Robin Wright), and Jackman as the villainous Humperdinck, to name a few.

The Princess Bride’s director, Rob Reiner, will also appear in the remake, along with Fred Savage, who reprises his role as the grandson in the film.

Beginning June 29, Quibi will release chapters of the made-at-home movie daily for two weeks.

The remake also is aiding a good cause. As part of the project, Quibi has donated $1 million to chef José Andrés’ charity World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to those who have been most affected by the coronaviruspandemic.

The remake of The Princess Bridewas first reported by Vanity Fair.

America Ferrera Signs Open Letter Urging Local Governments to Decrease Police Budgets

America Ferrera is calling for decreased police funding…

The 36-year-old Honduran American actress and activist has joined the likes of John LegendCommon, the WeekndLizzoJane Fonda, and others to signed a new open letter urging local governments to decrease police budgets in favor of spending more on health care, education, and other community programs. 

Others to sign the letter include Megan RapinoeYada Shahidi, and Anthony Romero, the executive director of the ACLU.

The letter was released by activist Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter and a founding member of the Movement 4 Black Lives, a coalition of more than 100 black-rights organizations. 

The letter arrived in conjunction with #BlackOutTuesday and #TheShowMustBePaused, a grassroots campaign within the music industryto pause work today, June 2nd, and “reconnect with our community.” 

Talib KweliNatalie PortmanBrie Larson and Taraji P. Henson also signed the letter.

The open letter ties the deaths of unarmed black people like George FloydAhmaud ArberyBreonna TaylorTony McDade, and others to the disproportionately devastating effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on black communities. 

The COVID-19 deaths and the deaths caused by police terror are connected and consequential to each other,” it states. “The United States does not have a national healthcare system. Instead, we have the largest military budget in the world, and some of the most well-funded and militarized police departments in the world, too. Policing and militarization overwhelmingly dominate the bulk of national and local budgets. In fact, police and military funding has increased every single year since 1973, and at the same time, funding for public health decreased every year, crystallized most recently when the Trump administration eliminated the U.S. Pandemic Response Team in 2018, citing ‘costs.To know more about health check this site.

Noting, for instance, that state and local government spending on police and corrections jumped from $60 billion to $194 billion between 1977 and 2017, the letter lays out an array of different ways that money could be used. “It could go towards building healthy communities, to the health of our elders and children, to neighborhood infrastructure, to education, to childcare, to support a vibrant Black future. The possibilities are endless.”

At the end, the letter lays out its three demands and asks all signees to encourage their local officials to take the pledge as well: “Vote no on all increases to police budgets. Vote yes to decrease police spending and budgets. Vote yes to increase spending on Health care, Education, and Community programs that keep us safe.”

La La Anthony Lands Recurring Role on Showtime’s “The Chi”

La La Anthony is heading to Chicago’s South Side…

The 38-year-old Afro-Puerto Rican actress and television personality has landed a recurring role on Season 3 of Showtime’s The Chi.

La La Anthony

Created and executive produced by Lena Waithe and executive produced by CommonThe Chi is a timely coming-of-age story centering on a group of residents in Chicago’s South Side who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption.

In Season 3, Anthony will play Dominique “Dom” Morris, a savvy businesswoman with dreams of more lucrative opportunities. 

The season three cast includes Ntare Guma Mbaho MwineJacob LatimoreAlex HibbertYolonda Ross and Shamon Brown Jr. 

The Chi is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios.

Production is underway on Season 3 with new showrunner and executive producer Justin Hillian.

Anthony’s previous credits include television appearances on Power, Star and Daytime Divas.

Blue Fox Entertainment Secures Worldwide Rights to Alfred Molina’s “Saint Judy”

Alfred Molina’s Saintwill go marching in around the world…

Blue Fox Entertainment has secured the worldwide rights to Saint Judy, a biopic centered on immigration attorney Judy Wood starring the 65-year-old half-Spanish actor.

Alfred Molina

Directed by Sean Hanish, the film stars Michelle Monaghan, Leem Lubany, Common, Molina, Alfre Woodard, Peter Krause, Gabriel Bateman, Ben Schnetzer, Mykelti Williamson, Waleed Zuaiter, Kevin Chapman and Aimee Garcia.

The film follows Judy, a single mother in her mid-30’s, who single-handedly changed the U.S. law of asylum. In a landmark case, Ms. Wood represented an Afghan woman who fled her home country after being persecuted by the Taliban for opening a school for girls. Against all odds, Ms. Wood fought a tenacious battle both in and out of court, which culminated in arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. By winning the case, she changed the Law of Asylum nationwide, allowing women to be designated a protected class – saving the lives of not only her client but thousands of other female refugees. 

Blue Fox will launch international sales at the Toronto Film Festivaland will release the film domestically early next year.

Dmitry Portnoy wrote the original screenplay.

The film was produced by Cannonball Production, with Molina serving as an executive producer.

Cardi B to Headline This Year’s ONE Musicfest in Atlanta

Cardi B is the ONE

The lineup for Atlanta’s ONE Musicfest 2018 has been announced, with the 25-year-old half-Dominican American rapper among the artists set to headline the ninth incarnation of the event.

Cardi B

Now a two-day celebration of live music, this year’s festivities are slated to take place at Central Park on September 8-9, with tickets available at the festival’s website.

In addition to Cardi B, Nas and Miguel are also slated to headline, while additional performers include Jeezy, T.I., George Clinton with Parliament, Big Sean, Common with his super group August GreeneRapsody,Kelis, Brandy, Jessie Reyez, DJ Nabs’ ATL Crunk Set featuring YoungBloodz, Ying Yang Twins, Eastside Boyz, Trillville,Kilo Ali and DJ Taz, and a handful of others.

Last year’s event saw more than 20,000 attendees come out to enjoy Jill Scott, Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and what was billed as a farewell performance from Yasiin Bey (Mos Def).

“We are all super excited about OMF2018,” says founder Jason “J” Carter. “Growing into a two-day festival allows us to expand our roster, highlight more of the music that we love and give our audience an experience unlike any!”